passed away on Friday at the age of 79. He was without a doubt one of the most diligent and hardworking men I have ever met.
I first met Mike in 1987 or so, when Molly brought me out to her parents house to meet them. for the first time We had been going out for awhile and it was time to meet the folks, so we piled into her K car and headed from Madison, WI to Delavan, MN, arriving late at night, after everyone else had gone to bed. There was a note on the counter instructing Molly to "put me in the basement" (it turns out there was a guest bed down there).
We got to know each other during that visit, which included a trip to the local watering hole with Molly, playing "500" and on an errand (that I think was fabricated) that he and I did to go pick up a computer that was being repaired in Wells, MN. That side trip started with the now famous words, "The roosters need to get out of the hen house". We stopped to admire the new Wells waster water treatment facility on the way back. It was actually a lot of fun.
I was lucky enough to marry into the family in April, 1990. He and his brothers ran the Willette Seed Farm for many years, taking over from their father. The farm was a very impressive operation, and was the source of many funny stories and fond memories (The Big Stuck is a favorite). Too many stories and memories to even begin to try and capture in this post.
He was great, he was a role model in many ways, and we are all going to miss him very much!