2017-05-11 / Life in Leelanau

Talk of the County

Having a conversation with Charles Passarelli


CHARLES PASSARELLI has been living seasonally in Leelanau County since 1978, but began coming here as a teenager in 1948. CHARLES PASSARELLI has been living seasonally in Leelanau County since 1978, but began coming here as a teenager in 1948. Name: Charles Passarelli

Town or township of residence: Solon Township

Resident since: 1978, but I began coming to the county as a teen in 1948. I’m almost a native.

Age and birthplace: I’m 86 and was born in Detroit.

Occupation: Artist. I worked as a commercial illustrator in a large studio in Detroit. I also taught advanced illustration classes at the Center for Creative Arts in Detroit.

Marital Status: Married to my wife, Yvonne, for 64 years. We have a daughter, a son, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

You live in Leelanau County because: We love it. My father built a cottage on Lake Leelanau. After my father died, I bought it from my mother. As our family grew, so did it.

Last good movie you saw: I don’t go to movies. But I do enjoy some television shows… “Mom,” “NYPD Blue” and “Shades of Blue.”

Last good book you read: I don’t read … I paint. Watercolor, acrylic, pastels…

If you could trade places with one person for one day, it would be: (Edgar) Degas. As an artist, I admire his use of pastels. He painted the ballet dancers.

Things important to you that you’ve accomplished so far: My family — my children and grandchildren. I’m having a one-man show at the Old Art Building in Leland, July 1. They’ll all be here —about 20 — to help.

What you hope to be doing in 10 years: The same thing I’m doing now.

Things you lose sleep over: I lose sleep once in a while over little things. But not much.

If you could change one thing in Leelanau County it would be: No snow in the winter.

Favorite dessert: Ice cream. Butter pecan.

Are you a coffee drinker? Occasionally.

Favorite place in Leelanau County: My home on South Lake Leelanau. I enjoy the lake. It’s nice and peaceful and it’s great when the family comes up. All but one of my family members live in Michigan.

If you had more time you would: I’d get more classic cars and work on them. I have a red, ‘52 MG and a couple of Mazda Miatas.

The words that best describe you are: Quiet, thoughtful and organized.

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