Obituaries Charlie Wolohan, 89, of Gladwin

Charlie Wolohan, 89, of Gladwin

John Charles (“Charlie”) Wolohan, 89, of Gladwin, MI, and Venice, FL, passed on Jan. 29, 2024. He died at his home in Venice after a long illness.

He was born on April 25, 1934, to Thomas and Charlotte (nee Parshall) Wolohan of Gladwin. He married the former Darlene Bailey on Nov. 24, 1956, and they had five children: Linda Wolohan (m. Russ Allen), Patrick Wolohan (m. Cheryl Wolohan), Timothy Wolohan (m. Kristi Wolohan), Kathleen Wolohan and Theresa Wolohan. He is survived by his wife and children as well as five grandchildren—Brendan Wolohan, Beau Allen, Bailey Allen, Jack Wolohan and Matthew Wolohan)—and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Thomas Wolohan, and his children. His family will miss his sense of humor, generosity, and friendship.

Mr. Wolohan had a long career in the retail lumber yard business, starting out at the Wolohan family’s grainery business, which later expanded into lumber after being acquired by the Wickes Lumber Co. After graduation from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University (MSU) in 1956, Mr. Wolohan worked for Wickes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. 

In 1964, Mr. Wolohan, other members of the family at Wickes Lumber, and other Wickes managers, left Wickes to form Wolohan Lumber Co., based in Saginaw, MI. The company, which later became publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange, eventually operated retail lumber stores in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky.

After helping to open and run Wolohan stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, Mr. Wolohan was transferred to the company’s headquarters, moving his family to nearby Midland, MI. After serving in upper management roles, he retired in 1983. 

Being part of the founding and growth of Wolohan Lumber was one of his proudest achievements. Even as he rose in leadership positions, he remained focused on the people side of the business. As an executive, he could often be seen walking around stores he was visiting to check in with employees and help customers.

He was an avid golfer. Among his many other pasttimes were creative pursuits, such as building the family’s cottage, gardening (supplying a steady stream of beautiful roses and dahlias), gemology, and a decades-long restoration of a 1942 Ford World War II Army Jeep that earned him several awards.

A proud alumnus and supporter of MSU, Mr. Wolohan was also a quiet benefactor of numerous other charitable organizations. One of the many life lessons he taught his children was the importance of giving back—long before the term became popular.

A service and celebration for family and friends will be held later in the year. Interment will be in Highland Cemetery in Gladwin. 

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Hall-Kokotovich Funeral Home. To share condolences and memories, please visit

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