The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Charles Leonard Groesbeck

 

September 30, 2017

WAKEFIELD, Mich. - Charles Leonard Groesbeck, 93, of Bessemer, went to be with the Lord on Sept. 24, 2017.

Charles was a resident of the Gogebic Medical Care Facility in Wakefield at the time of his passing. He was born on Sept. 1, 1924, in Warren. He was raised on a farm in Warren at the corner of present day Studebaker and Van Dyke. Charles graduated from Lincoln High School in 1942, where he played baseball.

After turning 18 years old he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and served on active duty from April 5, 1943, to April 30, 1946. He was stationed stateside in New York training guard dogs while awaiting the USS New Bedford to be commissioned. Upon the New Bedford being commissioned, he served aboard her overseas as a Gunner's Mate until his discharge.

During his WWII service, Charles earned the following five medals: The American Area Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Area Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal and the Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal. Charles acquired a life-long love of the water stemming from his years of Coast Guard service.

Upon his return from his overseas duty, he met his future wife of 70 years, Irene Welter, in 1946. While courting they used to attend dances at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit. They wed on April 26, 1947. Charles found his calling in 1948 when he joined the Warren Police Department. He quickly rose through the ranks of the department and served as a Patrolman, Sergeant, Captain and Senior Inspector. In 1977, he was appointed Police Commissioner, a position he held until his retirement in 1981 after 33 years of service. During his tenure with the department he was the first police officer in Macomb County to be appointed to the FBI National Academy, which he graduated from in May 1960. Charles also was appointed to the Governor's Task Force on Organized Crime and helped found the first Fraternal Order of Police chapter in Macomb County. He was held in high esteem by his colleagues in law enforcement, so much so that in 1976, upon the retirement of the long-time Macomb County sheriff, he was recruited to be a candidate for the office, an offer he declined in favor of being appointed Warren Police Commissioner.

Two years after his retirement, he and his wife, Irene, moved to their 80 acres in Bessemer, in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula, which they had purchased a decade earlier. They lived there together for over three decades, where Charles enjoyed pursuing his passion for the outdoors, which he passed on to his children. He was an avid deer and gamebird hunter and enjoyed working outdoors, planting shrubs and trees. He and Irene's children and grandchildren visited them often over the years, as did extended family and friends.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Clementine Groesbeck, his daughter, Cindy Groesbeck, and seven siblings. He is survived by his wife, Irene Groesbeck, his son, Gary (Cindy) Groesbeck, his daughter, Kim (Bob) Cedroni, his son, Eugene (Cheryl) Groesbeck, his sister, Alice Groesbeck, 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Temrowski Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road, Warren, with visitation on Friday, Oct, 6, from 3 to 9 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Warren Police Honor Guard will honor his service to the police department and eulogies will follow. On Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11:15 a.m., a mass will be said in his honor at Saint Edmund Catholic Church, 14025 E. 12 Mile Road, Warren, with military honors to follow the mass. Immediately following, from noon to 3 pm, a luncheon to celebrate Charle's life will be held at the Century Banquet Center, 33204 Maple Lane, Sterling Heights.

Internment at Great Lakes Veterans Cemetery will occur at a later date, to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Alzheimer's Association in Charles name.

 
 

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