Eugene "Coke" Joseph Walraven, age 78 years, died Sunday, September 1, 2013 in McLaren Bay Region.
He was born to the late Ernest and Olivia (Issac) Walraven on October 28, 1934 in Essexville.
Eugene was a graduate of St. John's High School where he was active in many sports, and then went on to attend Bay City Junior College and R.E.T.S. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1963, receiving commendations of Expert Pistol, Sharpshooter, Champion Boxer, and Good Conduct Medal. He was employed with General Motors. Eugene was Tribal Elder of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Anishinabe Ogitchedaw Veterans and Warriors Society, At Large Program Cultural Enrichment Committee, and served on the Caucus Committee for several elections. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Church, Essexville. Eugene was a Golden Gloves Champion Boxer and enjoyed blooper ball, fishing, bowling, and playing cards.
On January 21, 1972 he married the former Gertrude Ruth "Tina" Lago who survives him along with four children, Terri (Paul) Maxwell, Diane (Tom) Schafer, Paul Pero, and Mark (Sue) Walraven; ten grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; his brother, Alex Walraven; sisters, Judy McLellan, Barb Walraven, and Patty Tarkowski; sister-in-law, Lois Walraven; along with many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Pamela Jo Walraven; brothers, William "Chief", Ernest "Buck", and Gerald "Bosco" Walraven; sister, Jan Bennet; and sister-in-law, Rose Walraven.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, September 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM in St. John the Evangelist Church, Essexville. Eugene will lie in state in church Friday after 9:00 AM. Interment will follow in St. Patrick Cemetery with military rites conducted by the Bay County Veterans Council. Memorial contributions may be directed to "Wishes of the Family." Visiting hours are Thursday 2:00 to 8:00 PM, with the Vigil Prayer Service at 7:00 PM, at the W. A. Trahan Funeral Chapel.