Obituary: Rodney Grams, 95, Ludington.

December 20, 2016
Rodney Grams

Rodney Grams

Obituary: Rodney Grams, 95, Ludington. 


 Rodney Lee Grams, lt. commander, U.S. Navy (retired), one of the greatest generation, has flown on the wings of angels, to meet his Lord and Savior.  He passed away and had just turned 95 years of age.

Rodney was born to Emil and Eva (Murray) Grams on December 13, 1921 in Ludington.  He attended Ludington High School and graduated with the class of 1940.  He went to Alma College intending to become a doctor, however, World War II broke out and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an aviation cadet.  During his cadet training he attended naval training schools at Louisiana State Teacher’s College, South Eastern Louisiana Institute and The University of Georgia.  He completed his cadet training at the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida.  He was commissioned as an ensign and designated as a naval aviator in 1944.

Rod’s duties during his naval career included: primary flight instructing, tactical and night flying instructor, pilot and gunnery officer at Chincoteague, classified material control officer with top secret.  He had crypto graphic atomic energy clearance, North Atlantic Naval Air Command; personnel oficer at Lakehurst, New Jersey and aviation technical training officer at Grosse Isle.  He retired in 1961.  After retiring, he served as a field training coordinator at the Chrysler Missile Division.

When Rod returned to his home in Ludington, he became the manager of The Lyric Theatre.  He then became Director of the Ludington Mass Transit Authority (LMTA) from 1974 to 1986.  He helped grow LMTA from a small authority on South James Street to a much larger operation on Dowland Street. Regardless of being classified 100 percent disabled, as a result of his military service, he continued to work.  He was a lifetime member of the DAV, the Military Officer Association of America (MOAA) and the American Legion-Edwin H. Ewing Post 76. He was a former member of the Retired Officers Association of the Navy, the American Ordinance Association and the NRA.  He also was an amateur mycologist; a very careful mycologist. 

Rodney Grams

Rodney Grams

He enjoyed participating in many events with his wife.  He especially enjoyed going to Cedar Point each year.  He would ride the scariest rides.  They would take their grandchildren to experience the joys of the amusement park.  He also enjoyed visiting his dear friends, Dr. Richard and Jeannie Chryn, attending the derby parties in Louisville, Kentucky.  He and his wife were big supporters of the Little River Casino Indians.  He also enjoyed visiting family in Wayne, Michigan and Sparta, Michigan.  He and his wife liked to go antiquing and shopping at yard sales.  Rod was a great cook and candy maker.

      He is survived by his wife, Rosemary, of 38 years; children: Michael (Carol) Grams, Sally (Walter) Mida, Susan (Steve) Sommerfeldt, Diane (Tom) Schoolcraft and Carol (Mike) Smith and numerous nieces and nephews.  Rod accepted his step-children as his own and never considered them as step family.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth Ann.  He took great pains in supporting her through her battle with Muscular Dystrophy (MS).  He was greatly admired by The Reverend John Christensen for keeping her home and taking care of her needs until her time of passing.  He was also preceded in death by his parents; brothers and sisters in-law: Robert (Emily), Richard (Viola), Russell (Eleanor), Raymond (Mary), Roy (Ruth) and Sister: Roberta (Dr. Frank) Durnell.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday December 21 at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington.  A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 10 to 11 a.m. A luncheon will be held at the American Legion Post 76 directly following the service.

Memorial contributions in memory of Rodney may be directed to wounded warriors  Please feel free to share a memory or photo with Rodney’s family at

The family has entrusted funeral arrangements with Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center of Ludington.


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