Donald “Sy” E. Bade

Donald “Sy” E. Bade, 88, of Rogers City passed away peacefully September 11, 2017, at MediLodge of Hillman after an extended illness.

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Don was born to Elmer and Edith Bade August 1, 1929, in Rogers City. He graduated from Rogers City High School in 1947 after many run-ins with Mr. Harry Grambau for skipping school to go fishing. He always looked forward to summer vacation when he stayed at the family farm in Moltke.

After high school, Don spent some time sailing the Great Lakes, worked for Firestone and then for Chevrolet Gear and Axel. When there was talk of the draft, Don chose to enlist in the U.S. Air Force and then decided to stay in for 22 years “to see the world.” He was very proud of his military service and always had interesting stories to share. During his military career he served in Europe during the occupation after World War II and was also stationed in the Philippines and Vietnam. Upon Don’s retirement from the Air Force in 1972, he was living in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Shortly after retirement, he moved back to his boyhood home of Rogers City and Moltke where he met the love of his life, Darlene. He worked in the woods until he obtained a job once again sailing on the Great Lakes. After two years of sailing, he became a bus driver for the Rogers City schools for 13 years. He enjoyed the students he met on his route, many of whom he still remembered and they him.

Don’s interests were fishing, hunting, gardening, woodworking and a good game of spitzer. He often told tales of his fishing trips with his childhood friends and then later fishing the rivers of Oregon and Colorado and the inland lakes of northern lower Michigan. Foremost, he loved his family and had a huge heart where they were concerned.

Don was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 607 where he served as a past commander, bar manager and chaplain; the Rogers City Servicemen’s

Club; and Immanuel Lutheran Church of Moltke.

Don is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Dave Hilla; two grandsons, Samuel (Stephanie) and Kristopher (Rachel) Hilla; sister-in-law, Linda Felax; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene in 2014; his sister, Ann Ruell; as well as his parents.

Family and friends may gather to celebrate Don’s life at the Beck Funeral home Friday, September 29 from 2 p.m. through time of service at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Charles Schultz officiating. The Rogers City VFW Post 607 will accord military honors immediately following.

Inurnment will take place at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial in Don’s memory to Hospice of Michigan or VFW post 607. Online condolences may be addressed through