Michael J. Bartell, 72, of Eagle, WI died peacefully on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc.
Mike was born on February 29, 1948 in Milwaukee, WI, the son of James and Joyce (Cee) Bartell. He grew up in Berryland, then veterans housing on the far north side of Milwaukee, and went to Carleton Elementary and Edison Junior High, until the family was able to purchase a small home on a double lot in Greenfield, WI. Mike graduated from Greenfield High School in 1966.
After high school, Mike continued his education at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and later, the Milwaukee School of Engineering. While attending school, he also began serving his Electrical apprenticeship. Mike would eventually become a Master Electrician, and he worked for a number of different companies during his career, including Allis-Chalmers, A.O.Smith, the Miller, Joseph Schlitz, and Pabst Brewing Co.’s, Rexnord, Weasler Engineering, Nordberg, and Bucyrus Int’l. Mike took great pride in his work, and was particularly good at problem solving and troubleshooting. He retired in 2011.
One of Mike’s strengths was his love for learning. Whether it was on the job or in his personal life, he was always interested in learning new things and never stopped increasing his knowledge. He appreciated the concepts and reasoning behind why things worked. And, thinking back to his personal mentors and the difference they had made, he knew he wanted to be one for others. While still working his day job, Mike returned to MATC to teach electrical courses for several years.
Mike’s favorite thing to do for leisure was camp with his family. He enjoyed being up north, especially in the fall, making memories and enjoying nature with those closest to him. From the time he was twelve, Mike’s family tent-camped in Goodman Park and on Marinette county land near Silver Cliff, WI. Over the years, the annual grouse hunt in early fall became an extended family reunion, and the original campsite expanded into “up camp” and “down camp.” Then, in 2000, Mike and his wife purchased the Lindquist cabin on the Peshtigo River, where many more adventures were had.
A member of the Harley Owners Group since 1985, Mike very much loved to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycles (an ’85FLHT Electra Glide and an ’01 FXDXT T-Sport), but he also got a big kick out of riding his Buell sportbike (a ’97 M2 Cyclone). A leap-year baby, Mike only got to celebrate eighteen actual birthdays. When he “turned fifteen,” he bought himself a silver, retro-styled Ford Mustang (an ’09 GT, V-8 manual). The family thought he was well overdue.
But up north, Mike preferred tractor speeds, and loved his old red Massey Ferguson. And if he needed to get around, well, that’s what Ford F-150 pickup trucks were for. Or the Coleman canoe, to paddle to the “secret” fishing hole on the river. Or snowshoes and a sled, to even get to the cabin at times.
Mike was an R&B man from, as far as anyone could tell, shortly after birth, and remained one for his entire life. To his friends’ and family’s delight, he was known to break out singing and dancing when his favorite songs came on. That said, he liked a wide range of musical styles and periods, especially classic country. If you could pick only two all-time favorites, it would be “Gentleman” Jim Reeves and Nat “King” Cole.
Wherever he lived, Mike always had a garden, and he and his wife loved cooking together with the harvest, sharing it with the neighbors, and putting some up so that the winter didn’t seem so long.
Mike was blessed with a loving wife, Susan Healy and two sons, Matthew and Clint. His family will miss him dearly.
He is survived by: his mother, Joyce Bartell of Greenfield, WI; his wife, Susan Healy of Eagle, WI; his two sons, Matthew (Dawn) Bartell of West Bend, WI, and Clint Bartell of Iron Ridge, WI; his siblings, Mark (Cathy) Bartell of Dousman, WI, Mitchell Bartell of Germantown, WI, and Marsha (David) Schuppler of Oconomowoc, WI; his wife’s children, Anjou (Lane) Gerhardt of Nashville, TN, Elaine Healy of Nashville, TN, and Carolyn Healy of Alexandria, VA; three grandchildren, Magen (Peter) Pusateri of West Bend, WI, and Sadie and Jake Gerhardt of Nashville, TN; and three great-grandchildren, Lorelei, Lilah and Logan Pusateri. He is also survived by his extended family of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
He is preceded in death by his father, James Bartell.
Mike’s family will hold a private gathering to honor his life in early fall at his favorite campsite. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial tree in memory of Mike.
Gibson Family Funeral Homes of Eagle & Palmyra, WI is serving the family. To place an online condolence, please visit gibsonfuneral.com.
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