Michael J Willett
Dec. 20, 1964 - Dec. 15, 2022
Stockbridge, WI
Michael J Willett
Stockbridge, WI

Mike Willett, of Stockbridge, WI, Loving husband, father, brother, son, friend and employee passed away peacefully in his sleep with his wife at his side at 2 AM on December 15, 2022 at ThedaCare Appleton Regional Hospital.

Courageously, Mike worked hard to stay here with his family.  Having been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in October of 2020, Mike lived much longer than the average, which if you knew him wasn’t a surprise. He was one tough and determined guy.

Michael John Willett was born Dec 20, 1964 to parents Carl “Moose” & Mary (Lake) Willett of Fond du Lac, WI. 

He met Sarah Jones in 1992 in Appleton, WI, and four months later they were engaged and married October 16, 1993. They moved to Stockbridge, WI where they built their home and life, having two sons and many friends.

Mike loved life and the people in it. He enjoyed get-togethers for cards or cribbage. He was a friend to anyone who met him, always smiling. Most of all, he lived for his family. He was a tireless father and husband, actively involved in his children’s activities. When asked toward the end what he most loved about his life, he said. “The people. The people in my life.” He was also quoted as saying, “I had a great life, and I’ll miss you all.”

For 11 years, he was the local Stockbridge Cub Master in Stockbridge, working with young cub scouts and organizing many activities from camps to fishing to food drives. He also served as the Stockbridge School Sports Booster Club President for many years. He enjoyed sports, especially basketball, the love of which he instilled in his two sons. 

Mike stayed busy and enjoyed many hobbies over the years such as catfish fishing, boating and water skiing, working out, gun and bow hunting, snowmobiling, traveling, watching his kids sporting events and campfires with friends and family at the cottage in Lake Tomahawk, WI. Mike also loved Florida and our frequent trips to Sarasota was something he always looked forward to. He was able to travel there recently for his 29th wedding anniversary. He also loved road trips and vacations. He was an expert planner squeezing in every possible activity. He could also be found at his home in Stockbridge, just sitting out at the end of the pier, watching the sunset. In many ways, he was a simple guy, and the simple things in life were the things he loved the most. He knew how to take time to really enjoy life.

Mike was a chemical engineer and for over 30 years was an employee of Neenah Paper (now Mativ) in Neenah, WI as the Strategic Outsourcing Manager.  He helped create many packaging items for high-end products throughout his career. His career took him away at times, traveling internationally and domestically, all of which he seemed to enjoy. He truly loved his job and never missed work during all his treatments. Even toward the end, he was asking for his computer. He had an amazing work ethic and passion for his career.

Mike is survived by his wife, Sarah; two sons, Jacob (20) of Madison, WI, and Benjamin (15) of Stockbridge, WI. He is further survived by his mother, Mary Willett of Lake Tomahawk, WI; brother, Tim Willett (Lori) of Lake Tomahawk, WI; sisters, Kathrine Willett Leifer (Greg) of Fond du lac, WI; and Mary Beth Schmitz (Dave) of Suamico, WI; brother-in-law, Edwin Jones (Kelly) of Green Lake, WI.  He is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life event will take place. May 13, 2023, from 1 PM until 4 PM, at the Harbor Bar in Stockbridge.  Mike wishes to be cremated and laid to rest at St. Charles Cemetery in Fond du Lac where his father rests as well as many of his relatives.

My sister Patty and I so enjoyed watching the 4 well-behaved Willett children. I can still picture the beautiful home in FDL and Michael's wonderful parents. So very sorry for your loss.
Condolences to the entire family,

Ann Sonnenberg Galle (former babysitter in the '60s) - Dec. 25, 2022

So many great memories . I always looked up to my friend for the man he was . We had coffee about a month ago . Had a chance to talk about the ole days - had a good cry - and that smile of his was still there .

Sarah my heart goes out to you and the boys .

Scott Smith (Friend ) - Dec. 21, 2022

Mike and Sarah were wonderful neighbors. Always willing to help out or just visit. Mike was a beautiful man, optimistic, thoughtful, even when he was diagnosed with the illness. Paul was able to speak with Mike mid November’22, so glad he did. R.I.P.

Paul/Anita Zellner (Former neighbors in Stockbridge, WI) - Dec. 19, 2022

Sarah and family: Condolences on your loss. I have many great memories working with Willy at Neenah Paper.

David Paulson (Co-Worker @ NP) - Dec. 19, 2022

I remember playing your drums at your house on Martin Ave. Sorry for your loss

David seefeld (Old neighbor) - Dec. 17, 2022

Working with Mike was great. He always had a passion for people. Great man. Will be missed.

Jerry Sweere ( Friend) - Dec. 17, 2022

Mike was a great guy. I would shoot buckets with him in the driveway in the late 70's. Mike was always busy working at the Rental Store. Say Hi to your PA !

Doug Weber (Family Friend) - Dec. 17, 2022

Our deepest sympathy to all of the family.

Todd and Kathy Livieri (Friends) - Dec. 17, 2022

I remember playing your drums at your house on Martin Ave. Sorry for your loss

David seefeld (Old neighbor) - Dec. 16, 2022

Mike was always a level headed and approachable man. I was able to work with Mike for several of his 30 years. He touched a lot of lives and will be missed by many. God speed Mike.

Carrie Kasten (Neenah Paper Employee) - Dec. 16, 2022

I remember going to their home for Jakes graduation. A beautiful family, home, and life. May God keep you comforted with beautiful memories. Praying for you all. Love, Laurie

Laurie Booker (Cousin of Sarah) - Dec. 16, 2022

Paula and I remember coming to your newly built home, as well as working with Mike. In true Neenah Paper fashion, he would listen carefully before he reacted. He was well respected by every one of our co-workers. I retired in 2004, and lost touch with co-workers, but Mike was always one of my favorites.

Tom Snider (Co-Worker) - Dec. 16, 2022

Was a trusting and kind person to work with

Fritsch Charles (Work with him) - Dec. 16, 2022

Thanks for all the memories Mike. It was a good ride.
Say hello to all our friends and relatives I’ll see you soon.
Love UJ

John Lake (Uncle) - Dec. 15, 2022

Our deepest sympathy to all of the family. He will be sorely missed at the coffee shop.

John & Gladys Michels (Friend) - Dec. 15, 2022

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