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Michiel John Baeten, 77, died peacefully on Saturday, June 15, 2019, surrounded by his loving family at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, Appleton. He was born April 29, 1942, in New Castle, IN, son of the late Francis “Bart” and Ruth (Kohlbeck) Baeten.
On September 26, 1964, Mike married his wife of 54 years, Maureen Femal. Together, they shared love, laughs and many blessings, including three sons: Timothy (Tracy), Shiocton; Thomas, Appleton; and Mark (Jennifer), Appleton; one daughter: Michelle (Thomas) Burzynski,,Appleton; and 11 grandchildren: Brandon Maas; Kyra, Kendra, Tyler, Tanner, Jordanne and Ashleigh Baeten; and Heather, Brianna, Kayleigh and Morgan Burzynski. He is further survived by many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mike had a tireless work ethic and spent 36 years at Nash Finch Company, f/k/a S. C. Shannon Company, retiring in 2000. He was a proud member of the Teamsters union and a staunch advocate for laborers’ rights. He also served his country in the Army National Guard and was a member of Appleton Alliance Church. While Mike had many loves in his life, none more important than his family, he had a passion for opera music and was thrilled to have been able to visit the Metropolitan Opera House in New York with his wife by his side. He was also gifted with an amazing singing voice and sang with the Appleton MacDowell Male Chorus and as a soloist at hundreds of weddings and other special events locally. Mike also enjoyed watching sports, especially the Indianapolis 500 and Chicago Blackhawks, and rarely missed a Green Bay Packers game, either at Lambeau field or at home with family and friends.
Mike was a gregarious man who loved to entertain – he would commonly break out in song in the midst of a crowd or tell a few jokes to a room full of strangers. If you were fortunate to have met him, his quick wit and humor likely left you with a smile. While Mike’s passing is a profound loss for his family, he will be remembered most for his jovial spirit by all those whose lives he touched. As his final act of kindness, his wishes to be a donor have been honored and ,will help many others.
Visitation will be held at Valley Funeral Home on Thursday June 20, 2019, beginning at 2:00 until 3:45 p.m. with the service to follow at 4:00 p.m. with Rev. Daniel Dainsberg officiating. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.