Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 11, 2013

Dr. James W. Rae Jr.


LELAND — Dr. James Weaver Rae Jr., of Leland, passed away on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Munson Medical Center. Dr. Rae was born on Oct. 7, 1917, the son of James W. and Grace (Duffield) Rae, in Bowling Green, Ohio.

He graduated from the University of Michigan. While at the university he was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity and was a varsity letterman. He ran track and was the captain and an All-American for the basketball team.

During World War II he was a third-year medical student and was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He was among the first to go ashore after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

After the war, he returned to U of M Medical School and was awarded his medical degree in 1943. He did his fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Rae then returned to Ann Arbor, and in 1950 he became the Founding Chair of the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation until he retired in 1977. In the 1980s he continued to work part-time at U of M, Northern Michigan Regional Hospital and Munson Medical Center while residing in Leland, where he enjoyed his passion for sailing and golfing.

Dr. Rae is survived by his loving wife of 11 years, Arleen Rakas-Mitchell-Rae; his daughters and sons-in-law, Anne and Bud Blanchette, and Laura and Bob Stapleton; four grandchildren, Blaire Elmore, Drew Blanchette and Rob and Trevor Stapleton; nephew, Jim Bowers; nieces, Bobbie Bowers and Becky Skrainka; stepdaughters, Wendy (Jack) Browner and Tracy Dobson (Oscar Kent) and their four children and five grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, at 10 a.m. until the start of the 11 a.m. funeral service, at the Leland Community United Methodist Church. The Rev. Joseph Graybill will officiate. Burial will be at Beechwood Cemetery in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to ShareCare of Leelanau, PO Box 153, Northport, MI 49670 and/or to the Leelanau Conservancy, PO Box 1007, Leland, MI 49654.

Please share thoughts and memories with Dr. Rae's family on their online guestbook at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.