Michael T. VerKuilen, 55, crossed to new shores on Saturday, August 1, 2020, at his home in Germantown Hills, IL. He fought a courageous war against bile duct cancer for almost three years.
Mike leaves behind his wife of 30 years, Libby (Hubeny) VerKuilen; daughters Katie and Tracie; his mother Shirley M. VerKuilen of Appleton, WI; sister Vicki (Bill) Gooding of Appleton; and three brothers: Dan (Virginia) VerKuilen of Milton, FL; Steve (Michelle) VerKuilen of Pleasanton, CA; and Rich (Patti) VerKuilen of Kenosha, WI. Mike was reunited in Heaven with his dad DuWayne L. VerKuilen and niece Danielle Pleshek.
Mike could make friends with a brick wall and make anyone laugh (What’s brown and sticky? A stick). An avid reader and movie buff, he absorbed everything fantasy and sci-fi, with Tolkien, Star Wars, and Marvel being his favorites. He was known for his Christmas letters, euchre skills, brandy Old Fashioneds, and being a Green Bay Packers enthusiast.
Mike was a graduate of UW-Platteville, working as an engineer first at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, MO, and League City, TX, then 25 years at Caterpillar in Joliet, IL, Kobe, Japan, and finally in Peoria, IL. He was a Board Member for several years at First Federated Church in Peoria, IL, making one mission trip to Africa. Mike was also a board member and active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Peoria.
Cremation rites have been accorded. Visitation will be held from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Friday, August 14, 2020, at the Life Together Center at First Federated Church, 3625 North Sheridan Road, Peoria. A limited-attendance Memorial Service will follow. Social distancing guidelines will be observed at both the visitation and the service. Services in Appleton, WI will be held on a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made toward Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area, 931 North Douglas Street, Peoria, IL 61606 (https://habitatpeoria.org/donate) or the Boys Home in Wanawamola, Mombasa, Kenya, ℅ First Federated Church, 3601 North Sheridan Road, Peoria, IL 61604 (https://www.ffcpeoria.com/give/) with a note “In Memory of Mike VerKuilen”. Online condolences at www.masonfuneralhomes.com.
“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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