Michael “Mike” Anthony Kotel

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Michael “Mike” Anthony Kotel, age 72, of Lewisville, TX, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, February 24, 2024 in Marianna, FL.

Mike was passionate about his family and dedicated many years to raising his children. He and Kathy cheered for nearly every gymnastic meet, dance performance, and musical. Mike, credited by his children and wife as family manager and expert organizer, created a series of spreadsheets for prospective colleges for all three kids, helped them choose courses throughout undergraduate and masters programs, and sometimes booked classes during 6 a.m. enrollment windows to let them get a few extra hours of sleep. Mike was known for saying one his favorite accomplishments in life was raising his children and watching them grow into responsible adults with whom he relished sitting around the table, chatting, and sharing a bottle of wine. 

Mike and Kathy had a strong, loving bond and were best friends in life, none of which they took for granted. A couple of Mike’s favorite pastimes revolved around golfing– at the club, across the country at a variety of courses, or lounging in the backyard watching a tournament with his love. Mike and Kathy enjoyed many adventures around the world; over nearly twenty years, they explored Ireland, England, Italy, France, Germany, and Prague to name a few. Boarding cruises, they sailed from Budapest to Nuremberg and later in the Bordeaux region of France. Their last sailing adventure included stops in Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, and Turkey. Mike never became tired of learning, particularly about history and ancient civilizations, which he researched at length to share with his wife, kids, and close friends. Witnessing their architectural and technological wonders during travel was an extraordinary experience for him. While he and Kathy had a number of interesting trips in 2023, their favorite place to visit was their grandson’s house; Tyler took every opportunity to tell his Papa that they were “tight”.

Mike was devoted to his mom and her well-being, making several trips throughout the year to spend time with her in sun-soaked Tucson, one of his favorite destinations as a University of Arizona alum. He was also a dedicated friend to a number of people, including “the boys” from grade school through college, with whom he shared many a daredevil experience, beer, and good story. Close friends often sought him out for comfort and advice during difficult patches of life. Mike easily formed connections wherever he went (though he’d never admit to being a social butterfly). He was a rock and a source of light to many.

Mike was preceded in death by his father, Edmund Kotel, whom he admired immensely and often referred to throughout the years.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 32 years, Kathryn “Kathy” Kotel; mother, Hazel Kotel of Tucson, AZ; children, Rachel Skala and husband, Jim, of Chicago, IL; grandson, Tyler Skala; Kimberly Kotel of Oxford, MS; Adam Kotel and husband, Andrew Brown, of Austin, TX; brothers, Ron Kotel and wife, Shawn, of Tucson, AZ; Rod Kotel and wife, Lori, of Redmond, OR; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Marianna Chapel Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements in Florida. Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home of Lewisville, TX held a private family viewing and service for the immediate family on March 3, 2024. A Celebration of Life will be held in Lewisville, TX on April 14, 2024. Details will follow.  

In lieu of condolences, Mike’s family would love to receive special memories or stories of Mike from friends and family. These memories can be made online at www.mariannachapelfh.comwww.mulkeymason.com, or sent to [email protected].

Rather than flowers, please send donations in Mike’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Dallas CASA, for which Mike had trained to be an advocate.  

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