Richard Abke

Richard Abke of Mesa, Arizona, age 74, passed away Monday, July 23, 2018. Richard was born in Unionville on July 10, 1944, to the late Cecil and Martha (Wiehl) Abke.

Surviving are his two sons: David (Joelle) of Frankenmuth and Kevin Abke of Maricopa, Arizona; four grandchildren: Alexander, Kyle, Alyssa and Dylan; and sister, Marcia Hoffman.

Richard grew up in Unionville. Upon graduation in 1963, he moved to Albuquerque and worked with his uncle making prosthetic limbs. He learned to love it out west and yearned to return.  During Vietnam, he was drafted and ordered back to Michigan where he served in the Army National Guard from 1965 to 1972. He played guitar and traveled in his spare time in a band (well, a Polka Band if that counts… he insisted that it was ‘cool’ at the time). He met Rita Hayes and was married July 19, 1969 watching the moon landing on their honeymoon in Niagara Falls.  He continued higher education at Saginaw Valley and Delta Colleges earning an Associates. He continued to work at General Motors until his retirement in 1998. He was the ultimate do-it-yourselfer teaching his sons carpentry, electrical, and other building trades. His retirement was marked by well-earned relaxation and time well spent with his grandchildren.

Richard’s family will receive visitors at Cederberg Funeral Home of Frankenmuth, 590 N. Franklin St., Frankenmuth, Michigan on Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Richard’s family will continue his celebration of life immediately following the visitation at the Frankenmuth Farmers Market. Private committal services will take place at a later date. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Michigan’s Own Military and Space Museum. Please sign our guest book or share an online condolence with the family at

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