Michael G. Wilhelm|
January 19, 1943 - April 22, 2014
Resident of Lafayette
Michael passed away on Tuesday, April 22, after a short but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the only child of George Wilhelm and Therese (Burke) Wilhelm, he is survived by his wife of 33 years, Maureen, daughters Heidi, Brenda (John Nizalowski) and Shannon (Trent Iden), and two grandchildren, Eric and Justine Mattson; he was preceded in death by his infant son, Michael Ryan. Michael began his business career with IBM in Milwaukee after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He spent 16 years with IBM in various cities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and New York. But he left his heart in San Francisco and finally did come back after accepting a position with Cray Research. He lived in Sausalito with Maureen for 8 years and for the past 28 years they have resided in Lafayette.
Mike worked hard! He began his career as a salesperson with IBM, held various positions in management and ended it as a Vice President and General Manager with Cray Research. He always knew life was not all work and planned to retire at age 40---missed, but did achieve that goal at age 50!
Mike played hard! He believed that "life is not measured in the amount of breaths you take; it's the moments that take your breath away". He traveled extensively with his family and friends, both within the United States and internationally, played competitive tennis, skied most of the mountains in California and Colorado, hunted pheasants in South Dakota, climbed mountains in Colorado and California, Wyoming and Peru, fished wild salmon in Canada, rode his motorcycle throughout Northern California, sailed extensively in the San Francisco Bay, Canada, Caribbean and Tahiti and he was an avid golfer, hoping one day to golf his age---almost made it!
Mike loved hard! He was a very generous and giving man, full of integrity and honesty and enjoyed spending time with both family and friends. He always had time to tell or listen to a story or quick joke (of which he had many), provide advice when asked (sometimes when not), loved to laugh and had a great smile. He coached girls' softball, basketball, soccer and boys' tennis, and financially supported causes near and dear to his heart. People will remember his infectious smile, his energy, his quick laugh and his exceptional-to-a-fault positive attitude. There will never be another man like him!
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life to be held at the Veteran's Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, in Lafayette on Saturday, May 24, at 11:30AM followed by a buffet luncheon. Please consider supporting the research needed to help better diagnose this disease by making a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at www.pancan.org.
Published in Contra Costa Times on May 9, 2014