Michael Joseph Utecht, 74, passed away peacefully May 2, 2021 surrounded by family at his home in Hugo, Minnesota.
Michael was born to Kenneth and Jeane (Desmond) Utecht on September 26, 1946. He grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and loved sports and outdoor activities. Mike was an avid water skier but what he really loved was teaching others. Mike spent as much time as he could on the water and taught hundreds of his family and friends how to ski. Skimming across the water on everything from slalom skis to saucers to a homemade pair of foot skis, Mike was a natural. In High School Mike used to chauffeur his brothers and sisters to school in his 56 Chevy Bel Air. Hollering “quit breathing” in the winter as the cars defrost system was not the best.
Mike, like all his siblings started work young at his parent’s restaurant, The Red Hen. He worked for the County Highway Department in high school. After High School Mike enlisted in the United States Navy. Mike reported to boot camp in Chicago, Illinois and was eventually assigned to the USS Quillback, a submarine stationed out of Key West, Florida with deployments to the Mediterranean. Each trip home he would share the souvenirs that he had picked up along his journeys. When Mike got out of the Navy he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota to start the next chapter of his life. He enrolled at Metro State University and began his education toward his Electrical Engineering Degree. During this time Mike picked up his love for motorcycles and had many over the years. While enrolled in school Mike started working a part time job at Sears where he met the love of his life, Betty (Flom).
Michael and Betty were united in marriage on April 24, 1976 in Woodbury, Minnesota. After graduation Mike worked for Narco, a medical equipment company. Soon after he found his career job at 3M traveling throughout the western hemisphere for their medical department. Eventually Mike & Betty purchased a home on Otter Lake, in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Mike loved organizing events at the Otter Lake home. And people loved visiting Mike and Betty, swimming in their beautiful pool, and enjoying the various cuisine they shared. For decades their home was a gathering spot hosting family and friends for everything from holidays to birthdays to graduations and weddings.
In his teens Mike had taught himself how to play the guitar. In retirement he became an accomplished piano and harmonica player, putting on impromptu concerts for anyone who would listen. Mike continued to be a caring and giving man throughout his life. Need help with your car? Mike would be there. Help with your house? Mike would figure it out. Snowmobile? Boat? Life? If Mike heard that someone needed help, he would step up and offer to help. Mike cherished his retirement years while babysitting his grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Mike is survived by his wife, Betty; children, Michael (Mary) Brookston MN, Patrick (Kelly) Wharton Tx; 9 grandchildren, William, Stephanie, Dakota, Drake, Dylan, Bobbie, Jonathon, Madison, and Laura; 3 great grandchildren. His siblings, Sue Lorentz, Fran (Leroy) Herauf, Kevin, Ann (Mike) Johnson, Peter, and James; sister-in-law, Cheryl Utecht; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Preceding Michael in death were his Mother and Father: Brother, Ken Utecht Jr.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations preferred to St. Jude Children’s hospital.
A Visitation will take place 5:00-7:00 Friday, May 14th 2021 at Bradshaw Funeral Home (4600 Greenhaven Drive, White Bear, Minnesota 55127). A private family service will be held at Bradshaw on May 15 th 2021 at 11:00 with visitation at 10:00. Service will be livestreamed on this page, just below. Internment to be held at a later date at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Detroit Lakes MN.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Utecht, please visit our floral store.