Michael Stremel was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He passed from this world to his Heavenly rest on May 25, 2023 after a valiant battle with Lewy Body dementia.

Michael was born in Dodge City, Kansas on October 19, 1947 to WJ and Laura Stremel, the 4th of 5 children. His childhood in Dodge City and work at WJ’s car dealership sparked a lifelong love of cowboys and cars that were well known to anyone who knew him. He was never happier than when he saw a Packard out on the road, and he could tell you all the details of the cars he loved. In later years, he was happy to share cowboy movies with his grandchildren, and always had an open lap for a little one to watch a big race.

Michael attended college at St. Mary of the Plains, where he studied theater and loved performing in musicals. While there, he met a California girl named Sue, and on July 18, 1970, they were married in Whittier, California. After graduating from Emporia State University, they moved to Golden, Colorado. Despite a degree in Education, it became clear that Michael’s calling was sales, working first for Coors and later AT&T while moving his growing family around the country for new adventures. Ryan was born in 1974 in Colorado, Jason in 1977 in Idaho, and Brent in 1979 in Washington. They also lived in New Jersey, Michigan, and eventually Austin, Texas, where Michael sold new houses for various builders for much of the 21 years they lived there. In each new place they quickly became involved in the community, and active in their parish. In Midland, Michigan, Michael once again became involved in local theater productions. In Austin, he started competing in cowboy action shooting competitions. Wherever they went, Michael found a way to dive in; there has never been a better example of someone who “never met a stranger.” Anyone who knew him had a story of Michael striking up an extended conversation with someone he had never met, sharing stories, and usually a good laugh. Michael made friends everywhere he went.

Perhaps that love of meeting and talking to people is what made the effects of Lewy Body dementia seem extra cruel. Losing words, comprehension, and the ability to connect with others was a huge loss for Michael. Through it all, Sue was his rock. When everything felt confusing and challenging, she was his calm, and he found such peace in just being near her. Michael was a lifelong reader, and a movie buff, but when it became too hard to enjoy those activities, he found such pleasure in watching his grandchildren and remained patient with them through the end.

Michael is survived by Susan, his wife of 52 years, three sons, Ryan (Erin), Jason (Amanda), Brent (Amanda), and eight grandchildren: Simon, Phillip, Shelby, Matthew, Harper, Savannah, Amelia, and Lillian. He is also survived by his siblings, nephews and nieces, and countless friends. He will be dearly missed, but he is now at peace.

Services were held in Colorado Springs on June 12th.  Please consider making a donation to the Lewy Body Dementia Association:   LBDA.org

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