Remembering Carly

Community celebrates life of longtime businessman, civic leader, philanthropist

BIG RAPIDS — Carl M. “Carly” Schuberg’s life was celebrated on Wednesday before an overflow crowd of more than 200 people at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Big Rapids. Family and friends filled every seat in the sanctuary, lobby and rectory hall as poems, scripture and stories were read.

FUNERAL PROCESSION: Kevin Courtney helps lead a funeral procession on Wednesday down Millpond Road for his longtime friend Carl “Carly” Schuberg. Carly restored the antique hearse that transported him to Pine Plains Cemetery where he was laid to rest. (Pioneer photos/Jonathan Eppley)

Carly, 83, longtime Big Rapids businessman, entrepreneur, civic leader and community philanthropist, passed away on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. He was laid to rest on Wednesday at the Pine Plains Cemetery, with military honors under the auspices of AMVETS Post No. 1941 and American Legion Post No. 98 Rifle Squad.

He was born on April 20, 1928, in Wyoming, Mich., the son of Carl A. and Alice M. (Stephenson) Schuberg. They moved to Big Rapids soon thereafter. Carly grew up in Colfax Township.

PALLBEARERS: Carl “Carly” Schuberg was buried in a handmade casket he crafted himself. Family and friends were pallbearers at his funeral on Wednesday.

Longtime friend, Jerry Conrad shared laughs with those in attendance at the church and fought back tears as he read Carly’s eulogy.

“Carly was an irreplaceable friend,” Conrad said. “He used to say, ‘Some people live around the community, some people live in the community and some people live for the community.’ Carly certainly lived for the community. … He (also) loved life and his family.”

Following the service, Carly was transported in an antique hearse, which he restored, pulled by two black Percheron horses. Family members and friends walked behind the carriage down Millpond Road to Pine Plains Cemetery, where he was buried in a casket he made himself.

FUNERAL: Carlleen Rose pets one of the two black Percheron horses that transported her father, Carl “Carly” Schuberg, to Pine Plains Cemetery. The horses pulled an antique hearse that Carly restored with longtime friend Wendell Weber.

Father Clayton Bates, of Immanuel Lutheran Church, noted that Carly was unique in planning his own funeral.

“(He) was a unique individual with a strong character,” Bates said. “Creating his own casket was a precious gift to his family because it says that he was not afraid of his own death. … Clearly, this was a man who lived life to the fullest.”

One comment on “Remembering Carly


    You were a Big Rapids icon, Carly…fascinating auctioneer, horse lover, jovial person who affected many Big Rapidians favorably! May your family be comforted with the positive things you did for them and your community. You live on in your children, and in their children. May you rest in peace.

Leave a Reply