Michael Wilber

Michael J. Wilber of Gaylord, Michigan, passed away on Friday, February 8, 2019 at the age of 67.  He fought a brave three month battle with pancreatic cancer with the support of his family and friends.  Like with everything in his life, Mike approached his illness with strength and realism, but also with sadness not to have more time with his family. He inspired us with his feistiness as we watched him face his final challenge.

“Mike” was born on October 6, 1951, in Gaylord, Michigan, to parents Ronald and Donna Wilber who proceeded him in death.

The son of a mechanic, Mike grew up tinkering with motors and acquired many skills that would carry him throughout life. Mike dearly loved snow skiing and surrounded himself with friends who shared his lifelong passion.  He was admired for the encouragement and support he gave when teaching others to ski. Everyone who skied with Mike learned something valuable from him that improved their technique.

Mike challenged himself both physically and intellectually, and enjoyed reading and staying up on current events. He was well-informed and loved to talk politics. He loved music and attending music festivals in his motor home camper.

After graduating from Gaylord High School, Mike attended Ferris State University and earned a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Mike pursued a career in sales in the oil and gas industry, and retired in June of 2015.

Mike is survived by his loving daughters Heidi Bastien (Jorden) and Laura Wilber. He will be especially missed by his grandchildren Sophia, Chloe, and Gavin Bastien.   He is also survived by his dear friend Nancy Madagame and her children Nicole, Hanna and Forest. Their great care and devotion carried Mike through his final days.  He will also be greatly missed by his brother Bob Wilber (Patti Evon) and his sisters Nancy Gribi (Roger) and Becky Gronberg (Dan). He was special to his nieces and nephews and their families.

Even though his life was cut short, Mike lived to the fullest. He was truly a one of a kind guy, and with his wisdom and great humor he wove himself into the lives of his friends and family in a lasting way.

According to his wishes, Michael was cremated. A celebration of his life will be held at Nelson Funeral Home in Gaylord, MI on March 2, at 11:00 am with a visitation beginning at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being set up to benefit ski education programs.

27 Comments

  1. Jerry M Thompson February 9, 2019 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Bob, Nancy, and Becky. I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I have fond memories of Mike.

    Regards, Jerry Thompson

  2. Vic & Connie Ouellette February 9, 2019 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear. Mike was good neighbor and friend. Sorry for your loss. He Will be in our prayers.

  3. Maryda Mead February 10, 2019 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Becky, Nancy and Bob. Lyle and I send you our condolences. So sorry for your loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers through these very hard days. May God wrap his arms around you at this time. Love, Lyle and Maryda.

  4. Bruce Moulton February 10, 2019 at 11:59 am - Reply

    R I P Mike. He was one of my best friends through school and life and will be sorely missed. Spent many fun times with him. He was always there if u needed a friend. Wilber family, so very sorry for the loss of your beloved brother. R I P Micheal Wilber, you and your family will be in my thoughts forever.

  5. Jodi Maxon February 10, 2019 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    To all of Mike’s family, and his dearest friend Nancy, At this most difficult time, may it help comfort you, knowing others care deeply for your loss. I will miss Mike’s sweet smile, and warm hug, every time our paths crossed!

  6. Shirley Richter February 11, 2019 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Wilber family
    So sorry for your loss. May your memories bring you comfort. Sending prayers and hugs💖

  7. Bonny Downing February 11, 2019 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Bob, Nancy, and Becky, my condolences. I’m so very sorry for your the loss.

  8. Jim Lappan February 11, 2019 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Saddened with the news of Mike’s passing. It’s amazing in a small town, how many people we get to know, enjoy their company, chat now and then, solve a few problems of the world and move on with our life’s. Friendships, sometimes are hard to replace. Until we meet again my friend – God Bless.

  9. Bill Fahl February 11, 2019 at 11:00 am - Reply

    All the Wilber family,

    Very sorry for the loss of Mike. He was a great friend and a super sailing buddy. We had lots of fun trips sailing Lake Michigan.
    Joyce and I remember the fun times at the cabin at Hog Island with all of you. We know Mike loved to go there and enjoy the outdoors.
    Rest In peace Mike.

    Bill & Joyce Fahl

  10. Mike Flinn February 11, 2019 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Bobby, Becky and Nancy, Although it’s been many years since I last saw Mike, I remember him well; as one of his high school teachers, and am truly saddened to hear of his passing. Mike and his brother and sisters are what made my job a lot easier. Donna and Ron raised a great family. My sympathies to the Wilber family.

  11. Mike Flinn February 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Bobby, Becky, and Nancy- I am saddened to hear of Mike passing. My condolences to you.

  12. Steve(Performance Plus Quick Lube) February 12, 2019 at 11:16 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. He was a great guy to work with and really helped me along the way.
    R.I.P Mike. We will miss you around here.

  13. Major Brands Oil February 14, 2019 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    We are saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. We really enjoyed working with him. His family and friends will be in our prayers – Warm condolences, Friends from Major Brands Oil Company

  14. Vince LaRosa February 15, 2019 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Becky, Bob and Nancy.

    I was saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Growing up he was one of my favorite front door neighbors.

    Vince

  15. BW Werts February 15, 2019 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Michael J. Wilber, I love you. Is there more to say?
    May God bless.

  16. Bobbie Stevens February 15, 2019 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    My years with Mike, on the hill teaching skiing at Otsego Ski Club, enjoying watching our girls grow and succeed, were so special. Early morning clinics with Hugo! Our “digs” at “the club” during ski season were across the hall from one another. Those times were epic. They had the microwave and we had the TV so the girls were always in one place or the other when not on the hill. Mike used to take great pleasure in scaring the @#$% out of me by blasting out of the door to their room when he heard me in the hall (the “makeshift” fridge for snacks, etc.). The many hours standing on the hill, gate keeping, in the start shack, watching our girls race. . . So many fun, funny and joyous memories we had with the Wilbers! RIP, Mike. Hugs and love to Laura and Heidi!!!!!

  17. Brenda Snapp February 15, 2019 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers to all of you.

  18. Mark Werts February 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I have fond memories of Mike as a friend, classmate and neighbor. He will be missed.

  19. Egan mcGlynn February 15, 2019 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    God bless Mike Wilber, never had a bad day with him. His smile was infectious, I’ll miss him but will never forget him. Carve diem Mike. Xoxo

  20. Diana Peffers February 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Becky, Nancy, Bob I am so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I know how difficult it is to lose a brother. You have been in my prayers since I heard the news.

  21. Barbara Walker February 16, 2019 at 3:39 am - Reply

    So sad to hear of Mike’s illness and sudden passing. He and your family are in my prayers.

  22. Edward Crawley February 16, 2019 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Always a smile and a kind word, rest in gods arms Mike.

  23. EdwardCrawley February 16, 2019 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Always a smile and a kind word…rest in gods arms!

  24. Tom Tuck February 16, 2019 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear this news, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  25. Mary Yager February 16, 2019 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    So sorry for your loss. What a great person and always a smile on his face.

  26. Keith and Karen Pollock February 16, 2019 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Wilber family, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of Mike. His teaching, skiing ability and zest for life was truly an inspiration to me and the envy of many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very difficult time. Take comfort in knowing that Mike’s memories will live in the hearts of all that he touched, during his lifetime.

  27. Bill Forreider February 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Loved skiing with Mike. He was the catalyst that got me back into the sport and also assisted with bringing my children into the fold. We also shared a love for water fowl hunting, even though we never got to go together- the conversations were always as if we hunted together often.

    Mike will be missed, but always remembered for the great things that so many of us were blessed to be part of. My condolences to the family.

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2019-02-16T10:35:05+00:00