Richard Lee Gage died Monday morning, April 29, 2013 at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee, at the age of 82. He was born Feb. 18, 1931 in Caro, son of the late Nelson and Alice (Stader) Gage-Barton.
He was a graduate of Caro High School with the class of 1948. Rich served our country in the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper of the 187 Airborne Regt. from June 29, 1948 until his honorable discharge as a Corporal on April 10, 1952. After his military discharge, Rich took various college courses at Bay City Junior College. He was employed as an iron worker and a member of the Ironworkers Local 340 of Battle Creek. Rich married Dorothy Weis on April 1, 1953 in Angola, IN. She preceded him in death Oct. 15, 1983. Richard later married Geraldine (Grabowski) Bernier on August 10, 1985 at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Manistee. They have celebrated more than 27 years of marriage together. Rich had an interest in fly fishing and making his own flies, complete with catch and release. He also had an interest in painting and enjoyed reading. When he had nothing to read, the encyclopedia was his favorite tool on any subject.
Richard is survived by his wife, Geraldine of Manistee; two daughters, Sally Gage of St. Petersburg, FL and Susan Gage of Winnipeg, MB, Canada; one brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Pat Barton of Shelburne, VT; one sister-in-law, Jewel Barton of Bethania, NC; his dear friends, Robert Scott (Anita) Joslin of Hendersonville, TN; both he and Rich attended school together, graduated and (as Rich told the story) they flipped a coin and joined the Army together remaining friends and maintaining contact as often as possible; Frank Chamberlain from Ooltewah, TN, who along with Frank’s parents practically adopted Rich as their own, making trips to Frankfort for summertime fun; David (Julie) Silvernail of Vancouver, WA, Army friends since 1948. Locally, very good friends include Robert (Nancy) Coates, Delores Van Meter, Rich (Pat) Pepera, Larry (Donna) Rector, Gene (Nancy) Dumas, Walter (Ethel) Plouhar, Terry Nauta, Duane Davis, Jim Nauta, Babylas (Linda) Bourdages and members of the Ironworkers Local 340; six brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law, Phil, Roger, James and Cathy, Casimer, Robert and Maryann and Joseph Grabowski; numerous nieces and nephews, who Rich helped through the years by putting them through college and buying cars and tires â€“ many, many tires. When the young family members needed a loan, “Uncle Dick” was so kind and generous to always be available with his wallet wide open, never asking for repayment. Numerous cousins also survive him. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Larry Barton and one sister, Mary Fink.
Visitation and a time of remembrance were held from 3-6 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at Herbert Funeral Home in Manistee where Richard’s friends offered a short eulogy at 4:30 p.m. A continued time of fellowship took place at the Bungalow Inn in Manistee immediately following visitation at 6 p.m. Cremation has taken place according to Richard’s wishes. Memorial contributions may be directed toward the family who will decide on a specific memorial to contribute in Richard’s name. Herbert Funeral Home of Manistee was in charge of funeral arrangements.