Raabe, Richard "Dick"

Posted in Obituaries

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.

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