Fr. Michael Grawe, OFM, Obituary

Fr. Michael Grawe, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Sacred Heart Province, died in the early hours of Monday morning, June 12, 2023, at the age of 78, at Shady Lane Nursing Home in Manitowoc, WI. Born on December 6, 1944, in Quincy, IL, to Alvin and Florence (Hilgenbrink) Grawe, he was baptized and confirmed at St. Francis Solano Church in Quincy, IL, and completed his elementary education at St. Francis Solano Grade School.

Michael continued his high school and early college education and Franciscan formation at St. Joseph Franciscan Seminary in Westmont, IL. On June 21, 1964, Provincial Dominic Limacher, OFM, received Michael into the novitiate of the Sacred Heart Province in Teutopolis, IL. Fr. Innocent Swoboda, OFM, accepted his first vows as a Franciscan on June 22, 1965. He continued his college studies at Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Quincy, IL, and, with a desire to serve as a missionary in Brazil, completed most of his theology studies in Brazil.

Provincial Germain Schwab, OFM, accepted his solemn profession on June 22, 1968, and Bishop William A. O’Connor, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, IL, ordained him to the priesthood in Quincy, IL, on December 6, 1970.

Most of Fr. Michael’s Franciscan and priestly life were given in service to the people of Brazil, a people he grew to love dearly. He served there for 41 years, from 1968 to 2009, in the missions of the Sacred Heart Province in the Amazon regions. Returning from Brazil in 2009, he served in various ministries for 6 years while living at St. Anthony Friary in St. Louis, MO, and then retired to St. Clare’s Friary in Alton till 2020 when he came to Blessed Giles Friary in Manitowoc, WI. His last 8 months of life were spent in nursing care at Sylvan Crossings of Maritime Gardens and then Shady Lane where he died on June 12, 2023.

Fr. Michael was preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers, Danny and Alvin Jr., and numerous Franciscan brothers. He is survived by his brothers of the Sacred Heart Province, as well as his two sisters, Mary (George) Effrein of Quincy, IL and Sr. Carol Grawe, SSND, of St. Louis, MO, along with 1 niece, Janet (Craig) Hayman and 2 nephews, David Effrein and Gregory Effrein, and 3 great nephews and 3 great nieces and numerous cousins.

The friars would like to express their appreciation to Fr. Michael’s caregivers at Blessed Giles in Manitowoc, WI, the staff at Sylvan Crossings of Maritime Gardens and Shady Lane Nursing Home, and Sharon Richardson Memorial Hospice.

Funeral services were held on June 22, 2023, in the chapel at Blessed Giles Friary in Manitowoc, WI, followed by burial in the friars’ plot at Calvary Cemetery in Manitowoc, WI.
A Memorial Mass for Fr. Mike will be held at St. Francis Solanus Church in Quincy, IL on Saturday, July 8, 2023. There will be a Memorial Visitation at St. Francis Church beginning at 10:00 am followed by the Memorial Mass at 11:00 am. Fr. Joseph Zimmerman, OFM, from Holy Cross Friary, will preside at the Mass.

In your kindness, please consider making a donation in memory of Fr. Michael Grawe, OFM, to the Franciscan of the Amazon, St. Anthony Friary, 3140 Meramec Street, St. Louis, MO 63118. May God bless you.

The Lakeshore Family Funeral Home, Pfeffer location, Manitowoc, WI is assisting the friars with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting

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