Dave Stolpe

Published 7:14 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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Jan. 14, 1970-May 13, 2024

David Ernest Stolpe, known as Dave to his friends and family, passed away unexpectedly in a car accident on May 13, 2024, at the age of 54. Born on Jan. 14, 1970, in Petoskey, Michigan, Dave was the cherished son of Ernest “Ernie” and Kathryn “Cookie” (LaCombe) Stolpe and beloved brother of Valerie Stolpe. He grew up learning the values of hard work and community spirit and left a life-long impression to those who knew him.
Dave’s life was characterized by his devotion to his family, friends, and the Dowagiac community where he spent his adult life. Graduating from Dowagiac Union High School in 1988, he later went on to own and operate Dowagiac Auto Body.
Dave shared a beautiful life with his wife, Jennifer (Fairleigh) Stolpe for nearly 30 years. Together, they raised two remarkable daughters, Heather (Daniel Opra) Stolpe and Lynsie Stolpe, both of Dowagiac. His role as a father was the one he held dearest to his heart. He often reminded everyone that his greatest accomplishments in life were his daughters, who brought him joy and pride nearly every day.
An avid outdoorsman, Dave found peace at the water’s edge, fishing rod in hand, often accompanied by an ice-cold Miller Lite. His love for restoration stretched beyond the vehicles he repaired at his shop; he was equally passionate about driving his own classic cars, proudly owning a 1957 Chevy Bel Air and a 1970 Monte Carlo.
Dave’s workspace was a treasure trove of nostalgia, decorated with a collection that included old road signs, vintage gas station emblems, and antique license plates. If he had a true partner in crime, it was Diesel, his faithful dog, who was never far from his side, especially during their mutual escapades in those beloved classic cars.
Visitation for Dave will be on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. with a Memorial Service to be held at 4 p.m. at the Apostolic Lighthouse Church of Dowagiac at 30402 M-62, Dowagiac, MI 49047.
Memorial contributions may be made to assist the family to Brown Funeral Home 521 E. Main Street, Niles, Michigan 49120, or online at www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services.
Photos, condolences, and memories may be left for Dave’s family at www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com