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Obituaries » Rudolf Schnabel

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March 11, 1931 - August 7, 2022

Cremation has taken place and no services are scheduled.

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Rudolf Schnabel passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 7, 2022. He was 91 years old. Rudolf was born in Bergisdorf, Germany on March 11, 1931, to Hermann and Alma Schnabel, the sixth of eight children. After WWII, the Russians occupied that part of Germany, destroyed Bergisdorf and resettled the Schnabel family in nearby Lobstadt. Rudy refused to learn Russian and refused to join the communist party, therefore had no future in East Germany. In 1950, he escaped to West Germany, a daring and dangerous undertaking because the Wall was almost complete and was already guarded with machine gun towers. He settled in Marienborn, West Germany where his oldest sister, Hilma, resided. He subsequently worked in Mainz as a typesetter. During prewar visits to Hilma, Rudy had met Lilly Ditt and they started dating shortly after his escape. Lilly and Rudolf married in 1953 and had two children, Regina and Wolfgang. Wanting more freedom and opportunity than was available in the small town of Marienborn, in 1959 Rudolf moved his family to Kalamazoo, Michigan where Lilly’s sister Edith already resided. Rudolf was hired by Upjohn International Inc. and held many positions until retiring as Art Director in 1992. In Michigan, Rudy found the passions of his life, namely fishing and hunting. He was fortunate to have Chet Taylor as a neighbor who taught him the basics as well as finer points of fishing. Rudy bought property in Benzonia Michigan and moved from the Portage suburbs to Oshtemo to be closer to nature. Into his late 80’s Rudy would still take daily long walks through the woods looking to see what the local deer population was doing. In short, Rudolf was very happy with life in Michigan. Rudolf is survived by his wife of 69 years, Lilly Schnabel; his son, Wolfgang Schnabel, residing near Atlanta Georgia; his daughter, Regina Glownia and her husband, Jim Glownia, residing in Woodbine, Maryland; and his grandson, James Michael Glownia and wife Diane Larrabee, residing in Sunnyvale, CA with their two children, Charles and Dorothy. Cremation has taken place and no services are scheduled.