Those who had the privilege of knowing Mike Gendich knew he was a man who lived life to the fullest! Known for his generosity and his zeal for adventure, it was not uncommon to find him racing motorcycles, driving boats, or flying hangliders and ultralights. However, after a four year battle with cancer that lead him to several hospitals and ultimately found him at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, Mike went home to be with the Lord on March 5, 2013 in the comfort of his own home. Many doctors said he would not make it that long, and in the year leading up to his death he proved strong and resilient in his battle. He refused to let illness stop him from living, making two trips to his winter home in Florida, and jumping from one adventure to the next in between. True to his nature, on his 72nd birthday, Mike purchased a Harley Davidson motorcycle and put 400 miles on within two months! He also enjoyed several boat rides, and completed his CLP training which enabled him to carry a handgun. Mike loved life and left no bucket list behind!
Michael Gendich III (Mike) was born on August 27, 1940 in Indiana, PA to Mary Ellen and Michael Gendich II and big sister, Judy. Two years later, they welcomed a third child, David, into their family. In 1945, the Gendich’s moved to Detroit to raise their children while Michael II opened a machine shop with his brothers. Their son, Mike attended St. Benedict’s Catholic High School. An avid athlete, he won the State Championship for basketball in 1958 and was Captain of the football team, where he played left guard. Marrying his high school sweetheart, Charlene, in 1961, he soon began raising his own children. In 1968, Mike moved the family from Detroit to Rochester and began his own machining business, Metalmite Corporation, in his basement. After successfully growing and running the business for 43 years, he retired in 2011. Married for 51 years, Michael III is survived by five children [Michael IV (Dawn), Sheila, Joe (Ruthie), Lisa (Jim), and Tom (Ann)], 16 grandchildren [Roland (Kaylee), Anna, Joshua W., Rachel, Joshua G., Sarah, Micah, Taylor, Austin, Sydney, Jordan, Nathan, Megan, Jonathan, Mikayla, and Ethan], and one great grandchild due May 2013.
Mike Gendich is well known around his hometown for always giving back to his community. Not only has he been a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Rochester, MI since he moved there in 1968, he has also been a member of The Rochester Lions Club for that same amount of time. He was frequently seen teaching small crowds of people how to operate a Segway or impressing them with his magic tricks.
Mike was known for embracing life at every turn. He loved God, he loved Charlene and his children, and he loved life! With hands and principles that were as hard as stone, but a heart so giving that everyone who knew him said he was one of a kind! His presence will be missed among us, but our memories of him will be etched in our hearts forever!
Mike Retirement Party
This video was prepared for Mike at his retirement party, September 27, 2011
Mike’s Favorite Poems
A Child’s Faith
Helen Steiner Rice
“Jesus loves me, this I know For the Bible tells me so.” Little children ask no more, For love is all they’re looking for, And in a small child’s shining eyes The Faith of all the ages lies.
And tiny hands and tousled heads That kneel in prayer by little beds Are closer to the dear Lord’s heart And of His kingdom more a part Than we who search, and never find The answer to our questioning mind.
For Faith in things we cannot see Requires a child’s simplicity For, lost in life’s complexities, We drift upon uncharted seas And slowly Faith disintegrates While wealth and power accumulate.
And the more man learns, the less he knows, And the more involved his thinking grows And, in his arrogance and pride, No longer is man satisfied To place his confidence and love With childlike Faith in God above.
Oh, Father grant once more to men A simple childlike Faith again. And, with a small child’s trusting eyes May all men come to realize That Faith alone can save man’s soul And lead him to a Higher Goal.
GIVE LAVISHLY! LIVE ABUNDANTLY!
The more you give, the more you get- The more you laugh, the less you fret- The more you do UNSELFISHLY, The more you live ABUNDANTLY…..
The more of everything you share, The more you’ll always have to spare- The more you love, the more you’ll find That life is good and friends are kind…..
For only WHAT WE GIVE AWAY, ENRICHES US FROM DAY TO DAY…………. Helen Steiner Rice