Michael W. Klee was born on December 24, 1950, in Joliet, IL, to Raymond and Ramona Klee. He spent his early childhood in Lemont, IL, before moving to Lisle, IL.
He graduated from Benet Academy where he excelled in athletics, especially football, earning the Chicago Tribune’s Golden Helmet award and was recruited by many Big Ten schools. After much consideration, he decided to attend Albion College in Michigan where he could not only play football, but also enjoy other sports and get an excellent education, graduating in 1972. He lettered in football, wrestling, track and golf and was inducted into Albion’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Albion College is also where he met Phyllis Wood on a blind date. They were married in Glen Ellyn, IL, after graduation in1972. 51 years later, Phyllis is still the love of his life. Michael made countless friends and built relationships for life.
He had a long career in sales in the packaging industry but knew he always wanted to have his own recruiting business, Global Recruiters of Appleton. He loved helping people advance their careers and helping clients find the people they needed.
Above all else, family was most important to Michael. He and Phyllis moved to Appleton in 1975 and were blessed with two amazing daughters, Joanna and Andrea. Spending time on the golf course with his “girls” was his greatest joy, often saying, “God wants us to play golf today.”
Mike worked hard and played hard. He had an infectious laugh, bright smile, and ever-flowing joy for life. Anyone around him could feel his warmth and good nature. He was a Hall of Fame husband, dad, grandpa and friend.
Mike had a special bond with his younger brother, John. John is someone he could be mischievous with, competitive with, trust completely and love unconditionally.
Mike was destined to be an amazing Grandpa. Whether it was playing the Rolling Stones to lull Kirsten to sleep or cheering her on in softball, basketball, golf and school, Papa and Kirsten had a special bond.
It was a blessing for Kirsten to grow up under his coaching, love and kindness of her “Papa.” And Mike fulfilled his dream of coaching boys with his grandsons Matthew, Zachary and Ryan. “Bubba Mike” was always their biggest cheerleader and super fan, full of positive words of encouragement and big dreams.
Until we meet again, he is survived by his wife, Phyllis, daughter Joanna Klee (Andrew Meurer), granddaughters Kirsten Rae Klee, Maddy Meurer and Abby Meurer of Greenville, SC; daughter Andrea Daly (Christopher) and grandsons Matthew, Zachary and Ryan of Chanhassen, MN; brother John Klee (Pam) of Port Aransas, TX; brothers-in-law Steve Wood, Cedar Edge, CO; Jeff Wood, Traverse City, MI; Gary Wood (Barb), Milwaukee, WI; Wayne Wood (Kim) DePere, WI; and sister-in-law Janette Sherer (J.L.) of Georgetown, TX; nephew Paul Klee (Jane) of Highland Ranch, CO, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation for Michael will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Wichmann Funeral Home (537 N. Superior St., Appleton, WI 54911) and then on Thursday October 26, 2023, from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at Faith Lutheran Church (601 East Glendale Ave., Appleton, WI 54911) with the Funeral Service to begin at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, Michael would appreciate a gift in his honor for two of his favorite organizations:
Faith Lutheran Church Music Ministry (he was so proud to hear his beloved Phyllis sing).
Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation