Worlds Longest Serving Bartender Dies at 102
Wed, 09 Jun 2021 17:03:08 EDT

She has been a local and world legend, having achieved notoriety as the worlds longest serving bartender.

Clarise Grzenkowicz of Alpena passed away Tuesday, one week after her 102nd birthday.

Grzenkowicz was the owner and operator of the Maplewood Tavern, north of Alpena, which has been in the family since it was built in 1924 by Henry Peter Cadarette and his wife. Clarice married their son, Henry in 1940 and worked at the establishment since. Following her husbands death, Clarice remarried in 1964 and she spent her years not only tending bar, but raising the two children from her first marriage as well her four stepchildren.

During prohibition, the bar was a dance hall, but later became a well known establishment where live music and karaoke were a common occurrence.

In 2011, Grzenkowicz was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the World's Longest Career as a Bartender. In 2015, she was also recognized by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission recognizing her accomplishments. At a 96th birthday party, Commission Chairman Andy Deloney presented Grzenkowicz with a Tribute of Resolution not just for her accomplishments, but for impact she has had on others.   

In an interview with WATZ in 2015, Grzenkowicz said she was "Not your typical bartender", as she never drank, smoked or accepted tips.

A full obituary can be seen with this story on our news page at WATZ dot com.


Clarise Grzenkowicz, 102, of Alpena passed away Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at Precious Days.

Clarise June Kramer was born on June 2, 1919, to the late Leonard and Mary Kramer. She married Henry V. Cadarette in 1940, he passed away in 1964. She later married Julian Grzenkowicz in 1971, he passed away in 2004. Her history is long and well documented. Her work life stared at age 16 at the Alpena Garment Factory. In her own voice, she tells her story as it is recorded and posted at the Alpena County Library. When she married Henry V., she moved to Maplewood Tavern and she became wife, mother, and started her career in the bar business. Clarise is in the Guinness World Record Books for being the “Longest Career as a Bartender in the World,” named in 2011. She has received honors from state and local authorities and been interviewed about her career and life at Maplewood via newspapers and television.

Clarise is a member of the Alpena Ladies Aux. VFW 2496. She is a longtime member of the Alpena Eagles Aux. 1241 and a member of the Alpena Rebekahs. She held several offices in the Eagles Aux. and the Rebekahs. Clarise is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, the church where she was baptized, confirmed, and married. She had a passion for following music and had a long list of musicians that called her “Mom”. In 2015, she recorded some of her favorite songs with her family. Her embroidery handy work is in the homes of many of her friends and family. She will be missed by so many people that her life touched.

The world at her beloved Maplewood Tavern will never be the same. In her own words, she promised her mother-in-law, Orpha, that she would keep the family business going as long as she was able. She was able to do that until she just couldn’t anymore. Clarise has lived her life as a friend to many and a dutiful person to promises made and promises kept. She was one of a kind.

Surviving are her two children, Henry L. (Penny McGirr), Carole J. Cadarette; stepchildren, Donald (Sophia), Gary (Delynn), Judy Kabacinski, Linda Lyons; ten grandchildren; six great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and special friends, Carol Welker, and Nancy St. Onge. She is preceded in death by stepdaughter, Shirley; sisters, Eloise Cash, Beryl Edgley, Marion Chapman; brothers, Lowell, and Claude.

Visitation will take place Friday at Bannan Funeral Home from 2-8 p.m. A private funeral service will be Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church at 11 a.m. with the Very Rev. William J. McClure, Jr. officiating. (Masks required for all those in attendance) The service will be live streamed at A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, as per her wishes, donations can be made to Sunday Supper at Trinity Episcopal Church or Hospice Compassus.

Interment: Evergreen Cemetery


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