Clarence T. “Gyke” Grabowski, 93, of Escanaba, passed away early Sunday morning, November 13, 2016 at Northwoods Place.
He was born on February 21, 1923 in Escanaba, son of Thomas P. and Georgina (Soby) Grabowski. Gyke graduated from Escanaba High School, class of 1942.
Gyke served in the Army beginning in 1942 and was honorably discharged as Sergeant. He served in Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He was honored with the American Theater Campaign Medal EAME Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal.
On August 14, 1945, Gyke married Lila Mae Ness at St. Joseph Church in Escanaba. They have been married for 71 years.
He worked for his father in law starting in 1939 for Wilbert Burial Vaults and later became owner and operator, until his retirement in 1988.
Gyke was an active member of St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church where he was an usher for 20 years and volunteered for the church bingo for 12 years.
He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th degree, Elks Club Lodge 354 and was a life member of the Amvets and American Legion.
Gyke spent most of his free time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved to work on his lawn and flowers.
Among survivors include his wife, Lila Mae of Escanaba; children, Iva Sue Karl of Tacoma, WA, Alvin “Al” G. Grabowski of Escanaba, Keith (Bonnie) T. Grabwoski of Escanaba, Sally Ann Robitaille of Escanaba and Mary Jo (Darryl) Schultz of Petoskey, MI; 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by daughter in law, Donna Grabowski; two brothers and a sister; and two half-brothers and two half-sisters.
A private visitation will be held at the convenience of the family. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, November 18th at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church with Rev. Eric Olson officiating.
Graveside services and military honors will follow on Friday at 2 p.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or for Masses in Clarence’s name. Envelopes will be available at the church.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Grabowski family.