Remembering Dad

Mike was a man of consistency. He worked at his first job out of college at the newspaper for almost 50 years until he retired in 2007. While he kept the same job, everything changed around him: the newspaper went from being the Minneapolis Daily Star and the Minneapolis Tribune, to the Star and Tribune before finally becoming the Star Tribune. He started when the paper was still typeset by hand and worked through the computerization of the print industry, including being instrumental in bringing Macintosh computers into the design process in the mid-1980s.

He lived in the same house in New Brighton since shortly after he got married, and attended the same church, St. John the Baptist for that whole time as well. He found what he liked and stuck with it. This is a recipe for cultivating lifelong friendships with neighbors and members of the church community. Over the years, neighbors moved, the church staff changed, but Mike was a cornerstone of the community, always willing to say “hi”, or to tell you a story about years past.

He was also involved with the Minneapolis music scene. He was involved with a number of local rock bands through his Metrobeat record label in the 1960s, not the least of which was The Trashmen. Later, returning to his love of country music, he worked with Marilyn Sellars to release her hit “One Day at a Time” in the 1970s. Not only did he love the music, he applied his design skills on everything from album covers to flyers for local performances.

Many years later, his archival of recordings of various performances of these bands led to working with Sundazed Music on several projects to release new albums, some with music that had never previously been released. Even though music was a business, it brought Mike many long-lasting friendships across the country.

When his wife, Andrea, passed away, it was hard on Mike, but he stepped up and made an effort to see his grandkids at every opportunity, whether it was their First Communion, playing at Orchestra Hall or just going to Red Robin after church for a burger. He sent out birthday cards and Christmas cards, things that Andrea always had previously, exclusively done, when I asked him about it, he said “I just think ‘What would Andrea do?’”.

His 4 kids, spouses and 12 grandchildren have a lot of work ahead to fill papa’s shoes–to bring such kindness, faithfulness and love to the world.