Michael J. Braet, age 59, of Griffith, IN passed away on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022, at Community Hospital, Munster, IN with his loving wife, Edie at his side.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 3:00 PM at LaHayne Funeral Home located at 6955 Southeastern Avenue, Hammond, IN with Fr. Alphonse Skerl officiating. Friends are invited to visit with the family following the service until 7:00 PM.
An additional Celebration of Life Visitation will take place in the Quad-Cities on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at St. Anne Catholic Church located at 555 18th Avenue, East Moline, IL 61244 from 1:00-3:00 PM
Michael J. Braet was born October 9th, 1963, the son of Jerome and Joan (Crossman) Braet. He married Edith Baker on October 14th, 1995, at St. Anne Church, East Moline, IL. He was a 1981 graduate from Alleman Catholic High School, Rock Island, IL. He worked at IBP in Joslin, IL for several years until he moved to Hammond, IN in 1990. Mike then became a self-employed real estate owner and was also a part owner of several self-storage facilities in Indiana, working alongside his uncle and cousins (the Conways) in the family business.
Mike had many interests and hobbies including fishing, bowling, taking walks, boating/water-sports at Lake Freeman, IN where he and Edie have owned a cabin for many years, the Minnesota Vikings “Skooool,” traveling with family on snowmobile trips up North, fishing at the boundary waters, and vacationing in Jamaica. One of his most loved pastimes were his trips with Edie to spend time with their dear friends, Todd and Nancy Johnson, at Evergreen Lodge on Woman Lake, MN. He grew up with and loved his close friend, Dion Slinninger, his “brother from another mother.” Mike cherished the years spent with cousins and best friends, Joe and Jim Conway, his partners in business (and in crime). Mike was a family man first!! For him, the many trips, hobbies, and projects weren’t about the locations, activities, and jobs accomplished as much as they were about his love of enjoying the time spent with family and friends.
He was the jokester of the family, constantly teasing and antagonizing, while devilishly snickering along the way. Mike always had everyone around him laughing until they’d cry. He was the life of any party or gathering with a smile and an ornery twinkle in his eye. He never ended a visit without a big hug and an “I love you.” Mike was a devoted, sensitive, loving man who’d give you the shirt off his back. He never knew a stranger; everyone he encountered was just another friend he had not yet met.
His family and friends have always said that Mike had nine lives. Born with pneumonia, it reoccurred many times during his lifetime. He battled with prostate cancer, lymphoma, C. diff, and a bad fall from a two-story roof a few years ago but always showed his strength, resilience, and zest for life as he rallied back to health.
Survivors include the love of his life, his wife of 27 years, Edie; step-daughter, Desiree Baker, Griffith, IN; step-grandsons, Lucas Baker and TJ, Daniel, and Andy Strisko; step-great grandson, Dakota; mother, Joan Braet, East Moline, IL; Deb (Ryan) Erickson, Moline; Don (Teresa), East Moline; Andrew (Jackie), Moline; and Wendy (Anthony) Kerker, East Moline; and several nieces and nephews.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Jerome A. Braet; sister, Diana (Leo) Yerington; and step-daughter, Alicia Strisko. Certainly, Mike would want us to pass on a heartfelt and sincere Thank You to his cancer doctor, Dr. Keralavarma and all the wonderful nurses and staff at Cancer Care Consultants PC, Highland, IN. Since 2007, the doctor and staff have worked tirelessly with Mike in his battles with cancer, which through the grace of God, he miraculously overcame.
At the request of the family, memorial donations may be made in Mike's name to The Society of St. Vincent DePaul at The Society of ST. Vincent De Paul | The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (stvincentdepaul.net)
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The Society of St. Vincent DePaul