Lester “Herb” Wade

Published 2:36 am Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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April 6, 1949-June 1, 2024


Lester H. Wade, known to family and friends as Herb, passed away peacefully on June 1, 2024, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family. Herb was born on April 6, 1949, in Dowagiac, Michigan. He graduated from Dowagiac Union High School in 1967 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after. He served his country during the Vietnam War and completed his military career at Marine Corps Base in Quantico, VA.
While stationed in Virginia, Herb met and married the love of his life, Terrie (Odell) Wade, on Aug. 7, 1971. They moved back to Dowagiac, where they raised their two daughters, Christie Cook of Kalamazoo, and Robyn (Jason) Wisdom of Hudsonville. Herb was a devoted husband to Terrie for almost 53 years, a loving father to his daughters, and an adoring Pop Pop to his four grandchildren, Zach, Will, Nick, and Hannah.
His family will remember him as a man’s man. He was the type of person who would choose to repair something over buying new. He loved tinkering in the garage or going to his daughter’s houses to work on projects. He valued hard work, honesty, and the value of a man’s word. To his children, he was loving but fair. He made sure to instill his values in them as well as the importance of their education and was so proud when both graduated with their college degrees. He loved the life he built with Terrie and their adventures over the years that included owning property “up north” in Baldwin, MI, having a big boat on Lake Michigan, going on vacations to the Outer Banks, Alaska, and Newfoundland, and spending winters at Live Oak in Arcadia, FL for the past 10 years. He cherished every moment he spent with his family and friends. He was a supportive and generous man who would do anything for his loved ones.
A hardworking man, Herb dedicated over three decades to the road as a truck driver, a career that he was proud of and that allowed him to provide for his family. He was an avid golfer and member of the Thunderbird League at Hampshire Country Club for almost 40 years. He also enjoyed fishing, boating, hunting, and his monthly poker games. Herb was also a proud member of the Dowagiac Moose Lodge #933. He loved 60s music and was a jack of all trades who could fix anything. He was always willing to lend a hand and share his skills with others.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gale L. and Mary (Ruple) Wade, and his siblings, Norm, Gale and Dale Wade. He leaves behind a brother, Terry (Mary) Wade of New Carlisle, Indiana.
Memorial contributions may be made in Herb’s memory to the Wounded Warrior Project or to a hospice of one’s choice.
Per his wishes, there will not be a service. A celebration of life will be planned in the future when the family can gather and honor his memory.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Niles.
As we say goodbye to Herb, we celebrate a life well-lived — a life filled with purpose, joy, and an abundance of love. Herb’s story is one of a journey well-traveled, and while he may have left this earth, his legacy will continue to inspire and guide us. Rest in peace, Herb; you will be deeply missed but never forgotten.