Varge Frisbie

January 27, 1921 - September 16, 2016
Vicksburg, MI



Thursday, September 22, 2016
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697

After the visitation there will be a luncheon, followed by a graveside service at Fort Custer National Cemetery at 2:30 pm

Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation
301 S. Kalamazoo Avenue
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 321-1006
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A man of his word, Varge Frisbie was someone with whom others could depend. From his family to his church to the country he served, and the many students he taught over the years, Varge took to task the responsibilities set before him. For those entrusted to his care, Varge lived by example and his legacy will continue forevermore.

As the Roaring Twenties ushered in new ways of thinking, by 1921 jazz was all the rage and Charlie Chaplin starred on the big screen. Prosperity and good fortune created a sense of exhilaration never before seen while baseball continued to be America’s favorite pastime. Yet in the northern Michigan city of Cadillac, the birth of Varge Grant Frisbie on January 27, 1921, began the New Year off right in the lives of his parents, James and Johanna (Landraint) Frisbie. The youngest of four children, Varge joined his older siblings, Doug, Jim, and Gladyce in their family home.

Varge’s father supported their family running their dairy farm where there was always plenty to do. His mother, a homemaker, remained at home with young Varge and looked after their household. When the onset of the Great Depression brought economic hardship their way, his father then began working in construction, although jobs remained scarce. These were indeed difficult times throughout the country for all, and Varge’s family was no exception.

Having attended the area schools, Varge experienced the typical adventures of a young man of his generation. Known as the “greatest generation,” one learned the value of hard work at a time when creating stability and security in one’s life was crucial. Varge lived through the Great Depression and witnessed, firsthand, the travesties of war. In so doing, he grew up and throughout the years sought consistency in his life.

Varge continued his education following high school. He was fortunate in that many his age left their schooling behind during the Depression, yet Varge pressed on. Throughout his days, there was a special young woman who not only caught Varge’s attention but his heart, too. While enjoying a fun-filled hayride with friends near his home in Cadillac, Varge met Esther Barclay. When she asked for his name, he teased her by coming up with a funny one. Before long, the two began dating and soon fell deeply in love. On September 22, 1942, they were happily married in Cadillac and set out to begin their new lives together as husband and wife.

With World War II well underway, Varge felt the call to duty the same year they married and began serving in the United States Marine Corps. From 1942 until he retired from the service as a Major in 1964, Varge served his country with honor and pride. He went on to receive the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.

Throughout this time, Varge and Esther began a family of their own. After he returned home from the service in 1964, they moved their family from Cadillac to Vicksburg where together they raised their seven children, Douglas, Thomas, James, Robin, Ruth, Timothy, and Lisa. Being the child of a retired Marine Major had its advantages and disadvantages. As a father, Varge loved his children and taught them well, but his strong-willed nature and strict ways got the best of him sometimes. He lived his life with consistent structure, which perhaps was due to his time in the military. He ran his household and conducted his life with the same while Esther provided an equal balance of love and nurturing.

Varge provided a good life for Esther and the kids. Each year at the end of school, their family enjoyed traveling to Wisconsin for two weeks before heading out to travel the U.S. They visited nearly every national park, if not all, even keeping a check-off list of their travels. Varge loved camping and canoeing, and over the years wonderful memories were made and enjoyed doing so with his family. When it came to the holidays, Varge never let on that he loved Christmas and played more like a “Grinch” than anything and he liked all the other holidays when family were around.

To support their large family, while in Vicksburg Varge began his teaching career at Vicksburg Middle School as a 7th-grade math and 8th-grade science teacher before eventually retiring in 1986. A man of faith with deep convictions, he was active at their church home, Vicksburg United Methodist Church where he enjoyed being a part of the tape ministry and where he served on various boards. Some of the hobbies Varge enjoyed included stamp collecting. In fact, he’d even send himself a letter from every country he visited just for the stamp.

Not only did Varge keep well-detailed notes about his travels, he also kept thorough notes about every aspect of his life. Extremely detail oriented, he lived his life with structure, having had a purpose for everything he did. His strong-willed character served him well at times, and he was a mentor and beloved teacher of many. Varge possessed great compassion for his church family, helping out in numerous ways. Although he will be deeply missed, Varge Frisbie leaves behind a multitude of memories to be forever treasured.

Varge Grant Frisbie, of Vicksburg passed away on Friday, September 16, 2016, at the age of 95. He is survived by his seven children: Douglas Frisbie, of VA, Thomas Frisbie, of FL. James Frisbie, of VA, Robin (David) Cummings, of NC. Ruth (Eric) Frisbie-Anderson, of Three Rivers, Timothy (Susan) Frisbie, of Vicksburg, and Lisa (Thomas) Hicks, of Three Rivers; 15 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Esther; four siblings; and daughter-in-law, Diane Frisbie.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, September 22 from 10am unitl noon at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). A Varge will be buried with military honors on Thursday at 2:30pm at Fort Custer National Cemetery.

Please visit Varge's webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read his life story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo or in lieu of flowers make a memorial donation to the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.