March 1, 2019 – Plymouth, WI – Michael Martin “Gummer” Gumm, 62, of Plymouth, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at the Waterford in Plymouth.
Mike was born February 3, 1957 in West Bend, Wisconsin. 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, Wisconsin, 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 leagues.
While in Bowler, he would meet and marry Karleen (Gardner) Gumm. The couple wed in 1985 and a year later moved to Plymouth, Wisconsin. 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, Wisconsin. His parents, brother Mark and sister-in-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, 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 long time 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, WI. Rev. Nathan Meador, Pastor of the Church will officiate.
Visitation will take place at 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.