DALLAS, TX. - Michael's life journey came to an end on August 2, 2012 in Dallas, Texas surrounded by his loving family. After a long and courageous battle with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Michael passed due to complications of the disease. He fought with humor and dignity.
Michael was born on March 27, 1965 in Santa Barbara, California, son of Peter Kaufman from Marquette, MI and Judy (Kaufman) Gillen from Montecito, CA.
He attended Laguna Blanca School and graduated from Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, CA.
Michael loved spending time in Marquette and as a young boy enjoyed every summer at camp on Lake Kawbawgam, swimming, boating, waterskiing, blueberry picking and riding on his ATV. In many ways, he considered this area his heritage and his home.
He worked for Essex Electronics, Inc. in Carpinteria, CA before moving to Colorado to begin his career in Hotel Management. Starting at the Sheridan Hotel in Denver, he continued on to the Biltmore Hotel in Montecito, CA, then to The Silvertree Resort in Snowmass, CO. His final and favorite position was at The Grand Wailea on Maui, Hawaii, where he achieved the executive title of Rooms Division Manager.
He served as a rotating board member on the Louis G. Kaufman Endowment Fund, which benefits children's programs, and in spite of his health, it was one of the joys of his life.
Michael was truly a gentleman, kind and very brave. His two boys were the love of his life and he was always there for them. He touched many people in his short life and they will all miss him dearly. Michael's light hearted, laid back manner, great sense of humor, laughter and playfulness will always be remembered.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his two young sons, Samuel and Michael, his sister Wendy, her daughter Ashlyn, his brother Garrett and his children Daisy and Nathan.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 11:00am at the Kaufman Mausoleum in Park Cemetery, Marquette, MI with Reverend Nicholas Cammarata of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. A reception immediately following the service will be held at Point Loma, the home of Peter and Audrey Kaufman.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Louis G. Kaufman Endowment Fund, c/o Trust Department of Wells Fargo Bank, 101 W. Washington St., Marquette, MI 49855 to benefit area children or to the Marquette Area Public Schools, c/o Sara Cambensy, 1201 West Fair Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855 for a bench at Graveraet School Courtyard in Michael's memory.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at www.canalefuneral.com.