Gerald “Gerry” Schwabe passed away on February 8, 2021 at the Regency of Whitmore Lake. He had survived COVID but continued to have health problems. Gerry was very proud to have reached 92 years of age.
Gerald was born in Ferndale, Michigan on March 15, 1928 to Francis “Frank” and Luella (Stone) Schwabe. He grew up in a multigenerational home with his parents, brother, grandmother, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncles. This experience gave him a strong family connection that lasted throughout his life. In high school, Gerry was a quarterback on Ferndale’s Lincoln football team and placed third in Michigan’s track and field class A 880 event in 1946. After graduating from Lincoln High, Gerald went to work helping support his mother and younger brother. He began working for Ford Motor Company in Wixom, Michigan as a paint lab tech. He later took a job with PPG and Grow Chemical in automotive paint sales. He continued to work closely with Ford Motor and maintain friendships he established while there. Gerry treasured the lifelong friendships he made with high school buddies, co-workers and neighbors.
Gerry met his first wife, Mary Lou White, at a local ice cream shop where they found a common liking for butter pecan ice cream. They married and raised three children in Farmington Hills; Sheryl, Susan and Michael for 20 years before divorcing.
Gerry later married Lorraine Barbara Frankford with whom he enjoyed 46 years of marriage.
After 44 years of work, Gerald retired. He and Lorraine moved to their beloved “up-north” home in McKinley, Michigan. Gerry’s brother, Wally, moved close by in Mio. In later years, they enjoyed spending winters in Florida.
Gerry was a life-long golfer, he loved to fish and walked daily. While fishing on lakes in Michigan, Canada and on the beautiful Au Sable River, he created wonderful memories with his children, grandchildren and friends. Gerry was a great host to all who came to visit in McKinley. He was quick to get ready the fishing poles, rafts, bikes, golf clubs and whatever was needed for the next adventure. During quieter times, Gerry could often be found watching golf and football on television, reading a good book or sitting in his front yard relaxing.
In 2013, due to medical challenges, Gerry, his wife and his brother moved to lower Michigan to be near family. He spent his last seven years at American House Independent Living in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Gerry will always be remembered for being humble, light-hearted, thoughtful, friendly and caring. He will be deeply missed.
Gerald is survived by his two daughters, Sheryl Schwabe (Brandon Parkes) of Superior, CO and Susan Schwabe-Nuttall (William Nuttall) of Ypsilanti, MI; two stepsons, David and Michael Frankford (Elyse) of Holly, MI; his seven grandchildren, Thomas (Sarena) Nuttall, Daniel Nuttall, Edward Nuttall, Leo Nuttall, Abbey Parkes, Elijah Parkes, Connor Parkes; two great-grandchildren, Finley and Rowan Nuttall; many step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Gerald was predeceased in death by his parents; his son, Michael Schwabe; his brother, Wallace Schwabe; his step-daughter-in-law, Debora Frankford; his ex-wife, Mary Lou Schwabe and his wife, Lorraine Barbara Schwabe.
A memorial will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021, 1 p.m. at the Mentor Township Cemetery in Mio, Michigan. After the memorial, there will be a lunch reception at a location to be announced.
Please visit www.lashleyfuneralhome.com to share online memories and condolences to the family.