Gage, Michael B.
Michael B. Gage, 75, a Green Bay native and third generation member of his family to serve as publisher of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, died unexpectedly Sunday of complications of a heart attack.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, the former Patricia Jones; two sons, Matthew and his wife, Karen, and their children, Emily, Madeline, Grace and Kayla; and Jesse and his wife, Julie, and Jesse's children, Alexander and Mia, and sisters, Susan (Florian) Van Dyke of Palm Springs, Cal., and Elizabeth (Gary) Hill of Green Bay, and several nieces and nephews.
Mike was a people person, deeply interested in the metropolitan community and well aware that its success was based on capable, dedicated leadership. For years he was a member of the "Round Table", an informal daily gathering of Brown County's business, and government leaders in the former cafeteria of the downtown YMCA. He often said the gatherings provided seed for many a story
for the newspaper staff. He also had a series of "daily rounds" made regularly with business operators and employees. Gage also was an avid YMCA racquetball player.
His retirement from the newspaper in 1992 ended 77 years of family leadership of the Press-Gazette, dating to its founding in 1915 by his grandfather, Andrew B. Turnbull. Daniel Beisel, Gage's uncle, was the second publisher and was succeeded by Gage. He was extremely proud of his family's newspaper tradition and the hundreds of people it took to produce the paper throughout the years.
Michael was a 1955 graduate of Green Bay East High School and spent two years at the University of Wisconsin
-Madison before enlisting in the U.S. Army
. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant in the artillery and his tour included service in Germany. After his honorable discharge he joined the newspaper's classified advertising department and 10 years later moved into the promotions department. He was promoted to personnel manager in 1971.
He was named the newspaper corporation's vice president and general manager in 1980 and several years later assisted in its sale to
Gannett Co. Inc. He was named publisher when the sale was finalized. In 1981 he served as a Gannett Regional Vice President until 1988.
The newspaper's role in founding and nurturing the Green Bay Packers is legend and Michael continued the affiliation. He was an emeritus director of the corporation board and just the second president of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. He succeeded founding president WIlliam Brault and held that post until his death. Gage was the largest private shareholder in the football corporation and among those most responsible for the success of the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Michael was a boating enthusiast, capturing his share of sailing trophies on the waters of
Green Bay before switching to motorized yachting. He was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, Egg Harbor Yacht Club, Oneida Golf and Country Club and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church,
Michael held board positions with M&I Bank Corporation, Heritage Hill State Park, the National Railroad Museum and Junior Achievement. He was an amateur automotive mechanic and prided himself on his ability to tackle almost any sort of "fix it" challenge.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Ward Gage and Janet Turnbull Schneiderman; brothers David W. Gage and Henry Schneiderman; infant grandson, Andrew John Gage and in-laws, Patrick and Kathleen Jones.
Friends may call at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 305 North Tenth Street, De Pere, from 4 to 7 p.m, Thursday. Visitation will continue at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, corner of Suburban Drive and Lourdes Avenue, on Friday from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by the Rev. Tim Shillcox, O. Praem. Please visit www.ryanfh.com
to express a message of condolence to the Gage family.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Paul's Pantry of Green Bay, through the Michael B. Gage Memorial Fund.