Visitors say goodbye to ‘irreplaceable’ Haege

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Sterling Heights — A steady stream of visitors came to say goodbye to “America’s Master Handyman” Glenn Haege on Sunday during a funeral visitation.

Mr. Haege, a beloved radio show host, Detroit News columnist and author, died Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 70.

Mr. Haege’s column, “The Handyman,” ran for 22 years in The News’ Homestyle magazine. His radio show spanned 33 years, most recently airing on WJR-AM (760).

Mr. Haege of Macomb Township answered more than 85,000 home improvement questions over the decades and enjoyed introducing his fans to new products and providing ways to help them save money in their homes, according to his executive producer Rob David.

Dan DeFillipi, who attended the visitation at the E. J. Mandziuk & Son Funeral Home in Sterling Heights on Sunday, said he did not personally know Mr. Haege, but felt like he did because he had been listening to him on the radio since the early 1990s.

“He taught me so much about home improvement over the years,” said DeFillipi of Sterling Heights. “I saw him once at a home-and-garden show, and everybody felt like they knew him because he was so helpful.

“He was such a gracious man and he will be missed.”

Defillipi paused and described Mr. Haege as “irreplaceable.”

“I don’t know anyone who can step in and fill his shoes,” he said.

Mike Kearns of Kearns Brothers in Dearborn and Plymouth, was one of many who personally knew Mr. Haege.

“... Glenn was like everybody’s favorite uncle, brother or father,” said Kearns, whose home improvement company often was recommended by Mr. Haege. “He was a warm and caring, intelligent man who had a certain connectivity with his listeners

“He had a bigger-than-life personality. He was a huge friend and for over 20 years we were woven together. It’s very sad.”

Erina Albertson is a sales assistant at WJR, where Mr. Haege’s show aired.

“I worked sometimes directly with the ‘Handyman Show,’ and I met him in person,” she said. “Whether you knew him personally or not, he left an impression on you and that speaks to someone’s legacy.”

A private memorial service is planned for family only.

In lieu of flowers, Mr. Haege’s family requests that donations be made to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity.