Michael Martin 'Gummer' Gumm
Feb. 3, 1957 -- Feb. 27, 2019
Michael Martin “Gummer” Gumm, 62, of Plymouth, passed away surrounded by
his loving family on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at the Waterford in
Michael Gumm was born Feb. 3, 1957, in West Bend. The son of Donald and
Susan (Leiser) Gumm spent his childhood enjoying all things sports. He
loved playing Little League baseball, attending Al Maguire basketball
camps, tennis and spending time at his favorite sanctuary, his
grandparents’ home on Big Cedar Lake. He attended high school at West
Bend East and was a proud member of the Class of ’75 Suns. After high
school, he and several best buddies attended UW-Stevens Point, where he
would graduate in 1979 with a degree in elementary education. He began
his teaching and coaching career in Bowler, where he taught fifth grade,
coached boys varsity basketball and junior varsity baseball. He also
quickly found his place in the community softball and basketball
While in Bowler, he would meet and marry Karleen (Gardner) Gumm. The
couple wed in 1985 and a year later moved to Plymouth. Their first son,
Cody arrived in 1990 with second son, Devin, arriving in 1993. When the
boys were young, Mike spent many summer days pulling them in their wagon
to the ice cream stand. Taking the family on their annual vacation to
Miller’s Shorewood Vista in Rhinelander was always a summer highlight.
Fatherhood was the greatest blessing for him and he cherished every
moment with the boys.
Teaching and coaching continued while in Plymouth. Mike spent the
remainder of his career in Plymouth teaching history at Riverview Middle
School, coaching many boys and girls teams in basketball, volleyball and
track. He switched to coaching girls JV basketball and humbly amassed an
impressive victory record. What Mike was most passionate about was the
relationships he built through the years with his student-athletes. Mike
retired from teaching in 2012 and coached a few more years before
retiring from coaching.
Softball, basketball and golf leagues continued to be a passion through
the years in Plymouth, his “knuckleball” always getting the ire of
opposing hitters. He and Karleen also shared a loved of outdoor
concerts, shenanigans with best friends Kevin and Katie Rortvedt,
dinners in many local restaurants always on the search for the ultimate
fish fry and old fashioned, trips to the beaches of Mexico, attending
Badger football games, Packer parties, Badger basketball, many, many
local high school sporting events, a couple trips to Australia to visit
Cody and Elise and our family Down Under, thousands of runs and walks
through his beloved town, but mostly just time spent having fun with
Karleen and the boys.
Mike was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia which robbed him of cognition
and his body. He spent his last seven months as a resident at The
Waterford at Plymouth.
Mike is survived by Karleen, Cody and Elise of Melbourne, Australia;
Devin and Sammy (Verburgt) of Hartford; his parents; brother, Mark, and
sisterin- law, Kathy; sister, Ellen, and brother-in-law, Bob Feller;
father-in-law, Ralph Gardner; many nieces and nephews, cousins, and
friends, and his best dog, Porter.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, whom he missed
dearly (Harold and Alice Leiser who shared a birthday and a special bond
with Mike); paternal grandparents (Martin and Clara Gumm);
mother-in-law, Lena Gardner, and brothers-in-law, Adrian and Brook.
Karleen and family wish to thank the entire Plymouth community for their
love and support during Mike’s journey through Lewy Body; the staff at
The Waterford West; Sharon Richardson Hospice staff, Kim M. and MaryAnn;
Plymouth Gift of Life and supporters; Dr.Mark Sharon and staff; and all
who visited Mike, shared meals, cards, prayers and kind words.
Mike was a longtime member of St. John Lutheran Church in Plymouth and
his memorial services will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 4:30
p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 222 Stafford St. Plymouth. The Rev.
Nathan Meador, pastor of the church, will officiate.
Visitation will take place at the church on Sunday, March 3, from 1:30
p.m. until the time of services.
In lieu of flowers, Mike would truly appreciate memorials given to the
Plymouth Gift of Life, Plymouth High School girls basketball program in
which he was so instrumental in developing a quality program, or the
Riverview Middle School in Plymouth.
The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Plymouth is assisting
the family. For online condolences, please visit