Michael “Mike” Fatke, 55, passed away on Jan. 2, 2019, with his wife and best friend of over 32 years, Molly (Cichy) by his side. Together they fought a courageous year-long battle in hopes of conquering Mike’s cancer, and also had the support of family, friends, co-workers, colleagues and country club members.
Mike was born in Racine, Wis., on Jan. 9, 1963, to Richard and Loretta Fatke. He graduated from Goodrich High School in 1981, and from University of Wisconsin – Whitewater in 1985.
Mike and Molly met in 1986 in Manistee and together they owned and operated M & M Records on River Street from 1987-1994. Also in spring of 1994 Mike started his career at Manistee Golf & Country Club as the golf course superintendent, which is where he found his true passion in life. Along with his dedicated grounds crew (whom he also considered to be his family), he spent the next 25 years meticulously maintaining and improving the golf course into the beautiful gem on Lake Michigan that it is today. Manistee Golf & Country Club was his “home away from home” and he spent every golf season totally immersed in making the golf course better and better. His love for the golf course and the game of golf was apparent to everyone who knew him. His latest hobby was collecting hickory shafted golf clubs and up until last year, on most evenings he could be found walking the back nine at MG&CC with his vintage golf clubs, trying to perfect golf shots with his “mashies”,”niblicks” and “baffies”.
Mike’s other passion was helping animals, and he and Molly have been involved in animal welfare since 1990. In 2014 they started a nonprofit in memory of their beloved rescue dog Buddy, called “Save A Buddy Fund”, which helps dog owners offset some of the cost of spaying and neutering their dogs and puppies.
Mike was also known for his unique sense of humor and uncontrollable laughter, his humbleness and kindness, and also for his love of nature. He found much joy in the early morning hours at “his” golf course where he would check out the golf course conditions, watch the sunrise, send his wife Molly a “beach” report, hang out with the wildlife and watch an occasional bald eagle soar over the bluff.
Mike is survived by his wife, Molly; his parents, Richard and Loretta; brothers, Dave (Diane) Fatke and Dan (Char) Fatke; sister-in-law, Tina Fatke; nephews, Collin (Mallory), Eric, Jacob, Jordan and Taylor Fatke; grand-nephew, Elias Fatke and grand-niece, Amalie Fatke; aunts, uncles and cousins; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Mike & Nancy Cichy, Matt and Teri Cichy; brothers-in-law, Neil Cichy and Tom Cichy; and sister-in-law, Patty Cichy; and niece, Ashley O’Brien (Josh Bartholomew).
Mike’s beloved younger brother, Rick preceded him in death in 2017. His father and mother-in-law, Neil and Kathryn Cichy also preceded him in death. Also passing before Mike were his four-legged friends, Kelly and Buddy, of whom he thought the world.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Mike’s name to the “Save A Buddy Fund,” P.O. Box 871, Manistee, MI 49660 or the “Mike Fatke Memorial Fund” in care of Manistee Golf & Country Club, P.O. Box 487, Manistee MI 49660.
There are no services planned at this time.
Please visit Mike’s personal page at www.oakgrovefh.com to share a photo or memory with the family.
Arrangements are by Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Manistee.