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Gayle Shafer

Gayle Rae Shafer, 61, Canton, Mich., died December 5, 2014 at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    She was born May 6, 1953, in LaGrange, to Otto Ray and Janet Grate Grogg.

    As a teenager and young adult, Gayle worked at Kresge’s, First National Bank of Plymouth and National City Bank in downtown Plymouth, and at a nursing home. She was a 1971 graduate of Plymouth High School. After graduating from Indiana University in 1975 with a double major in telecommunications and English, she received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Memphis in 1981, and a Master of Science in accounting and information systems from Middle Tennessee State University in 2001. Relocating to the Detroit, Mich., area in 2001, she took continuing education classes at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich., for several more years. Working a brief time for the City of Bloomington after graduating from Indiana University in 1975, she started her career at General Motors that spanned many responsibilities at many locations. She served as a merchandising specialist and sales analyst in the Memphis and Detroit regions for the Cadillac Motor Division from 1977-1981 and then as a district sales and service manager for the Pontiac Motor Division from 1981-1986 in the Springfield, Ill., and Memphis regions. She then joined General Motors’ Saturn Corporation from its inception in 1986, where she remained until her retirement in late 2008. She was a market survey analyst in Troy, Mich., from 1986-1989, area operations team leader in Sacramento, Calif., from 1989-1993, and retail support team leader and vehicle administration coordinator from 1993-2001 in Spring Hill, Tenn. After moving to Detroit in 2001, she was a Saturn service plan coordinator and warranty claims analyst, and sales and business management analyst until she completed her 32 years of service in 2008. During her time in Spring Hill, Tenn., she worked part-time at Mrs. T’s Donut Shop in Franklin, Tenn. After retirement, she was a volunteer guide for several years at the Plymouth Historical Museum and also served as volunteer secretary and board member for the Fox Run Homeowners Association. While in Canton, Michg., she attended St. Michaels Lutheran Church. She was also a member of Alpha Phi social sorority, and business honorary Beta Gamma Sigma.

    She was married May 8, 1999, at Trinity English Lutheran Church in Ft. Wayne, Ind., to Kenneth L. Shafer. He survives.

    Also surviving are her mother, Janet Grate Grogg, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; one brother and sister-in-law, Ronald and Stephanie Grogg, New Brighton, Minn.; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

    She was preceded in death by her father, Otto Ray Grogg.


    Visitation is 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, December 16, at Howell Funeral Home in Plymouth, Mich.

    Memorial service will be 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, December 16, at Schrader-Howell Funeral Home in Plymouth, Mich.

    Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, LaGrange.

    Memorials may be sent to Plymouth Historical Museum, 155 South Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170, or animal rescue organization of donor’s choice.

    Schrader-Howell Funeral Home in Plymouth, Mich., is in charge of arrangements.