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Irene E. Raab

December 13, 1935 - November 13, 2019



Irene E. (Forsgren) Raab of Tustin went to be with her Lord and passed into Eternal life Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at her home. She was 83.

Irene was born, the second daughter of Emil and Edith (Johnson) Forsgren on December 13, 1935 in Tustin. In 1953 she graduated from Burdell Township Agricultural School and went on to Central Michigan College in Mount Pleasant.

On June 23, 1956, she married her high school sweetheart, Laurel “Larry” Raab and they lived in Flint, Michigan, El Paso, Texas and Fenton, Michigan as Larry served his country in the military. In 1970 they returned to Tustin and Larry preceded her in death on March 30, 1991.

Irene worked in education for 25 years, as secretary of the Tustin Elementary School, retiring in June of 1995. While grown now and grandparents themselves, many of these former “children” still refer to her, respectfully as Mrs. Raab. Music was a huge part of her life. Herself, musically talented, she shared these talents of the piano and organ for many years as church organist and special services. One of her special enjoyments of life was spiritual based “hymn sings” and she never failed to come away from them without being enriched in spirit by blending of voices in praise.

To friends, her signature on the many thoughtful notes she mailed, was always simply “ir”. She had passion for bright color, her home and persona reflected that passion. Irene was especially proud of her Swedish heritage and often interspersed a Swedish word or tow into conversations. She loved Christian holidays and Christmas was apparent in her home all year, evidenced by the many carvings by Larry that graced many rooms.

Her life was one of deep spiritual thoughts and practice and valued friendships. Her presence will be missed. We rejoice knowing she is reunited with Larry, her family gone before, and that she is in the presence of God. A life well lived.

Left to remember her are, son Charles (Teresa) Raab of Tustin, granddaughter, Sarah (Ben) Spedowski and their sons: Jon, Austin, and David; son, Robert (Kandyce) Raab of Kent City, MI, granddaughters, Katrina & Rachel Raab, and their mother, Lorraine (John) Abbott of Grand Rapids; and a brother-in-law, Bill Vandrese of Texas and 9 nieces.

In addition to her parents and her husband Irene, was preceded in death twin grandsons, James and Steven a daughter-in-law, Susie Tuttle Raab, a sister, Gertrude Marie Vandrese and a brother and sister-in-law, Jerry & Wanda Raab.

A celebration of life for Irene will be held 11:00 AM Friday, November 15, 2019 at Zion Lutheran Church in Cadillac with Reverend Scott Torkko officiating. Her final resting place will be Sherman Township Cemetery in Osceola County. Friends may meet the family from 10:00 AM until services at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Uplift Pine River Area Kids. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Bonnie Bouza - Nov 13th, 2019 6:51 pm

    "Prayers of comfort to the family. Irene was an inspiration to me and so many others. Rest in peace, Irene."

  • ELSIE MOORE - Nov 14th, 2019 4:40 am

    "So very sorry for your loss. Peace and Blessings."

  • Karen Geeseman - Nov 14th, 2019 7:07 am

    "Irene was my patient at her Doctors office for many years. She and I had a personal bond. She would light up the room when she arrived with a charm and grace that made her so lovable. We talked about the love she had for her husband Larry and how proud she was of her Swedish heritage. She always brought chocolate for our staff and would tell me that her mother taught her to bring gifts and to let people know they were appreciated. She was a kind, loving and beautiful person. I feel blessed to have spent visits with her and I know I will always hold a special place in my heart for her warm hugs. Sending prayers to all of her family at this difficult time. Respectfully, Karen Geeseman"

  • Brian and Sue Draper - Nov 14th, 2019 1:05 pm

    "Chuck we are sorry to hear about the passing of your Mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."

  • Rev Dr. James L Friesner - Nov 14th, 2019 2:50 pm

    "Our deepest sympathies are with you Chuck, Theresa, and your entire extended family. Irene will be missed. Love, Joy, and Peace, Pr. Jim & Norma Friesner"

  • Shelby Plyler - Nov 14th, 2019 4:04 pm

    "We have shared our lives from the time we were young and in Sunday School, then we were both in school at Tustin, then, we both worked at Tustin Elementary and retired from Pine River Area Schools, and we continued to be friends. Irene, I know you are happy, and not hurting now, but just know that we miss you."

  • Barbara Beauleaux and Family - Nov 30th, 2019 10:19 am

    "Our deepest sympathy for your family. Our thoughts are with you. "

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