Carly Schuberg remembered

Schuberg, 83, remembered as man who lived for Big Rapids community

BIG RAPIDS – He’ll be buried in a casket he made himself and transported in an antique hearse that he restored, pulled by a team of Belgian horses.

Carl Schuberg acts as auctioneer at a local event.

Carl “Carly” Schuberg, 83, who died on Dec. 30, 2011, planned his exit of the world to be as unique as his life.

“He liked things his way,” said Carlleen Rose, one of his three children.

With a lifelong track record of supporting Big Rapids and the surrounding area, friends and family say the “Schuberg way” has proved synonymous with investing in the community.

Born on April 20, 1928, to Carl and Alice Schuberg, Carly spent practically his whole life as a Mecosta County resident. He grew up in Colfax Township, joining the National Guard at 16, which took him to Detroit to monitor the race riots in 1943. At 17, he dropped out of high school to enlist in the Marine Corp, becoming a member of “K” Company, third battalion.

After serving in the Philippines during World War II, Schuberg returned to Big Rapids and joined his mother in business at the Schuberg Insurance and Real Estate Agency.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Kt; his three children, Carlleen and her husband, Brian, Rex Schuberg and his wife, Marcia, and Linda Schuberg; his brother, John Schuberg and his wife, Bonnie; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

A talented businessman with a diverse range of abilities, Schuberg put his skills to work for the betterment of the community, said Bob Horan Jr., a lifelong friend of Schuberg. Former Big Rapids Mayor Horan cited Schuberg’s work bringing Chicago Sun-Times columnist A

nn Landers to Ferris State University, establishing public housing at Parkview Village and other urban renewal initiatives as examples of how the businessman impacted the community.

“Carly was one of the premier backers of Big Rapids, Colfax Township and Mecosta County,” Horan said. “You need a spark plug if a city is going to grow. The city called on Carly Schuberg many times. … Whenever his name was afixed to something, it became successful.”

Beyond the world of business, Schuberg enjoyed farming, deer

Carly Schuberg gathers sap to make maple syrup. The Big Rapids businessman also enjoyed farming and deer hunting.

hunting, skiing and spending time with his family. He was known as “the voice of harness racing” in Mecosta County and around the state.

“He made harness racing for a lot of people, with his ability to call a race and his enthusiasm,” Horan said.

Schuberg also was an auctioneer, a member of the Elks Club, the American Legion, the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation, the Polled Hereford Association, the Michigan Auctioneers Association, the Mecosta Rod and Gun Club and the Mecosta County Fair Board.

“He worked day and night to promote our city,” Horan said. “We were blessed to have someone to spearhead so many events and committees.”

While Schuberg enjoyed a wide range of interests, he used them all to focus on thing – enhancing the community.

“(Carly) used to say, ‘Some people live around the community, some people live in the community and some people live for the community,’” said Jerry Conrad, who knew Schuberg for 30 years. “Carly certainly lived for the community.”

Schuberg befriended Conrad and his father when they moved to the area, letting them hunt on his land. Even when Conrad’s father had difficulty walking as he got older, Schuberg made sure he was able to hunt by offering him a blind that was easy to access.

Conrad served as bartender at the Schuberg hunting camp for more than 20 years.

“He was just a damn good guy,” Conrad said.

Beyond the hunting camp, Schuberg supported Conrad in his efforts to create the Big Rapids RiverWalk, one of many community initiatives Schuberg supported.

He was one of five members who started the Big Rapids Housing Commission. Schuberg was president of the Big Rapids Chamber of Commerce in 1961 and named “Outstanding Man of the Year” for Big Rapids in 1962. At different times, he was a charter member of the Big Rapids Jaycees, chairman of the Mecosta County Red Cross, director of First National Bank, director of the Mecosta County Community Foundation and supporter of Immanual Lutheran Church.

When Jack Batdorff, chairman of the Pioneer Group, moved to Big Rapids more than 50 years ago, Schuberg was one of the first people to welcome him.

“Carly was one-of-a-kind. He was one of three who took me under his wing and mentored me when I first came to Big Rapids some 50 years ago, and that I will never forget,” Batdorff said. “He could be bullheaded and stubborn, but he was ALWAYS open-minded and compassionate. Entrepreneur and community benefactor, he was always thinking ahead of the curve. Integrity and honesty were his middle names. Big Rapids has lost one of its true champions.”

Leave a Reply