(Chelsea Update would like to thank Janice Ortbring for this tribute to Glee Havens.)
Glee (Gaige) Havens was born on April 20, 1961 to Mr. Jesse Gaige and Mrs. Irmgard Gaige. Raised in beautiful upstate New York, Glee acquired the love of baking from her talented mother at a very early age.
After pursuing an economics degree at SUNY/Buffalo, Glee went on to study at the Baltimore Culinary Institute (BCI), where she graduated with top honors. At BCI, Glee trained under the famous Austrian Chef Jan Bandula, who previously served as the White House pastry chef during the Carter Administration.
After culinary school, Glee acquired the position of Executive Pastry Chef for the Omni Hotel & Convention Center. (The largest convention center in Maryland.) Glee became very well known in the Baltimore and Washington DC area where she catered to many of the well-known restaurants, hotels, and gourmet shops.
Glee’s desserts have been enjoyed by many well-known people such as: Gerald Ford, Frank Perdue, Bubba Smith, Ted Kopple, Oliver North, and The Baltimore Orioles. Glee’s work has also been illustrated in top periodicals like “Architectural Digest” and “Bon Appetite”. Glee has built a loyal following of gourmet connoisseurs and her love of baking is shown in the aesthetic beauty and tantalizing taste of everything she makes.
Glee has an established reputation for providing premier gourmet cakes, pastries and other treats to discriminating wholesale and retail customers. In 2011, Glee opened Glee Cake and Pastry, in downtown Chelsea, MI. There, in her bakeshop, she created dozens of wedding sweets, countless cakes and pastries, and established herself as an amazing businesswoman. Glee won several local baking contests including a bake-off and the Michigan Girl Scout Cookie dessert competition. She was very generous with her time and talent to many local charities.
In addition to baking, Glee enjoyed entertaining and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoyed listening to her children play music. Another favorite thing to do was to travel to Hawaii where she would swim in the ocean with turtles and take in the sunrise and sunsets.
Glee is survived by her husband, Steve; children Ashton Havens, Wesley Havens and Madison Havens; stepdaughter Lisa Havens-Smith and stepson Steven Havens; her father Jesse Gaige; brothers Chris (Diane) Gaige, Noel Gaige, Peter (Marianne) Gaige; sister Phyllis (Brad) Davis. Glee was preceded in death by her mother, Irmgard Gaige.
A celebration of Glee’s life will be held on Wednesday, July 24, at 2 p.m. at Caskey-Mitchell Funeral Home, Stockbridge. The family will receive friends from noon until the time of service.
“Glee was an amazing person and a real gift to Chelsea,” says Janice Ortbring. “Our family was so blessed to have known her on a professional level with her bakery and a personal level, getting to know her and her family. She enjoyed life and was a real fighter. Her baking talent was second to none as was evident by how popular she was, right off the bat. The Chelsea area lost a great lady and business woman. She participated in Fair Parades, Festival of Lights, Chocolate Extravaganza, Wine- Women and Shopping and supported countless local charities.”