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Irving “Irv” Christopher Tabaka, age 74, of Chelsea, Michigan, passed away peacefully at his home on April 22, 2024 with his family by his side.

Irv was born on March 19, 1950, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Joseph and Helen (Gacioch) Tabaka. Irv attended All Saints High School in Detroit, Michigan and graduated in 1969, where he was known as a friend to all, especially the underdogs.

Following graduation, Irv joined the Detroit Police Reserve in addition to starting his career in the optical industry at Bayne Optical, where he received his apprenticeship. He then went on to work at J.L. Hudson’s Optical Department for over 15 years. Irv was a stay-at-home “Pop” before opening his own business, Chelsea Eyeglass Company, in April of 1984, which he successfully ran for 31 years, retiring in 2015.

Irv was extremely devoted to his family and friends.  He took great pride in leading the annual Canadian fishing trip to Lake Wabatongushi.  Over 80 people have had the opportunity to share in this experience with Irv over the past 50 years.  Irv’s favorite pastimes were playing cards, enjoying campfires, a good cigar while riding his John Deere, and just being outdoors.

He was very passionate about supporting many organizations in the Chelsea Community.  Irv always had his door open to anyone, whether they were there for business or to “bend” an ear.  He faithfully went to the Chelsea Retirement Home to fix the glasses of his customers whenever needed.  Irv was a member of Msgr. Hunt K of C Council No. 3312 where he was a 3rd and 4th Degree member, Grass Lake Lions Club, President of the Chelsea Lions Club, and member of the Chelsea Rod & Gun Club.

Irv is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patty Tabaka, his children, Joshua (Bethany) Tabaka and  Karen Paul both of Chelsea, Michigan, and six grandchildren: Jacob, Nathan, Matt, Abby, Alex, and Andrea. He is also survived by his siblings: Joe Tabaka, Elaine Cotant, Greg (Geri) Tabaka, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Joan Long and Del Paputa, and brother, Larry Tabaka.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 14200 East Old U.S. Hwy 12, Chelsea, Michigan, 48118, on Saturday, May 4, 2024, 11:00 a.m., with Fr. David Stawasz officiating. Visitation will be held at the church on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. Family and friends are all invited to a luncheon following the service at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1515 South Main Street, Chelsea, Michigan, 48118, as we continue celebrating Irv’s life.

Irv was a lifelong Spartan fan and requested that family and friends, if they so desire, wear their green and white.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Irv’s honor to the following: Chelsea Rod and Gun Club, St. Louis Center, Chelsea, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Chelsea.

Arrangements by Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home.

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