WMU News

Gayl F. Werme

Dec. 4, 2002

Gayl F. Werme, a development officer and trustee emerita of Western Michigan University, died Dec. 3 in Kalamazoo following a 20-year-long battle with cancer. She was 63.

Werme served as a member of the University's Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1985. Since 1995, she had worked as a special projects assistant in WMU's Development Office.

The Keene, N.H., native, who first moved to the Kalamazoo area in 1961, was active in a variety of civic, political and cultural organizations. She served as campaign chairperson for Paul Wartner during 11 successful local and state elections, including his elections to the state house and senate. She then served as his district office coordinator during his terms in both those positions.

Werme served on numerous boards of directors, including those of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Bronson Methodist Hospital, the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency, the Forum for Kalamazoo County and the Kalamazoo Symphony Society. She was a 14-year member of the Portage Board of Education and served as its president from 1984 to 1985.

In 2000, Werme was named the Kalamazoo Area Women's Festival Woman of the Year. She also earned the YWCA Woman of Achievement award in 1990 and the Portage Rotary Club Community Service Award in 1994.

Visitation is set for Thursday (Dec. 5) from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Betzler Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo. The funeral service will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at the Portage United Church of Christ, 2731 West Milham Road, Portage.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Portage United Church of Christ, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Hospice of Greater Kalamazoo, the Western Michigan University Foundation, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

WMU News
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