Born June 13, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, died on July 21, 2015, at her home in Okemos at the age of 80. She was diagnosed with liver cancer in June of this year. Gretchen was brilliant and beautiful, funny and witty, a talented potter and painter, a horsewoman and a college professor of English literature at Michigan State University. She loved horses and rode Dressage for many years at Rowe Stables under the tutelage of Jim and Sharon Rowe. Additionally, she and her husband Rick, raised Lipizzan horses at their farm located in Laingsburg, Michigan. She spent many hours in her gardens at their Okemos home creating beautiful flowerbeds throughout their property. She co-authored a book entitled The Other Eighteenth Century: English Women of Letters 1660–1800. A voracious reader and theatergoer, she had total recall of everything she read or saw, retaining her wit and humor to the end.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Rick; two children, Rob Foster (wife Ann Jaquith) and Martha Davis (husband John Davis); and five grandchildren, Emily, Matthew, Molly, Jake and Zach.
Funeral services will be held at Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel located at 325 W. Washtenaw St., Lansing, at 2 pm on Saturday, September 26 with a wake immediately following at the home of Rick and Gretchen. Gretchen was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend and will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Sparrow Hospice Services.