St. Clement Church and School
Items from the Grobbel family photo albums and scrapbooks

Are you looking for current information about St. Clement Parish?

St. Clement Parish in Center Line and St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Warren were merged in June of 2012. The merged parish was renamed St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families Parish and uses both campuses. The St. Clement Worship Site is at 25330 Van Dyke in Center Line (map) and the St. Teresa of Avila Worship Site is at 12255 Frazho Road, Warren.

Click here to view the current parish Mass schedule, plus addresses and contact information.

The History of St. Clement Parish

Left: Illustration (1875) of the first church built in 1854
Center: Photo (ca. 1925) of the second church built in 1880
Right: Photo (2006) of the third church built in 1961
(click to enlarge)

Read the parish history as recounted in "The Reporter", a four-page newsletter that
kicked-off the 1957 fund raising campaign to build a third, new church.
(each page opens in a new window)

Jan. 27, 1957 Issue

Feb. 3, 1957 Issue

Page 1 - "$400,000 Cash Needed in 60 Days! - Why?"
Page 2 - "St. Clement Church - A Noble Heritage" (parish history)
Page 3 - "St. Clement History (cont.)"
Page 4 - "Fr. Murray's Column" and other continuations
Page 1 - "Success Can Be Obtained"
Page 2 - "St. Clement History (cont.)"
Page 3 - "St. Clement History (cont.)"
Page 4 - Pledge Card


List of the Racine Dominican Nuns
Assigned to St. Clement Parish Schools
1892 through 1974


Florian Rasch II - early settler of Warren, Michigan and St. Florian, Alabama

What does the St. Clement's Cemetery in Center Line, MI have in common with St. Michael's Cemetery in St. Florian, AL?  They are both the final resting places of men named Florian Rasch!

"St. Clement Aid Society" Ribbon from 1869
(click to enlarge photos)

This ribbon belonged to Franz Anton Grobbel (1819-1900) who emigrated from Westphalia, Germany to Warren Township with his brother John in about the year 1849. After his death, it was passed down to his oldest son, Anthony, a pattern which has continued with each succeeding generation. The ribbon measures 2.5 in. wide by 8.5 in. long. It has reversible front and back sides with the same inscription. The fringe is made of gold metallic threads. The influence of German emigrants was still strong within the Parish in 1869, as evidenced by the use of the German words "St. Clemens Unterstützungs Verein", meaning "St. Clement Aid Society". The descendants of John Grobbel (1825-1870) also have his ribbon, which is identical in appearance, plus it still has the ornamental clasp at the top which he used to attach it to his suit coat.

St. Clement First Communion Class of 1909.
Cresczentia "Grace" Minick (b. 11 March 1897 in Warren Twp., Michigan) is in the
third row from the front, second from the left (directly beneath the tall girl in the back row).
The boy in the first row, third from the right, is Loyola Rivard. In 1924, Loyola would marry
Grace's first cousin, Rosella "Rose" Snoblen (b. 08 Aug 1902 in North Branch Twp., Michigan)

St. Clement School - Faculty and Students, ca. 1910.
Click on the photo below to enlarge it.
Click here for a blow-up section of this photo that has Fr. Kramer in the lower left corner
and identifies Leo Grobbel under the left arrow and Clement Grobbel under the right arrow.

St. Clement Church Calendar - 1927

This was a booklet published in early 1927 that recounted the happenings of the previous year, plus it contained an alphabetical listing of the total amounts donated by each parishoner. The booklet also included numerous advertisements for local businesses.

Front & Rear Cover Photo of Church - Rivard Bros. Ford ad
Pg. 2 - Pg. 3 Center Line State Saving Bank ad - Title Page
Pg. 4 - Pg. 5 Center Line Garage ad - Church Cmte. and Usher's names
Pg. 6 - Pg. 7 Buechel's General Store ad - Parish Notes
Pg. 8 - Pg. 9 Schimmel Garage ad - Parish Notes (continued)
Pg. 10 - Pg. 11 Zott Boot Shoppe ad - School photo
Pg. 12 - Pg. 13 Rinke Hardware & Buick Sales ad - List of Contributors, A-C
Pg. 14 - Pg. 15 Frank Wiegand's Well Drilling ad - List of Contributors, C-G
Pg. 16 - Pg. 17 Frank Dueweke's Meats ad - List of Contributors, G-K
Pg. 18 - Pg. 19 Schoenherr's Clothing / Metcko's Cleaners ads - List of Contributors, K-N
Pg. 20- Pg. 21 Grobbel & Vohs Plumbing ad - List of Contributors, O-S
Pg. 22- Pg. 23 Bernard Wolf's Hardware - List of Contributors, S-W
Pg. 24- Pg. 25 Henk's Dry Goods ad - List of Contributors, W-Z
Pg. 26- Pg. 27 Hoste Bros. Electrical ad - Lefevre's Drug Store ad
Pg. 28- Pg. 29 H.L. Claeys Plumbing Supplies ad - N.J. Halmich Grocer & Dry Goods ad
Pg. 30- Pg. 31 (patronize our advertisers) - LaCroix & Groesbeck Funeral Directors ad

The Second St. Clement Church

(click to enlarge)
The interior of the old St. Clement Church as viewed from the choir loft in the rear.
This photo was taken on 30 April 1949 during the Wedding Mass for Virginia Hiller and Vincent Grobbel.

Above: Clement Grobbel, the Parish Custodian, enters the old St. Clement church to ring the Angelus Bells (ca. 1960).

Right: the old St. Clement Church in a 1956 photo taken by Joseph Blahnik. The church's steeple was 100 feet tall, with bricks up to the 60 foot level. The church was constructed in 1880 and one of the bricklayers who worked on it was Marcella (Peters) Grobbel's grandfather, Anthony Peters (1831-1897), who lived on a 30 acre farm at the southeast corner of what is now Van Dyke and Toepfer Avenues.


(photo courtesy of Stephen A. Medvik)
One of the stained glass windows that once adorned the old St. Clement Church.

The Detroit Free Press published this photo and article about the demolition of the old St. Clement Church, which began on Dec. 7, 1966.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge images)

Closeups of panes from the stained glass windows in the old St. Clement Church.

Joseph Cramer was a farmer who lived at the northeast corner of Van Dyke and Ten Mile Rd. In recognition of donations given to build the church in 1880, the major donor's names were painted onto 12 x 18 inch glass panes like this, which were inset in the lower half of each of the 12 stained glass windows that lined the north and south walls of the church.

"In Center Line - Church Falls, But Lives On" (part 1)
"In Center Line - Church Falls, But Lives On" (part 2)

Mr. Cramer sold his farm in 1905 and moved his family to Kawkawlin, MI. When the church was torn down in 1966, Clem Grobbel had the demolition contractor remove the windows intact and set them aside. He had the donor panes removed and they were given to the descendants of the original donors. However, he couldn't locate the Cramer descendants and this pane was found in his basement after his death in 1977. His son took it for safekeeping and in 2010 he gave it to the webmaster, who was able to locate a descendant and present him with the glass pane.

St. Clement Schools

St. Clement School (ca. 1926)
(click to enlarge photo)

This school was built in 1920-1921 on the site of the original school building, which was too small to support the growing parish's demand for the Catholic education of their children. The new building contained 18 classrooms and it also enabled the school to begin offering a high school curriculum. The new building included a gymnasium with a stage and a hall on the third floor above them. The hall originally contained tenpin bowling lanes, which were later sold and relocated to Ma Zott's Center Line Recreation across the street when it was built in about 1929. The hall was then used for assemblies, plus it contained the school library and a platform stage at the far end, which in the 1940's was the location of the 12th grade classroom. By the early 1980's, the building was no longer needed since all classes could be accomodated in the newer school building that was built in 1953 on Ritter Ave. The old school was torn down in 1984, along with the old Sister's House (which by then was being used as the Parish Administration building).

The female members of the St. Clement High School Band (ca. 1936-37)

Back row (left to right): Phyllis Weddell, ___(?)___ Herzog, Lillian Herzog, (unknown), Betty Collins.
Front row: Marion Borsekowski (aka Borse), Roseanne "Pansie" Grobbel, Eleanor Bishop, Lucille Kunath, Marion Wolf, Fran (or Mary?) Trambusch (her family owned the "Farm House" restaurant on 9 Mile Rd. in Hazel Park)

St. Clement High School 1939-1940
Class Roster pages from the "Student's Echo" yearbook

Seniors - Class of 1940
Juniors - Class of 1941
Sophomores - Class of 1942
Freshmen - Class of 1943

St. Clement High School Class of 1941
(click to enlarge)

Back Row (left to right): Frances LeFevre, Suzanne Reeber, Albert Hiller, Virginia Burrick, John Eisenman, Germaine Burrick, Orville Gipprich, Rose Biebuyck, Ruth Hoste, Lawrence Kunath, Rita Schimmel, Paul Van Den Branden, Leona Van Den Branden, Edward Borse, Catherine Chuba, Edward Tessmer, Annabelle Gareau, Jeannette Rinke.

Front Row (left to right): Anna Marie Sauter, Basil Cahill, Angeline Szamblen, Fredrick Gladych, Beatrice Diegel, Maurice Cahill, Virginia Ayers, Arthur Wiegand, Gloria Lawrence, Paul Smith, Kathryn Thomas.

St. Clement Grade School, 8th Grade, 1965-66
182 Student Photos
(click to enlarge)

Teachers (top to bottom): Sr. Dominica (Room 13), Sr. Zeno (Room 17), Miss McFadden (Mrs. Stevens) (Room 16), Mr. Roek (Room 18).
Top row (left to right): Jim Gretz, Tina Przybycki, Monica Zelmanski, Sharon Czarniak, Mike Smith, (unknown), Margaret Kaiser, Paul Wurmlinger, Mary Ann Zielinski, Jane Kargula, Chris Schultes, Nancy Pytel, (unknown), Bob Gabriel, Mary Lou Rinke, Tom Kucharski, (unknown), Mike Gryniewicz.
Second row: (unknown), Casimir Pelak, Janice Tylkowski, Ted Wojno, (unknown), Claudia Beuchel, Mike Jenks, Denise Gierlaszynski, Dennis Pelczarski, Donna Jochum, Bob Durrenberger, (unknown), Tom Rumschlag, Judy Wiegand, Tom Werthman, Mary Ann Hayden, Mary Menozzi, John (Tish) Rzucidlo.
Third row: Herbert Chamberlain, Mary Ann Raczynski, Gerald Butler, Pam Gierlaszynski, Virginia (Susie) Reiss, Donald Vanier, Kathy Skiba, John Morawski, Gail Horetski, (unknown), John Lengyel, Anna Ackerman, Mike Gavigan, Karen Adamo, Greg Booth, Simone Vermeersch, Theresa Zahorchak, Randy Horendorf.
Fourth row: Yvonne Fronczek, Fred Wolf, JoAnn Herman, Sue Poelvoorde, Bob Swantek, David Hoste, Janice Potenski, (unknown), Joanne Barbeau, Peggy Lieckfelt.
Fifth row: Ann Ziobron, Daniel Hallman, Maria Bravo, Eugene Cryderman, Bertha Arsenault, Joanne Tylkowski, Yvonne Rao, Jim Schneider, Karen Kasper, Tom Ritter, Marie Liptak, David Brierre, Jocelyne St. Pierre.
Sixth row: Patrick Hennigan, Alexis Briggs, Dave Boyd, Roseanna Mroz, (unknown), (unknown), Kathy Jablonski, John Kukan, Mary Jo Susalla, Richard Wolski, Jo Ann Mayernik, Bennie Poma, (unknown), Ken Chrzanowski.
Seventh row: Rita Pisarski, Dianne Radtke, (unknown), Daniel Krajewski, Ardean Smith, Joyce Sucaet, Vince Borowski, Richard Platt, Carol Walters, Tom Bain, Diane Kujawa, Diane Brooks, Mary Wojciechowski, David Grone,.
Eighth row: Dennis Tschiltsch, (unknown), Vincent Kraemer, Sharon Skop, Mike Pelletier, Kathy Bice, Sue Meisner, Chris Raiss, (unknown), Kathy Kemichick, Danny Jazowski, Kathy Yersick, James Koehler, (unknown), Paul Stanczak, Linda Ziegler, Mary Dupuis, Gary Price, Carol Rumancik.
Ninth row: William Pawelczyk, Nancy Hellebuyck, Gail Hogan, John Sulek, Joan Vigneau, Charles Alaimo, Debbie Richter, Carolyn Alaimo, Marcia Goniwiecha, Gary Schultz, Pamela Felcyn, Tom Rzpecki, Cathy Juzek, Brad Chapp, Roger Susin, Susan Jaros, Ed Zukowski, Kathy Shannon, Lennie Victor.
Tenth row: Betty Blanzy, Dennis Warchol, Kathy Nalazek, Gerald Stepien, Marvin Burdo, Barbara Beeker, Greg Phair, Lynne Buechel, Bob Miller, Denise Duhaime, Rick Killewald, Patricia Kambeitz, David Styczynski, Mary VanDenBranden, Tom Weertz, Kathy Rudy, Nancy Plieman, Carl Sens, Gary Bahorski.
Eleventh row: Ralph Hill, Margaret Ziecik, Diane Harvey, Paul Chmielewski, Cynthia Cook, Jim Labash, Denise Schimmel, Janis Foresz, Jim Kaurich, Debbie Rezeppa, Kathy Tharrett, Mike Grobbel, Jeanette Ranieri, Joe Moran, Richard Long, Gloria Hryczyszyn, Joe Mayernik, Renee Turner, Glen Metalski. (not shown: Greg Butson).

St. Clement High School 1966 Junior Varsity Football Team (6 wins-1 loss)
(click to enlarge photo)

Standing: Dave Boyd, Richard Platt, Joe Mayernik, Greg Phair, Bob Gabriel, Roger Susin, Mike Grobbel, John Kukan, Patrick Hennigan, Daniel Krajewski, Tom McGlinchy (soph.), Jerome "Potsie" Paruszkiewicz (senior, student mgr.).
Kneeling: Mike Kamego, Bob Miller, Joey Wiegand (soph.), Rich Killewald, Al Mulka (soph.), John Bradley (soph.), Tom Weertz, Brad Chapp, Greg Butson.
Coaches (not shown): Al Baumgart, Vic Henning, John Udvare

St. Clement High School on Ritter Avenue (photo from the 1970 "Crest" yearbook).

Closing of the St. Clement High School and Grade School

Cardinal Adam Maida announced in March 2005 that St. Clement High School was one of 15 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit that would be closed at the end of the 2004-2005 school year. The St. Clement Grade School closed its doors in June of 2011.

More St. Clement Historical Photos and Information

Back to the Center Line, MI Historical Information page

For more information, read the History of the City of Center Line at the Center Line municipal web site.

Webmaster: Mike Grobbel
Created: 16 Dec 2004; Last revised: 18 Jan 2015