Former Oconomowoc resident Gary McMickle passed away at his home in Lakeland, Fla., on Aug. 25, 2015, after a long fight with cancer.
Gary was born in Waukesha on May 29, 1951, was a graduate of Oconomowoc High School in 1970 and trained at Milwaukee Arts Trade Center as a graphic artist. Gary was a successful businessman, owning ACR Air Compressor Repair in Lakeland.
Gary is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughter Amy; and two stepdaughters; as well as our loving mother, Theresa (Kentucky); and siblings: Alan (California), Tommy (Kentucky), Terry (Minnesota), Kathy (Kentucky), Cynde (California), Patti (Kentucky) and Mike (Georgia).
Gary was preceded in death by our father, Tom.
Gary was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by our mother, siblings and many friends in Wisconsin and Florida.
Gary was not just a cherished son and brother to us, but a treasure to so many who knew him. Because of his easy-going vibe, ready smiles and laughter, he had so many friends. His teenage years were spent developing a love of music, becoming an accomplished drummer in the band The Living End.
Band practice in our home was loud and lots of fun for him and his friends. Gary continued his love of playing the drums right up to the end. He worked in the family’s service station business, Union 76, alongside his siblings — a knowledgeable mechanic. He, his brothers and friends shared a love of “cool” cars, with a close friend recalling the time Gary took him “airborne” in his “HOT 57 Chevy.” What a ride! But as kids, we definitely appreciated Gary’s skill in the kitchen as well. He often made delicious Bisquick coffee cakes, but is most fondly remembered as our family’s best popcorn maker!
Oconomowoc, the community we called “home,” offered the fun Gary loved.
You’ll remember, if you ever shared time with Gary — water skiing, swimming, ice skating, sledding, snowball fights, bowling, drag racing, runnin’ around town and hangin’ out at the Kiltie or the Highway 16 Outdoor Drive-In theater, to name a few. That was Gary — lovin’ life, hangin’ with his buds.
Yet, he could always “get down to business” and offer his vast knowledge to help get the job done. He was always willing to help! His talents with art showed up in his sketches, paintings and graphic arts. He could “free-hand” like nobody’s business! You may have seen his work on an auto parts store vehicle or a fire truck, etc. His adult years took him further away from the family “geographically,” but he continued to use his talents to run a successful compressor repair business in Florida, where he lived out his remaining years.
A heartfelt thank-you to all of you who were a part of Gary’s life during those formative years while we were in Oconomowoc. He loved you, as did our whole family and we know you loved him as well. We, Gary’s family, hope our memories of him shared here, will bring a smile and spark your own special memories of him! We love you, Gary!