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Charles Trubac

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Charles Trubac Obituary
Charles M. Trubac

Charles M. Trubac, retired Michigan Regional Vice President for State Farm Insurance Company, passed away at Lansing's Sparrow Hospital on December 30, 2014.

Mr. Trubac was born on September 1, 1925 in Dubrava, Czechoslovakia to Karel and Marie Trubac.  He spent his childhood mostly in the Pilzen Region of Czechoslovakia and attended school in Prague.   

He grew up in the time when Hitler took over the country and had to live under the Nazi tyranny. He got to witness the Nazi's defeat at the hands of the Americans.    He served as a Second Lieutenant in the Czech Army from 1945 to 1948. Because he did not want to live under a Communist Regime, with his parents' blessings, he escaped in 1948 to West Germany.   There he served as a Port Officer in Bremen, West Germany.  It was not until the fall of communism in 1989 where he could even think about going back to Czechoslovakia, otherwise he would have faced arrest. 

Mr. Trubac studied extensively throughout his life.  He earned his Bachelor Of Science in Business Administration at Charles University in 1946.  He graduated from the Life Insurance Marketing Institute at Purdue University in 1953, graduated the LIAMI School for Agency Managers in 1957, earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation (CLU) in 1958,  his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1962, was a graduate of LIAMI School for Agency Officers in 1965, earned his Certificate in Company Management at American College in 1967, and was a graduate of LaSalle Law for Claims Adjusters in 1967.

After his escape to West Germany in 1948, he was immediately employed as a Welfare Officer by the International Refugee Organization (an agency of the World Health Organization) because of his language skills. It was there he met his co-worker Ruth Lewis.  The couple were married on December 23, 1949 in Neuberga.d.Donau, West Germany. He returned with Ruth to her home in Washington, DC in June of 1950.  Because he was married to a US Citizen (giving him "War Bride" status!) he was able to become a Naturalized American Citizen rather quickly on January 13, 1953. 

It was in Washington, DC that his met his In-Law's State Farm Agent and that agent suggested that Charles meet his Agency Manager.  That Agency Manager took a chance and hired Charles as a new agent in 1951, starting his career with State Farm Insurance Company.  Charles quickly ascended up the State Farm hierarchy.  He was an agent from 1951-55, then Agency Supervisor 1955-56, Assistance State Director 1957-61, and Agency Director 1962-65.  These positions were all in the metropolitan Washington DC area. 

In 1965 he was elected as the Deputy Regional Vice President of the new Seaboard Office in Frederick, MD and served in that capacity until 1971.

In 1971 he was elected as the Michigan Regional Vice President serving at the Marshall, Michigan office until his retirement in 1992.  That year Charles moved his family to Marshall, and they became an appreciated part of the community. 

His wife Ruth preceded him in death on December 24, 1988.  Charles was lucky in love again, and was married to Shirley J. (Hinds) Gethers on June 24, 1989 in Battle Creek at the Battle Creek Country Club outdoors.    In 1989 they moved to Battle Creek and lived there until 1992.  After his retirement, they made their home in East Lansing, and enjoyed winters in Naples, Florida until 2010. 

Charles was involved as a community leader everywhere he lived.  He served them in many ways on boards and commissions for both charities, governmental commissions and civic groups, always taking a leadership role.  He received many awards during his lifetime, among them the Michigan Minuteman Award for distinguished service presented to him by Governor William O. Milliken, and the Outstanding Statesman Award from the National Association of Life Underwriters in Frederick, MD.  He was respected as a known leader, facilitator and ambassador in the insurance industry.  He  worked continuously to keep lines of communication open between Michigan's Insurance Department, legislature and the industry  In 1994 he was inducted as a Charter Member of the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame.  He belonged to numerous insurance industry professional organizations. 

He believed in the value of education and involved himself in making it better.  He was a board member and Chairman of Junior Achievement of Marshall from 1973 to 1985, and Junior Achievement of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek as a board member and President, from 1973-77.  He served as a member of Northern Michigan University's National Task Force 1985-86.     He served as a member of the School of Business Advisory Committee at Central Michigan University from 1978-92. 

He had a long relationship with Olivet College, where he was a member of the Insurance Program Advisory Committee beginning in 1978.  He was a member of Olivet College's Board Of Trustees beginning in 1982, serving as Treasurer for a year and Chair from April 1990 to September 1992.   He became a Trustee Emeritus in 1992.  He continued his commitment to the growth and development of Olivet College.  He was a co-founder of the Risk Management and Insurance Program, and continued to serve on it's Advisory Committee. 

At the 2012 Olivet College Commencement Ceremony, he was awarded an Olivet College Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa recognizing his many contributions. 

Charles was a noted speaker, who always was known to speak from his heart on any subject.  Besides his dignified physical presence, his speaking style always made him a speaker people remembered and actually took something home from that could make a difference for them. 

He enjoyed his daily runs for many years, and liked to golf.  He was a past member of the Marshall Country Club, Battle Creek Country Club, and most recently Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing, Michigan.   Time with family was always very precious to Charles and most important in his life.

Charles is survived by his wife Shirley Trubac of East Lansing, sons and daughters-in-law Thomas and Sheri Trubac of Holt and Daniel and Teresa Trubac of Las Vegas, NV, and Greg and Joann Gethers of  Dove Canyon, CA,  and daughter-in-law Laura Kelly-Trubac of Sarasota, FL, and 10 grandchildren.  He was also preceded in death by his son Charles L. "Chuck" Trubac. 

Friends may call at the Craig K. Kempf Family Funeral Homes, Marshall Chapel at 723 US 27 North, Marshall on Friday from 2PM-7PM where family will be present 2PM-4PM and 5PM-7PM to receive friends.   Funeral Services celebrating his life will be held on Saturday at 11AM at the Olivet Congregational Church with Rev. Jack  Brown officiating.  Interment will follow in Olivet Cemetery.  The family suggests memorial contributions in his memory be made to the Olivet College School of Insurance-Charles M. Trubac Insurance Scholarship or .  Assistance with memorials is available at the funeral home during visitation or by mailing a contribution to Kempf Family Funeral Homes, P.O.Box 519, Marshall, MI  49068.  To sign the on line guest register and leave a message for the family visit www.kempffuneralhome.com

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2, 2015
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