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 www.gronerfuneralhome.com.