TRAVERSE CITY — Robert Michael Bufe, 61, of Traverse City and Chicago, passed away suddenly on Friday, Nov. 9, in Chicago.
"Mike" was born in Kalamazoo of Irish and Czechoslovakian descent. After residing in Chicago until the age of 12, his family moved to Traverse City.
Mike graduated from Traverse City Central High in 1969. He went on to Michigan State University, where he obtained a teaching degree in history.
He met and married Susan (Burley), and they had one daughter, Lauren Elisabeth.
They settled in Gaylord, where Mike began the first of his businesses, Bufe Distributing.
While living in Gaylord Mike served as president of the Jaycees, vice president of the Downtown Merchants Association and served on numerous boards and committees, including the Gaylord Council for the Arts. He was the recipient of many awards and accolades for his business success.
Mike was passionate about his faith, travel, music and the arts, protecting and enjoying our natural resources, being on the water, from kayaking to sailing, and always, fine dining and spirits. He loved being back in Traverse City where so much of what he enjoyed was readily available. He was also an avid and dedicated Spartan.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Robert W. Bufe; and both his maternal and paternal grandparents.
He is survived by his daughter, Lauren; wife, Susan; mother, Jeanne Bufe; sisters, Kathe Bartlett (Bob), Pam Neuman (Ed) and Melissa Rose (Brian); nieces and nephews, Corey and Caitlyn Neuman, and Tessa and Noah Van Alstine; and many wonderful and dear friends.
Mike will be remembered for his love of family and for the desire and devotion to make each of his endeavors successful.
There will be a visitation at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home on Monday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., with a memorial service at 3 p.m. There will also be a memorial service in Gaylord at the First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m.
Contributions may be made to the charity of your choice or to the family through First Presbyterian Church of Gaylord.
Please share your favorite memory of Mike with his family by way of the online guestbook/tribute page found at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.