Raabe, Richard "Dick"

Written by David Green.

Richard “Dick” W. Raabe, 79, of Traverse City, Mich., died Jan. 30, 2010, after a brief illness, in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he spent the winter months.

Dick was born in Morenci, Mich., to Elmer Charles Raabe, M.D., and Madeline.

Dick was president of the Class of 1948 at Morenci High School and served in the U.S. Navy from 1949-50. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1954 and began his career as a social studies teacher at Romulus High School. He was a former teacher in several southeast Michigan school systems from 1954 to 1998. He was a successful and respected high school tennis coach for more than a decade.

Dick is remembered as a beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, companion and close friend to many. He was a man strong in his spiritual life as well as intellectual pursuits. Dick raised his three children with his former wife Barbara (Bolhuis) Raabe of Holland, Mich., who was also a teacher. He was a lifelong sports enthusiast participating in cross country skiing events in the Traverse City area and an accomplished tennis player all of his adult life. Dick loved to walk Casey, the dog. He was constantly surrounded with all types of books as a passionate reader and he belonged to numerous book clubs.

Dick was also an accomplished watercolor artist as well as other media. He was a member of the Ann Arbor Unitarian Universalist Church for more than 25 years and a member of the Traverse City Unitarian Universalist Church for more than 10 years.

Dick was a great believer in living simply and gave to many charities including the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the American Cancer Society, Heifer International, National Public Radio and Goodwill Industries.

He is survived by two daughters, Julie Raabe (and Chris) Gentry, of Cadillac, Mich., and Jean Raabe, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; a son, David (and Sandy) Raabe, of Westmoreland, NH; his former wife and constant companion of 30 years, Lynn  Raabe, of Northville, Mich.; stepson Kevin (and Sarah) Wright of Phoenix, Ariz.; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by sisters Virginia Secrest of Morenci and Janice Bebo, of Methuen, Mass.

Family members are planning memorial services at First Unitarian Church of Ann Arbor at 3 p.m. April 18 and in Traverse City at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse at 7 p.m. April 21. A private burial service for family members will be scheduled in Morenci.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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