Gayle Hovden Beard Baldwin passed away peacefully in her home with her daughter by her side the evening of May 25, 2019.
Gayle was born on January 16, 1938, to Jessie and Lester Lawhead in Killdeer, North Dakota. She grew up in Killdeer and went to school there. After her father passed away, Jessie married Marion Hovden and they moved to Dickinson, where Gayle graduated high school. Later, Marion adopted both Gayle and her sister, Judy, which turned out to be one of their greatest blessings. He was a wonderful father and the best grandfather their children could have ever had!
After high school, Gayle married Larry Beard and together they had two children, Michael and Cheryl. In the late 1960s, they moved from Williston, North Dakota to Hamilton, where they would spend the next 18 years raising their children. Gayle made many friends in Hamilton and enjoyed her bridge club group, gardening, sewing, hiking and even camping, once she talked Larry into trading the tent in for a camper! After Cheryl graduated high school, Gayle enjoyed taking her on “mother/daughter” shopping trips to Spokane and Seattle, Washington. These trips were filled with a lots of fun, laughter, clothes, drinks and general shenanigans. This is a tradition that Cheryl and her daughters have enjoyed for many years and continue today. In 1985, after Gayle and Larry had been empty nesters for several years, they decided to follow their son and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. They divorced a few years later after 33 years of marriage.
Gayle enjoyed being on her own for the first time in her life. She relished decorating her own place without anyone else’s input. However, she wasn’t on her own for long. After a couple years, she met and married Clarence ‘Jay’ Baldwin Jr. Jay truly swept her off her feet, wining and dining her at the finest places in town.
They continued to live in Scottsdale for the next 16 years and they worked together in real estate. After they divorced, Gayle moved to Butte to be closer to her daughter and granddaughters. She enjoyed getting to be a part of Cheryl’s family, especially being more involved with Kristen and Dani. She was thrilled to watch them both graduate from Butte High and Montana Tech and start on their respective career paths. Seeing Kristen get married to Jason and bring her two great-grandsons, Easton and Dalton, into the world was definitely one of her highlights. However, in 2014, she said “enough!” to the cold and snow of the Butte winters and moved to Yuma, Arizona.
She loved living in Yuma and was content and happy in the little home she purchased and decorated again without anyone else’s input! It turned out home decorating was her passion in her later years.
Gayle was preceded in death by her son, Michael Beard; her parents, Jessie and Marion Hovden and Lester Lawhead; as well as her former husbands, Larry Beard and Jay Baldwin.
She is survived by her sister, Judy Boepple (Pat Kuntz) of Halliday, North Dakota; daughter, Cheryl Markovich (Dale) of Missoula; granddaughters, Kristen Dawes (Jason) and Danielle “Dani” Lloyd (Kevin Shannon), and great-grandsons, Easton and Dalton Dawes, all of Butte. Also surviving are her “bonus” grandchildren and great-granddaughters, Mike Markovich (Kelly and Lacey), Greg Markovich (Lauren, Brynn and Elin), and Rachel Markovich (Dan McFarland and Ivy).
She is also survived by her nephews and nieces, Kevin Singer, Lori Selle (Dan McIntyre), Dawn Marquardt (Steven), Todd Boepple (Ashley), and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
Per Gayle’s wishes, and in keeping with her “make no fuss” attitude, there will be no memorial service. There will be a private family scattering of her ashes this summer.