The Herald-Palladium,  October 31, 2004


Curtis Garfield 'Gar' McDade

BUCHANAN -- Gar's life began on Oct. 16, 1918, in Carbon Hill, Ala., the son of Oliver and Margaret (Davis) McDade. If ever there was a self-made man, Gar McDade was it. His early life was full of challenge and each challenge made him stronger. He was a solider in the United States Army during World War II and was shot three times by the German enemy and survived. Gar was awarded three purple hearts and a bronze star with oak leaf cluster. On Nov. 6, 1946, he was united in marriage to the former Ramona "Rae" Reed in Lapeer, Mich. Before the war he worked as an apprentice grocer for the A&P Tea Company in the Detroit area. After the war, he returned to A&P for 25 years and then retired as the regional president of A&P in Detroit and a vice president nationwide. After his first retirement, Gar bought the Prospect Foods chain of grocery stores in and around Champaign, Ill. He ran the chain from 1978 to 1991, when he retired for the final time. Gar was a lifetime member of the Berkley Lodge F&AM 536 in Royal Oak and active in many community concerns.

He and Rae moved to Michigan's west side to be close to family, which includes his daughters, Valla Rae McLeroy of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; Mari McDade and her husband, Michael Aragon, of Barrington, Ill.; and Zee McDade of Champaign, Ill.; his granddaughter, Kenna Fujihara of Champaign; and sister, Ella Mae Freter of Pennsylvania.
Gar passed away peacefully at his home in Buchanan on Oct. 28, 2004.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Rae, in 1997 and his sister, Shirley Fenton.

Gar's family will gather with friends on Monday, Nov. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Groner Funeral Home and Cremation Service, where his funeral will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. David Kleis of the Eau Claire Community Church leading the service. He will be laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery, Dowagiac, with full military honors following the service. Memorial donations in Gar's name may be directed to the charity of one's choice. Condolence messages to his family may be left on his obituary page at