Roger Grabinski

Roger Neil Grabinski

Friday, May 26th, 1939 - Saturday, April 18th, 2020
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Roger Neil Grabinski, 1939-2020

Roger said often, “When your done, it’s time to go home.” Around midnight April 17-18, 2020, Roger “went home” as he slipped quietly, gently and peacefully into death at Woodland Hospice House with his Joanne by his side. Roger Neil Grabinski, was born on May 26, 1939 in Tacoma WA to Teofil (Phil) and Fernande Pauline Eugenie Bouffioux Grabinski—the youngest of their five sons. He graduated from Cleveland High School in Portland OR. He was Master Councilor of the Sunnyside DeMolay Chapter in Portland and then elected State Master Councilor, Oregon DeMolay. Roger attended Willamette University for two years before transferring to the University of Oregon to earn both a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education: History and a Master’s Degree in Guidance & Counseling. Upon completion of his graduate degree, he became the teacher-counselor for the Lane County Youth Project-Oakridge OR School District, where he met and fell in love with the Home Economics teacher, then married her in August 1966. They moved to the Eugene OR area, where Roger was project director for the Mobilab In-Service Training Program for school teachers and counselors. He also served as Chairman of the Board for Lane County’s antipoverty agency. Their move to Michigan came when Roger was selected as Doctoral Fellow for Mott Foundation’s Inter-University Clinical Preparation Program (focused on the concept of community education, with schools as community centers) to earn a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. Roger began is long career (38 1/2 years) at Central Michigan University as the Mott Foundation’s I-UCPP professor at CMU and became a tenured faculty member in the the Department of Educational Leadership (originally the Department of Educational Administration & Community Leadership). He also served as Department Chairperson twice (under his leadership, the department was granted their doctoral degree program); was appointed to a one-year term Special Assistant to the College of EHHS Dean; and earned the rank of Full Professor. Retiring from CMU, Roger was honored by selection as the Honorary Grand Marshal for the first commencement held in the new CMU Events Center. Roger was actively involved with an array of professional organizations, including: National and Michigan Community Education Associations; National Council of Professors of Educational Administration; Michigan Association of Professors of Educational Administration (President); American Association of School Administrators; MidMichigan School Administrators Association (President); Michigan Association of Volunteer Administrators (President); Association of Fundraising Professionals-national and Michigan Chapter (Board member); World Future Society; Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society (President, CMU Chapter and Area Coordinator, a national level elected position). He also served as an elected member, representing CMU, on the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Roger was awarded Chevalier status by the International Order of DeMolay. He received Phi Delta Kappa-CMU Chapter awards for Outstanding Service, Leadership and Research—the only individual to receive all three awards presented by this chapter. Roger will be remembered for many reasons, including his sense of humor, his ability to pull the correct item out of the clutter of his many offices, and his gathering of odd, often seemingly non-useful facts that turned out to be useful and made him a really good Trivia player. He loved a good game of Cribbage, especially with his son, Larry. Roger is survived by his wife of almost 54 years, C Joanne Grabinski, Mt. Pleasant MI; son Lawrence Neil and Shari Garten Grabinski, San Antonio TX; brother Kenneth and Jane Grabinski, Milton WA; brother Warren and Leslie Grabinski, Tigard OR; sisters-in-law Mary, Tacoma WA, and Geraldine, Lebanon OR; and many special nieces and nephews across three younger family generations. Cremation has taken place, with arrangements by Clark Funeral Chapel of Mt. Pleasant MI.

Due to continuing uncertainties of and restrictions related to COVID-19, the memorial event planned for August 13 has been canceled. Condolences and memories may be sent to: Family of Roger Grabinski, PO Box 507, Mt. Pleasant MI 48804-0507. Memorial contributions can be made to the Chippewa Water Conservancy, PO Box 896, Mt. Pleasant MI 48804-0896 or; Woodland Hospice House, 2597 Meridian Road, Mt. Pleasant MI 48858; GreenTree Cooperative Grocery 2020 Capital Campaign, 214 N. Franklin Street, Mt. Pleasant MI 48858. The family wishes to express grateful appreciation to the administrators and staff of Crestwood Assisted Living for their care and support; team members of MidMichigan Home Care, Hospice Care and Woodland Hospice House for their care and support; and the many medical care professionals who cared for Roger at varying times in his life journey.
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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Roger
1 tree has been planted in memory of Roger Neil Grabinski

Colleen Campbell

Posted at 10:18am
Dear Joanne and family:
I was so hoping to personally express my sympathies on the passing of "Dr. Grabinski." Please accept this message as my most sincere condolence. I always enjoyed and respected him immensely when I was with the department at CMU, and then when I would cross paths with you both in later years.

C Joanne Grabinski Posted at 10:37pm

Thank you, Colleen. We remember you fondly and it would be wonderful to see you in person. We have such good memories of those early years with the department at CMU, including how well Bertha and you took such good care of your professors. I do hope our paths can cross in real space and time so we can share memories of my Roger and your "Dr. Grabinski" (as I typed that, I could hear your voice saying it). Thank you for your sympathies! Joanne

Maxine Kent

Posted at 10:41am
Joanne and family - so sad to read about Roger's passing. Mike and I remember him with fond memories...always had something funny to say - wonderful man. Our condolences

C Joanne Grabinski Posted at 09:34am

Thank you, Maxine and Mike. It is heartbreaking, but remembrances such as yours are helping us through these early days and, I'm sure, into the future.

Douglas Hamilton

Posted at 10:19am
Joanne, Was sad to hear of Roger’s passing. Liz and I enjoyed your company at the House on the Hill. Roger’s sense of humor was a joy! We wish you well.
Liz and Douglas Hamilton

C Joanne Grabinski Posted at 06:31pm

Thank you so much, Liz and Doug. Many fond memories of the times we all had together at the House on the Hill.

Carolyn Hagy Kent

Posted at 09:57pm
Joanne, I love this idea of planting a tree in Roger's memory. Something that lives on and on. Sending my sincere sympathy to you.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Roger Grabinski — Plant a Tree Now

Lawrence Grabinski Posted at 06:05pm

One thing Dad did enjoy is being among the trees, specially during the Fall Color Season... thank you! LG

C Joanne Grabinski Posted at 11:20am

Thank you, Carolyn, for this special gift in memory of Roger. As our Son already noted, Roger did love looking and and being among trees--and I know how meaningful this gift from you would be for him. Joanne

Douglas Hamilton Posted at 10:13am

Joanne, was saddened to hear of Roger’s passing. I remember his humor and his joy of life. Hope you are doing well. Douglas and Liz Hamilton(House on the Hill)

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