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Michael Deane Pokela came into our lives on September 4, 1980 and left us to join God and his Grandparents on September 2, 2006. He was a young man with many interests and passions. He attended Central Elementary, Mather Middle, and Munising High School, graduating with the class of 1999. Michael played middle school basketball, was a Boy Scout, played high school golf and football, was an avid reader, loved philosophy, and could speak with anyone on any topic. He loved brook trout fishing (like his Grandpa Gene), camping, playing pool, and cards especially Magic cards which he and his friends played for hours. Michael had a love of music and never went far without his CDs. He became interested in martial arts at a young age and he enjoyed all of the Bruce Lee movies.
Michael purchased a large collection of old comic books that he had treasured and would someday give to his children, but now will go to his nephew, Garrison. The English language and its proper use were important to Michael. His friends would laughingly say how he would correct them when they used double negatives. Michael attended Bay de Noc College for a short time and then went to Bartending School in Lower Michigan. He enjoyed tending bar and conversing with people from all walks of life. Michael knew no class or race of people he liked everyone. He also enjoyed construction work. Michael worked with Riley Construction on many projects and Johnson construction on pole buildings, and as of late, he had been working with his father and Mark Essenberg. Michael is survived by his parents Ruth Ann and Deane Pokela of Munising; sister and brother-in-law Tammy Pokela and Jeff Hutting; nephew Garrison Pokela-Hutting; grandparents Marion and Urho Pokela of Traunik; aunts and uncles Marty Beth and Gene Richard of Foster City, MI, Mary and Phyllis Pokela of Traunik, Jill and Jack Korhonen of Cooks Lake; and Tim Pokela of Casper, WY; and cousins Kelly, Tara, Erin, Renee, Neil, Brenda, Leo, Kristine, Julie, and Paul. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Gene and Tillie Vinskoski. Michael had many close friends and will be missed by them and his family. A special good-bye goes out to his lifelong childhood friend, Anthony Grey in Iraq.
Friends may call at the Bowerman Funeral Home on Thursday evening from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. Father Chris Gardiner will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, September 8, 2006 at 12:00 noon at Sacred Heart Church in Munising. Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising. Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers will be: Joel Cearley, Jake Johnson, Brian Wachter, Ben Perry, Kyle Cadwell, Trevor Case, Melissa Dwight, Jeff Hutting, Neil Pokela, Tony Grey, and Ryan Vining.
Michael's love of reading was shared with so many people. He had books loaned out to family and friends across the country. For those of you that have a book of his, Ruth Ann, Deane, and Tammy would like to have you either keep his book in memory of Michael, or pass on his love of reading to someone else in his memory.
Because of Mike's love of reading, memorials in memory of Michael are going to be applied to a future library project in his memory.
Submitted by Char Livermore