Michael L. Stella
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 September 15, 1943 in Kenosha,
Wisconsin 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
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, Wisconsin on August 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
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
will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 10:00 AM
to 11:45 AM 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 12:00 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
We will love you forever.
Zacherl Funeral Home is serving the family. www.zacherlfuneralhome.com