Charles “Charlie” Grabe, age 73, of Sturgis, passed away early Wednesday morning Dec. 2, 2009, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
He was born March 23, 1936, in Sturgis, a son to the late Edward and Lila (Roth) Grabe.
Charlie was a lifelong Sturgis resident and lived his entire life on the family farm. On Oct. 26, 1974, he married Susan Wooten at the Sturgis Church of the Nazarene.
Charlie entire working life was involved in farming and he owned and operated with his family Grabe’s Grain Farm Harvester Hollow.
He attended the Sturgis Church of the Nazarene and was a strong supporter and contributor to the St. Joseph County 4-H program. Charlie loved his International Harvester tractors. He enjoyed camping, attending tractor and farm shows and collecting miniature International tractors and International memorabilia.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 35 years, Susan; three daughters, Linda (Kevin) Kelley of Sturgis, Kris (Steve) Zimmerman of Sturgis and Brenda (Jimmie) Schmucker of Middlebury, Ind.; three sons, Mike Grabe, Dale Grabe and Jack Grabe, all of Sturgis; 13 grandchildren, Craig, Nathan, Zach, Ashley, Briann, Nick, Alexis, Cole, Anna, Case, Collin, Brock and Toni; two brothers, Dave (Jeanne) Grabe of Battle Creek and Bob (Wanda) Grabe of Alamo, Tenn.; in-laws, Clarence and Eva Wooten and Betty Johnsonbaugh of Sturgis; and brother-in-law, Wally (Suzanne) Wooten of Sturgis and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Sturgis Church of the Nazarene, 70031 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis. Funeral services celebrating the life of Charles “Charlie” Grabe will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the church. The Rev. John Shoup will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at Oak Lawn cemetery in Sturgis.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes Hackman Chapel of Sturgis is handling the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Grabe’s memory consider the Muscular Dystrophy Association, P.O. Box 78960, Phoenix, AZ 85062-8960 or the Sturgis Church of the Nazarene, 70031 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the St. Joseph County Extension 4-H Program, 612 E. Main St., Centreville, MI 49032.