Former clerk remembered as a ‘pillar in politics’

Carmella Sabaugh, who held the post of Macomb County clerk for six terms after serving as Warren City clerk and a member of  the Warren City Council, died June 8 at her home at the age of 85.

“As we remember Carmella, we celebrate a matriarch who was a positive force of faith and love in all of our lives,” read a statement from the family that was posted by the Macomb County Bar Association. “In her memory, may we all bring more of that Carmella energy into our relationships and communities.”

Sabaugh was born in Detroit in 1938 and was orphaned with her sisters in her early childhood. She married Richard Sabaugh in 1960 and moved to Warren where she became a mother to five children who survive her: Rick, Mike, Renee, Jeanine and Matthew, who is currently a judge on the Macomb County Circuit Court bench.

“Family was the cornerstone of our mother's world,” the statement continued. “She deeply cherished her children, grandchildren, sisters, in-laws, nieces, and nephews. Her love for her family was boundless, and she took immense pride in their achievements and supported their aspirations.”

Relatives said Sabaugh also dedicated herself to a distinguished political career, impacting many from her early days serving on the Warren City Council and as city clerk to her many years as county clerk.

“She was a pillar in politics, yet her commitment extended beyond her title as she genuinely served the public,” the family said. “Her readiness to assist constituents, whether it involved urgent requests for essential documents over weekends or guidance, underscored her dedication.”

Relatives also recalled that Sabaugh campaigns “were a family affair, we were all part of it, including bingo nights that brought in funds and fun; assembling and distributing literature in neighborhoods (the prized State of Michigan map or a “Sabaugh” ruler), putting up campaign signs, and working election day polls.”

Sabaugh was known treating workers at the county clerk’s office as extended family.

“She was a mentor and cheerleader, encouraging personal and professional growth among her team,” the family recollection said. “Her leadership not only earned numerous national awards for service excellence but also fostered a collaborative and supportive environment.

In addition to her children, her family included 13 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, sister Pauline Peterson and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made in Sabaugh’s honor to the Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester,

Family members will receive friends on Sunday June 23 from 3-8 p.m. at Wujek-Calcaterra, 36900 Schoenherr Rd., in Sterling Heights.

A Memorial Mass will be held Monday June 24 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, 1400 Inglewood Ave., in Rochester.

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