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German-American of the Year

Sigfried Charow was born in the village of Beckersdorf in 1938 but spent his childhood in Kalefeld. He immigrated to the United States on a celebratory day – July 4th, 1955. He arrived in the New York Harbor on the S.S. America along with his father, Walter Charow, his grandmother, Anna, and his younger brother, Rudolph.

In 1956, Sigfried was asked by Dr. Baum from the International Institute of Detroit if he would start a Youth Group. He also joined the Folk Dance Group under the direction of Mrs. Erika Brenner. The Folk Dance Group performed in many wonderful ceremonies including Frankenmuth, the Strauss ball, as well as the Harmony, and at the yearly Michigan State Fair.

Sigfried was an avid soccer fan and player, he joined the Kolping Society and played soccer until 1958. For the next eight years, he played for the Sport Club 24.

Sigfried Charow

After attending High School at Wilbur Wright where he learned a skilled trade in machining, Sigfried worked for several manufacturing companies as a precision tool maker.

On August 1st, 1964 Sigfried married Elsa Knoerzer U. They shared 44 wonderful years together raising their three children, Alex, Peter and Gloria. Through hard work and dedication, they started a manufacturing business together in 1982. The family business, I & G Tool Company, is functioning and running strong for 33 years now with all of their children working at the facility. His motto is: “Work smarter, not harder.”

Sigfried was a Cub Scout Master while his sons, Alex and Peter were a part of the organization. He is the type of dad to be seen outside playing soccer, baseball, and basketball with his three children and all of the neighborhood kids after a long hard day’s work. The times he would spend outside playing catch with Gloria and her friends hold special memories.

Sigfried has been an active member of the Carpathia Club for over 40 years. He is also a member of the Austrian Society and the Austrian Ski Club. In 1969, Sigfried was a founding member of the German American Cultural Center’s Tisch Tennis Club. He has been the President of the GACC Tisch Tennis Club for over 10 years and has also been active in setting up and providing supervision in nearly all functions and festivals for the German American Cultural Center.

For the past 30 years, Sigfried has been a supporting member of the GBU Saxonia/Rheingold Choir and is now an active singer with the chorus. He is a proud member of the G.A.C.C. for over 45 years.

Sigfried remains most proud of his family; Alex, Treas, Peter, Kelly, Gloria, Brian and his grandchildren; Gabriel and Hannah.

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