(Note: I’m still very much alive)
By Mike Dauplaise
Yep, that’s right – a byline on my own obituary. Hey, I’d been a professional writer since 1979, so I think I deserve one last byline, don’t you?
If you’re reading this already, I must’ve met my demise in an accident or some other unexpected manner. I just hope I didn’t get zapped by lightning while taking a shower (inside joke).
Oh well. I lived a fun life, tried to be a good person, and hopefully did some good during my time on Earth. Please try to celebrate my life and accomplishments during this time … but you’d better be sad, too, or I’ll be highly disappointed!
Humor me by reading this entire obit. I know it’s long and I’m sure it’s expensive, but that’s what life insurance is for. Plus, this is my only chance to get this all in print. It’s not like I get a second chance at this.
I was born March 18, 1963, in Green Bay, the son of Ron and Ellen Dauplaise. I think their most important contribution to the person I became (along with a solid set of values) was the constant positive reinforcement they provided for everything my siblings and I did. We always knew our biggest fans were our parents, and that’s priceless. Thank you!
I want to thank my smart, sweet, loving and beautiful wife, Bonnie Groessl, for making my life fantastic since our first “accidental first date” in 1997. I was so proud of her and her entrepreneurial spirit. She absolutely completed me. She’ll probably try to be strong and say she’s fine, but she’s not. She was the feeler to my thinker personality trait, and she’ll need a lot of support to get through this (assuming we didn’t die together in the same accident, which we almost did in 2009).
We enjoyed vacationing on Kauai, Hawaii, but more than anything we just enjoyed spending time together. Whether it was crashing on the couch in front of the fireplace, on the back patio or down the basement after relaxing in the hot tub, we loved being together. We were very proud of our house, and Bonnie’s extensive gardens were the envy of all who saw them.
Now, on to my wonderful life…
I had a fun childhood as the oldest of four kids, highlighted by two major vacations our parents took us on. We went out East for the Bicentennial and the Montreal Summer Olympics in 1976; then two years later we went out West to see most of the rest of the country. Five weeks for both of those trips.
After growing out of my “midget” status as a freshman, I excelled in track and cross country at Green Bay Preble High School (Class of 1980). My 1,600-meter time of 4:36 as a senior was the best on the team that year, which I was pretty proud of. I continued to run track at St. Norbert College, but dumped cross country after my freshman year to play on the golf team. That was a lot of fun. Golf was a big hobby of mine virtually my entire life. My proudest accomplishments were qualifying for the State Amateur three times in the 1990s.
I worked on the school newspaper at Preble High School, and in the spring of my junior year (April 22, 1979), I was hired by the Green Bay Press-Gazette to be a part-time sports writer. That meant taking box scores off the phones, writing up short high school event stories, and learning how to run the desk. I loved the adrenalin rush of deadline, and the newspaper business became my professional life for the next 13 years.
I worked a LOT of hours as a part-timer before landing my first full-time job with the Wausau Daily Herald. After almost four years there, I moved back to Green Bay with my first wife, DeAnne Keyser, and got a job as sports editor for the Green Bay News-Chronicle. It was back to the Press-Gazette a year later, where I stayed until 1993.
I worked in the financial services/insurance industry on and off for five years with Northwestern Mutual, sandwiched around a four-year stint in the marketing department at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay. The main reason for working at the hospital was to meet my Bonnie, who I thought was a prissy little director-type when I first met her.
Freelance writing was a growing part of my income as soon as I left the newspaper world, and in 2002 I made it my full-time career. Working from home was a gas. Never again could I work a real job.
Bonnie and I started building some entrepreneurial streams of income, and in 2009 we jumped into the e-commerce world. We began developing and optimizing web sites for us and other small businesses through our marketing consulting business, M&B Global Solutions, and later enjoyed helping authors spread their message around the world by publishing their books for them. It opened up a whole new level of financial hope for us, as the world became our marketplace.
We quickly became the “hospital couple” at St. Mary’s after hooking up in 1997, and two years later we were married at my parents’ house on the bay, June 6, 1999. I was very fortunate that I was accepted by the entire Groessl family right away, and they always made me feel welcome and part of the extended family. I’d like to thank Bonnie’s sons, Nick and Ben, for allowing me to be their step-dad – and for being past the babysitter age by the time I came on the scene.
A few other thanks before I sign off… to my siblings Renee, Denise and Mark for being a cool family, and my best buddy, Mark Scheld, for being there through thick and thin. To everyone else I considered a friend, thank you for positively impacting my life.
Be happy, live life to its fullest, make sure you have no regrets, and I’ll see you on the other side.
Contact me if you would like help with your self-obituary.
© 2019 Copyright Mike Dauplaise
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