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Michael Stella

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Michael L. Stella

1943 - 2016

Michael L. Stella, 72, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, passed away Friday, February 5, 2016 surrounded by his loving family, after a short but courageous battle with cancer.

He was born Sept. 15, 1943, in Kenosha, Wis., and was the son of the late Michael and Louise (Morrone) Stella. He was the youngest of seven children, and part of a close knit Italian immigrant family.

Mike attended the University of Wisconsin - Stout where he earned his bachelor's degree in Industrial Education. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Cheryl (Peterson). They were married at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Menomonie, Wis., on Aug. 21, 1965.

Upon graduation, they moved to North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin where he began his career as an industrial arts teacher at Horace Mann High School. He was a passionate high school football coach, starting as an assistant under his good friend Neil Kohn and eventually becoming the head coach. In addition, he was a Track and Field coach and started the Power Lifting program. Mike was a volunteer EMT and firefighter for 12 years for the Village of North Fond du Lac.

After 17 years as an educator and coach, Mike made a career change and became a Senior Marketing Representative at Federated Insurance. He held this position for 24 years. After retiring, he worked for McClone Insurance Agency for another 3 years before hitting the golf course.

Mike was proud of his many accomplishments, including completing two marathons. But his greatest pride and joy were his two children and his four grandchildren. He was extremely supportive of his children never missing a single event. He adored his grandchildren. He would drop anything to spend time with them, whether it be golfing with Colin, sledding, flying down the Slip & Slide, and "pig pile on Grandpa."

He is survived by his loving wife Cheryl of 50 years; two children, Dr. Amy Stella (Chad) Gabert and Christopher (Quynh) Stella; four grandchildren, Colin and Gianna Gabert, Morgan and Clayton Stella; one sister, Carolyn (Frank) Gagliardi; mother-in-law Lorraine Peterson; one sister-in-law, Joann Stella; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers Albert, Martin, Serafino, Louis, and Alfred; two sisters-in-law, Jan Stella and Rosemary Stella; nephews, Frank "Skip" Stella and Lewis "Butch" Stella. He is further preceded in death by father-in-law Morris Peterson and one brother-in-law, Lance Peterson.

Visitation: Family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at Holy Family Church, 271 4th Street Way in Fond du Lac.

Services: A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday following the visitation at Noon. Cremation has taken place.

In lieu of flowers, Mike would appreciate donations to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in his honor.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the 5th floor staff at St. Agnes Hospital, especially nurses Stormy and Hanna. In addition, we thank Dr. Jones and Dr. Liss at the Agnesian Cancer Center for their expert care and his favorite chemotherapy nurse Kelly. We would also like to thank the Hospice Home of Hope for their compassionate care during Mike's final days.

"We will love you forever."

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