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Published: Monday, 8/12/2002

Farmer's life centered on family apple orchard

Lawrence Studer, a lifelong apple and grain farmer who served for 20 years as a Providence Township trustee, died Saturday of a brain aneurysm in Heartland of Browning nursing home in Waterville. He was 84.

Mr. Studer was born Aug. 11, 1917, in Providence Township and lived there all his life. He graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1935 and became involved in his father's apple orchard, which he soon took over with his twin brother, Clarence. He met his future wife, Lucille Hoffman, who worked at his sister's beauty shop, and the two married on April 29, 1939.

The apple orchard, which developed a fine reputation in the area, was the center of Mr. Studer's life. “He grew up in the orchard,” Mrs. Studer said. “He and his brother spent practically their whole lives there, taking care of that orchard.”

Even after poor health forced him to retire from the orchard in 1969, Mr. Studer continued to raise corn and beans and maintain livestock. He was devoted to the work, finally retiring in 1983.

He also served 20 years as a Providence Township trustee, and during much of that time he was council chairman.

“It was very demanding work,” Mrs. Studer said. “There's always somebody who needs something fixed or needs something done ... he liked being able to help people.”

Mr. Studer found time to dedicate himself to his local Masonic lodge. Robert Bachman, secretary of Grand Rapids, Ohio, Lodge 289, who knew Mr. Studer for 40 years, said he was a natural leader who was easy to get along with and always listened to others.

Mr. Studer was a past master of Grand Rapids Lodge 289 and a member of Grand Rapids Chapter 356, OES, Zenobia Shrine, Wood County Shrine Club, Royal Arch Masons of Ohio, Scottish Rite, Allied Masonic Degrees, St. Omar Commandery, Friendly Hi Twelve in Napoleon, and a 33rd Degree Master Mason. He was a board member of the Browning Masonic Community for 14 years.

Mr. Studer is survived by his wife, Lucille Studer; son, Ronald Studer; sister, Ruth Manor, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Wright Funeral Home, Grand Rapids, where a Masonic service is set for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

The family requests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.



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