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Lawrence DuMouchelle

Lawrence F. DuMouchelle

Monday, July 2nd, 1934 - Thursday, May 16th, 2019
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Longtime Grosse Pointe resident and renowned auctioneer-appraiser Lawrence F. DuMouchelle died Thursday, May 16, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 84 years old.
Larry was born in Detroit to art dealer Joseph N. DuMouchelle and his wife Charlotte LePain, and lived above the family store on St. Aubin, later moving to the Boston-Edison District where he spent much of his youth. The oldest of five children, he attended Blessed Sacrament, the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and the University of Detroit, where he served in the ROTC.
As a young boy, Larry spoke French before he spoke English and enjoyed spending summers with his grandparents and cousins at the family farms in Windsor — fondly recounting stories of selling vegetables door to door.
Larry was introduced to his family’s business, DuMouchelle Art Galleries, at a young age as an apprentice at eleven years old. His first experience as an auctioneer was at the age of sixteen when his father had him stand on a crate at an estate sale selling floor lamps. Although Larry had hoped to study accounting and law at Notre Dame, he was needed at home to assist with running the family business — as his father had become terminally ill.
In 1956, Larry proposed to and married his St. Mary’s of Notre Dame sweetheart, Mary Jo McCarthy — whom he met on a blind date while he was at U of D and she at Immaculata. She was the love of his life and most trusted advisor.
In March of 1957, Joseph DuMouchelle passed away. Larry, then 22, took over the family business and became President, a position he held until his death. Over the next several years, Larry worked diligently to maintain the confidence and clientele that had been associated with his father.
Larry always believed in Detroit. Although economic downturns and urban unrest resulted in several difficult transitional years, Larry refused to move the company. He began to modernize and expand the scope of the operation.
Major art collections drew record auction prices and an international clientele developed. But local customer support was always key to DuMouchelle’s sustainability. True expansion and recognition began in the early 1970s when the firm began to handle many prominent auto and lumber estates, as well as those of international political and business figures. Larry always felt it an honor and privilege to be entrusted to handle any family’s estate.
Larry contributed his time to many organizations and served on the board of trustees for the Detroit Institute of Arts, Meadow Brook Arts Commission, the Central Business District Association, University of Detroit High School, and served as President of the DIA Founder’s Society — as well as the President of St. Paul on the Lake Parish Council. Over the years, he received numerous business awards, but one that was close to his heart was the University of Detroit High School businessman of the year. Larry, who was described by many as the “Gentlemanly Auctioneer” also enjoyed his many trips around the country as an appraiser for The Antiques Roadshow.
Larry was instrumental in forming Bricktown in Detroit. This sparked his interest in real estate, where he began his investments in Detroit properties, including several historic homes and buildings. He purchased the Joseph Campeau and Trowbridge homes, listed as some of the oldest homes in Detroit.
Throughout his life, Larry believed in helping others. In his line of work, he was able to raise funds for thousands of charitable organizations, foundations and schools, including auctions for the American Red Cross, Easter Seals, the Metropolitan Opera, 1986 Statue of Liberty Gala, Hats Off to Heart Research, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Public Library, DIA Founder’s Society, Grand Prix Auction for Project Hope, Common Ground, Academy of the Sacred Heart, Meadowbrook Estate, University of Detroit, Cranbrook Academy, Kensington Academy, St. Mary’s Academy, Northwood Institute, Women’s City Club, Channel 56, Tennis & Crumpets, Grosse Pointe Symphony, Michigan Ducks Unlimited and was instrumental in developing the Action Auction for the Grosse Pointe Academy, which became recognized as the model of excellence for fundraising auctions.
Larry was a 53-year member of the Detroit Athletic Club. He was a tennis enthusiast for over 54 years and forged many lifelong friendships competing at Lochmoor Club, Wimbledon Racquet Club, L’Arbre Croche and with his friends from the Grosse Pointe Senior Men’s Club. In later years, he joined the Neighborhood Club, where he enthusiastically worked out each week with his dedicated trainer.
Larry was a devoted Detroit Tigers fan and never missed a game. He enjoyed long walks and barbeques at the Farms Pier Park, trips up north and to Sanibel Island and always looked forward to reunions at the family cottage in Windsor, which he helped his grandfather build at a young age.
Larry was pleased to be a part of Detroit’s comeback, helping to maintain his father’s legacy downtown as a Detroit anchor for over 93 years. He came through the many years with his partners and siblings, Joan Walker, Norman, Rosemary and Ernest DuMouchelle, his children and now grandchildren and his much-valued, dedicated employees.
Larry was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Mary Jo McCarthy DuMouchelle. He is survived by his loving siblings, sister-in-law, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Visitation will take place 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park, with prayers at 7 p.m.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, May 31, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms with in-state at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen; St. Paul Educational Trust, Grosse Pointe; University of Detroit Jesuit High School Scholarship Fund; or Beaumont Hospital Foundation, Grosse Pointe.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 30th, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, May 30th, 2019 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Chas. Verheyden, Inc.
    16300 Mack Avenue
    Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan 48230
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Prayer Service 7pm
  • Service

    Friday, May 31st, 2019 | 10:00am
    Friday, May 31st, 2019 10:00am
    St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church
    157 Lakeshore Rd.
    Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 48236
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Instate 9:30am until the time of Mass


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Private Condolence
Bob Mc Millan, Joan and Jim Tobin and Family, and others have sent flowers to the family of Lawrence F. DuMouchelle.
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Mary Ann and Leon Zielinski

Posted at 04:15pm
Leon and I have known Larry for MORE than Half a Century. We knew him to be a dignified, honest, trustworthy, soft-spoken, "Gentle-Man." A man, we felt privileged to know, as a Friend.

In most recent years, when he was no longer at the podium, being the distinguished, professional that he had been, for so many, many years, Larry would come in, and sit quietly, at the back of the auction floor. A silent observer, no doubt remembering special moments from the past.

When Leon would appear, Larry would wave him over, to sit side-by-side. That is when the reminiscing, about "the Good Old Days," would begin. Occasionally, the sound of their soft laughter would drift towards the auction bidders. Sometimes, causing people, with smiling faces, to turn and look back, at the "two old guys," with amusement.

Most recently, realizing that the aging process was starting to take its toll, their conversations became more somber. When Larry's much Beloved Wife, Mary Jo, passed away, I think he could not let go of the pain, the grieving. Now that Larry has been reunited with his "Bride," Mary Jo, I believe family and friends should find some comfort in knowing, THEY are TOGETHER, ONCE AGAIN! Just as Larry, no doubt, longed to be.

You Lived A Good Life, Larry! An honorable man, a man of integrity, compassion, soft-heart, endlessly giving to charitable causes, and always doing good works with humbleness and humility!

I, also believe You made Your Parents Very Proud, in continuing to grow and improve upon the Legacy they left for you. Just as You now, have left a Legacy of Your Making to Your Family, for them to further build upon.

KNOW that YOU will be REMEMBERED and MISSED!!! (By ALL with whom You Crossed Paths, in Life!) As long as WE (Family and Friends) have breathe, you shall have Immortality, living in our Memories! PEACE AT LAST!

Bob Mc Millan

Posted at 11:01am
Our warmest condolences, from your friends and colleagues at Chubb Insurance.
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Bob Mc Millan purchased flowers for the family of Lawrence DuMouchelle. Send Flowers


Richard and Brenda Fedorowicz

Posted at 10:11am
With deepest sympathy, Larry will also be in our hearts. Richard and Brenda Fedorowicz

Joan and Jim Tobin and Family

Posted at 06:36pm
Our Thoughts and prayers are with the DuMouchelle Family and this time. With deepest Sympathy and warmest condolences.
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Joan and Jim Tobin and Family purchased the Memories to Treasure for the family of Lawrence DuMouchelle. Send Flowers


David and Debbie Finch, Kathy and Mike Lynch

Posted at 06:45am
With our deepest sympathy~
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David and Debbie Finch, Kathy and Mike Lynch purchased flowers for the family of Lawrence DuMouchelle. Send Flowers


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