Reverend Michael Joseph De Grave, 68, passed away Sunday, December 27, 2020, surrounded by loving family. A devoted husband, he married his best friend Diane Christine (Carter) De Grave on July 20, 2013. Together they ran De Grave Ministries, Inc., a ministry dedicated to intercessory prayer, revival, missions, and to education on Israel and the Jewish people to battle anti-Semitism, which Michael absolutely abhorred. Because of this, he was one of the co-authors of the book When the Cross Became a Sword. His passion for Israel led him to travel there four times with a desire to go many times more. He was also a volunteer for Operation Exodus International, an organization helping return Jews to the land of Israel in accordance with Scripture, and became their Wisconsin Representative.
Michael was a caring father who went to every soccer game, band concert, teacher’s conference, and self-sacrificed to make sure his children had what they needed. He always put his children’s needs and desires above his own. He was kind, thoughtful, and went above and beyond to make his children feel secure and taken care of in the loss of their mother Sherri Anne (LeMay) De Grave. His gentle nature, quick wit, humor, and also his love for Star Trek are memorable and probably what kept him sane.
Music and education were other passions of Michael’s. A graduate of West De Pere High School, he attended St. Norbert College and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He graduated with a Bachelor of Ministry Magna Cum Laude from Shalom Bible College. He studied Music Composition privately under Professor/Composer F. Gordon Parmentier, a Paris Conservatory graduate. Michael composed several of his own classical pieces with Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem being his favorite. He also wrote many songs, eventually publishing Let’s Worship Him, showcasing only a few. He taught classical guitar and music theory privately, producing students who later went on to become worship leaders, music therapists, band artists, with one even getting a recording contract. He loved to impart.
Michael had a strong work ethic and ran his own business Mike’s Quality Drapery Installation for almost thirty years. He always gave a little more. Before this he worked for Bob & Kip’s Cyclery and later for Our Lady of Charity, a girls’ residential treatment center, run by Catholic nuns, where he founded one of the first music therapy programs in the country. Michael was also Associate Pastor for Manna for Life where he ran a men’s Bible study that later became the foundation for his book Special Forces Training-Bible Study for Men.
Most importantly was Michael’s relationship to his Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ. Obedience to Him was always at the forefront of Michael’s life. He never wavered from that and modeled integrity, honor, and compassion throughout his life.
Michael is survived by his wife Diane Christine (Carter) De Grave, their children Elisha (Daniel) Robertson, Gloria De Grave, Leeya (Samuel) Nolan, Amariah Balushi, and Khan Christopher Balushi, their grandchildren Sawyer Caelwaerts and Elizabeth Robertson, their beloved Shih Tzu Shiri Joy, his siblings Gary (Patricia) De Grave, Roger (Betty) De Grave, Gale (Steven) Schmiedlin, Virginia (Kip) Detry, and Kathleen De Grave, many nieces and nephews, and his in-laws Lawrence and Edna Carter and family. He is preceded in death by his parents Roland Albert De Grave and Luella Mae (Fonder) De Grave, his wife Sherri Anne (LeMay) De Grave, his daughter Michaela Ruth De Grave, his sister Judith Carole De Grave, his brother-in-law Earl Lee, and his in-laws Reginald LeMay and Elaine (Splan) LeMay.
The De Grave Family would like to express our immense gratitude to the nursing staff of Bellin Hospital for their above amazing care of Michael. Their sacrifices and devotion to his care were far above the call of duty. You all have truly touched our hearts.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Living Hope Church in Green Bay, Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, with visitation from 9:00 am-11:00 am with service following at 11:00 am.