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Life Story / Obituary
Alan Grauman was an all-around type of guy who brought a lighthearted mix wherever he went. He had a great sense of humor, and although opinionated, he held firm to the things he believed in. With strong Italian roots, he was hard working and despite everyday ailments, Alan pressed on to be a good provider for those entrusted to his care. He could rarely pass up a good deal, particularly if it had anything to do with computers and electronics, yet that was one of the many things to love about this special man. Above all, Alan was a devoted and dedicated husband and father who loved his family dearly. Deeply missed, he will be remembered fondly.
Alan’s story began on August 28, 1948 in the Pacific coast city of Carmel, California. The son of Allen and Mara (Morescalchi) Grauman, his parents met in Italy while his father was a young U.S. soldier with a strong military presence in the country following World War II. Deeply in love, his father married the young Italian girl who had won his heart and upon completion of his duties he brought his new bride to the U.S. Settling into small, shanty-like military housing, they brought their little bundle of joy home to love. Having moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan upon his father’s honorable discharge to be near his family, Alan was joined there by two younger sisters, Judy and Mila. While his mother remained at home, Alan’s father worked hard at everything he put his hand to as he was a jack-of-all-trades. This hard work ethic served Alan well as he witnessed his father’s example.
For a time Alan’s family moved to Caracas, Venezuela before moving to his aunt’s home in Italy. For a year his family was separated as his father remained in Venezuela until his job was completed. It was in 1959 when Alan and his family returned to the states. They stayed with Alan’s paternal grandparents in Gobles, Michigan until moving into the house his parents built at 6809 Brigham Street in Portage during the 1960s. Here Alan attended the local schools and as a family they shared many memorable times. With his strong Italian heritage, his mother saw to it that Alan and his sisters learned to speak Italian. He held fond memories of his mother taking them on long walks with one of their beloved dogs by their side, and her delicious Italian cooking was never far from his mind.
Alan was fortunate to have experienced a diverse upbringing. From the coast of California to the picturesque beauty of Italy and Venezuela to the country roads of Michigan, Alan was well versed and grounded when it came to the love of family and dedication. He came to share that love with Cecilia, a young woman his aunt set him up on a blind date with. They went out for dinner at Dimitri’s Restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo, and when Alan ordered frog legs, it was much to Cecilia’s dismay! The real test came when Alan discovered he had forgotten his wallet. In 1973, there was no debit card or cell phone, and to Alan’s relief, the restaurant graciously allowed them to retrieve Alan’s wallet and come back. Although it was quite an introduction, Cecilia knew Alan was the one for her.
After dating for six months, Alan and Cecilia were married on June 29, 1973 in Portage in a Unitarian ceremony followed by a Catholic ceremony at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kalamazoo. Due to a lack of vacation time, the newlyweds went camping at Yankee Springs, and it was Cecilia’s first and last time camping.
Their first home was on Main Street in Vicksburg, a home they purchased with another couple. A big old house, the other couple lived upstairs and they lived downstairs. They insulated the home themselves and there were so many holes where insulation was blown in it looked like Al Capone had shot up the place! Even so, Alan and Cecilia loved that home and found it the perfect setting for their shared love of antiques at the time. In 1976 they moved into the rural area of Vicksburg making the country roads their forever home. It was during this time when Alan became the proud father of his two children. Daughter Jaime came along in 1978, and son Jesse completed their family in 1979. Alan’s great sense of humor always added much to their household. He raised his kids on Monty Python and British comedies, spaghetti westerns and kung-fu. There were good memories of weekends watching Shogun, and Cecilia always lightened it up with a little Bing Crosby and Bob Hope!
Throughout his working life, Alan worked at Consumers Energy in engineering before transferring to the IT department. Even though he suffered from pain for most of his life, no one would have known it. Alan could have easily taken his doctor up on a medical release, but as stubborn as stubborn can be, he went to work every day because, “that’s what you do”.
Alan’s interests were far and wide, and after retiring in 2015, it gave him just the time he needed to enjoy them. He couldn’t resist anything that needed to be put together and programmed. He liked computers, and was good at working on them. Jaime was the only kid in elementary school with typed papers and he even sent Jaime to computer camp one year! With his keen interest in electronics and computers, Alan had every new piece of technology that came out. Over the years he acquired quite a collection of used computer and electronic parts because he might have needed them someday.
Guns were also of interest to Alan. He taught both of his kids to shoot, and although Jaime didn’t care much for it, Jesse did and spent a lot of quality time target shooting with his dad. Alan especially liked attending the Gun and Knife shows at the fairgrounds, but the smell of Hops #9 gun cleaner will always be a reminder to his kids of sitting at the table cleaning guns with their dad. Alan also loved eBay, thanks to his son-in-law, Chris; he ended up with a collection of Fedora hats and was proud to have waited for good deals as he never paid much for them. When it came to music, he considered Janis Joplin and classic rock as his favorites but he was more of a television guy than he was a music guy.
Alan’s interests included pets. For a time there were two very large saltwater fish tanks that needed to be cleaned all the time and many of the fish didn’t even survive. He liked birds, too. Alan had a small Conure parrot that even went into the shower with him. He had his parrot, Paco since Paco was a baby and Alan did his best to teach that parrot to talk. Paco didn’t say a word except for “hello” when people left, and “goodbye” when they came home until he went to his new owner and chattered all day long! Alan loved his birds but the kids never came to appreciate those mean birds and when some of his family began getting allergies, the birds had to go.
Alan was always researching something. Before starting a project he’d research it intensely beforehand, but true to nature, once Alan started something, it was never finished. It was also in Alan’s nature to be quite stubborn. He did things his own way, and there was no in-between on anything. His father-in-law often referred to it as, “the Grauman way”. Alan had his viewpoint and there was no swaying him otherwise. He was rather “colorful” when it came to his conversational repertoire, particularly about politics. Alan may have had a rough exterior at times, but in all ways, he was someone who would gladly give you the shirt off his back if needed. A wonderful father, he was giving and kind, and to those who knew and loved him best, Alan’s legacy lives on in the hearts of many.
Alan Grauman, of Vicksburg, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, April 16, 2018. He was born on August 24, 1948 to the late Allen and Mara (Morescalchi) Grauman. Alan’s family includes his wife, Cecilia (Reisterer); daughter, Jaime (Chris) Payne; son, Jesse Grauman; grandchildren, Madeline, Linus, India, Amaya, and Jesse. Siblings, Judy Grauman and Mila (Jim) Beck, and several nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be held on Friday, April 20 at 2 pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Following the service, friends and family can visit while sharing food and refreshments in the Life Story Center. Please visit Alan’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Care of SW Michigan.