Richard Lee Grauel, born May 25, 1934, passed peacefully in his sleep March 5th, 2022, in his beloved residence in Fort Myers, Florida. He was preceded in death by his daughters Jalene S Watson and Michelle L Kusley and parents Adeline Miller and Bus Grauel. He is survived by the love of his life Marjorie Muller married February 19, 2007, whom he has shared 18 years of blissful love and companionship, residing in Lafayette for the summers and Fort Myers Florida for the winters. Marge is survived by children Randy (Keeley) Muller, Sandra K Muller (companion Brent), Tammy Muller Hutchings (Phillip), Rick Muller (Melissa); grandchildren Kory (Kristine) Muller, Tyler Muller, Megan Muller, Aryn Muller; Natasha (Jeremy) Watt, Natalie (Brian) Arliss; Jacob Hutchings (Aimee), Lora Hutchings; and Justin Muller.
He is also survived by siblings Rita (Bob) Kuester, Steve (Sondra) Grauel, Toni (Dick) Westerhouse, Nikki (Ron) Corso, and Judy (Brad) Conn. Richard married Patsy Ann Heiny Schmierer (1936-2017) May 25th, 1955, who is survived by their grandchildren, Jill A. (Andie) Mears, Jack Watson (Soutsana), Jennifer Watson (Ben), Jacob Kusley and Holtz (Da’Vina) Kusley; twelve great grandchildren. They divorced later and remained friends until her passing.
He remarried Shirley Mae Balensiefer Grauel (1935-2003) May 19, 1979, survived by children Mary Lynn Brooks, Jeffrey Wayne (Linda) Brooks, and Georgieann Brooks (Ross) Eldridge. Grandchildren Anthony Joseph Cadwallader, Magdalena Adams, Gus Mayer; Zachary Wayne Richard Brooks, Doug (Betsy) Shaw; Tyler Ross (Lezette) Eldridge and Garrett Jackson Eldridge; four great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
He was born in a tenant farmhouse in the Noble township, Cass County, Indiana, delivered by his Grandmother Brubacher. He graduated from Logansport HS in 1953 working several jobs while in HS. His 1st job out of HS was an agent telegrapher for Wabash Railroad. His first home in Buck Creek had no plumbing and he learned his plumbing and electrical “skills” at a young age. Some can attest as handy as he was, he never truly “mastered” those skills.
While raising his two daughters he bought and fixed up several houses, was Deacon for the Presbyterian church and was a member of the Masonic Lodge 425 for over 60 years. After marrying his second wife Shirley they opened a Mr. sTVe’s Rent to own in Lafayette which grew to over 20 stores in Indiana and 12 in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska before selling to Rent-A-Center in 2002. He and Shirley made their residence in Indiana, Fort Collins, Colorado and Cape Coral, Florida over their years, also traveling to many destinations along the way. They were active in raising money for St. Judes and the Lafayette Catholic schools, playing an active role in saving the schools in the early 90’s.
He served on the Federal task force and as Chairman for the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, traveling to Washington several times for railroad relocation under the tenure of Mayor James Riehle. He also served as President and Board Chairman of the National Association of Progressive Rent to Own (APRO)
Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00-7:00 pm at Soller-Baker West Lafayette Chapel, 1184 Sagamore West. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 am on Friday at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. Entombment will be at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens in West Lafayette. Memorial contributions may be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Richard’s memory. You may leave condolences and memories at www.soller-baker.com