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Harbor lost a legend last week. Dedicated teacher and coach Charlie Paige died February 2, 2021 with his wife and daughter at his side. Charlie had been housebound since November of 2018 and Nancy had been able to care for him with the help of his compassionate caregivers Alicia and Mike Weber from Home Hospice.
Charlie is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Nancy Brookfield Paige, his children Charlie Scott Paige (Diana), Jeri Paige Wilson (the late James), and Garett James Paige, grandchildren, Paige, Katie, Nichole, Kay, Brooke and Mackenzie and great-grandchildren Hailey, Emily, Clete, Bryan and Charles. Charlie is also survived by special friends Edwin Stolt, Nona Carr and the Duncan family from Cedarville.
After Charlie graduated from Trenton High School in 1949, he attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) until being drafted in 1952. He served in the army until 1954 then returned to EMU to graduate with his degree in education. His love for this community grew during his thirty years of dedicated service to the students of Harbor Springs. In addition to teaching, Charlie coached all three sports he had participated in: basketball, football and baseball. Charlie always said he was only a good coach because he had such dedicated athletes.
Mr. Paige received numerous awards through the years including the 1976 Class D Regional Coach of the Year award from the Michigan High School Football Association as well as EMU's 1976 Class D and The Detroit News' Coach of the Year awards. In 1982, Charlie was inducted to Trenton's Sports Hall of Fame, followed by induction into Michigan High School's Basketball Coach's Hall of Fame later that year. Then the accolades came from his beloved Harbor Springs when he was inducted into Harbor Springs' Athletic Hall of Fame and had the high school's basketball court named after him.
Upon retirement, Charlie discovered a new passion in life as he evolved from creating basic to intricately carved birds which were generously gifted to friends and family alike. His carvings were featured in the May/June 2015 edition of Hunting and Fishing Collectables magazine. He and Nancy also traveled to 43 National Parks, visiting with family and friends along the way.
A recent highlight was his 90th birthday parade, complete with a decorated school bus and fire engine, along with over 50 cars. Charlie considered that celebration his " final goodbye". His family extends special thanks to Nona Carr, Suzanne Seacord, Cynthia Zumbaugh and Preston MacGregor for orchestrating and documenting that memorable event. Charlie received over a hundred birthday cards, countless texts and calls from friends and former students all over the world.
No memorial service is scheduled at this time; his family intends to have a celebration of his life later. People wishing to make a contribution are asked to direct it to the Harbor Springs Rams Booster Club for the Charlie Paige scholarship fund or to the Redmond/Friendship/Cross Village Fire Department; otherwise, feed the birds, catch a fish, and "get on the end" in his memory.
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