He was born Jan. 20, 1919, in Gualdo Tadino, Italy. He was the son of Virgilio and Rosina (Fusili) Ercoli.
He came from Italy with his mother at 9 months old to Bessemer to join his father, who came ahead to work in the iron mines. He attended Bessemer schools, then went to work with the Civilian Conservation Corps camps for three years before starting his job at Montreal Mining Company for 22 and a half years until it closed in 1962. He also worked at the Pancake House in Ironwood, Mich., and finally for the city of Bessemer for 16 years until he retired in 1982. While there, he was active in the AFSCME Union and served as president.
He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, 24th Division, entering service on July 12, 1943, and trained at Camp Croft, Spartanburg, S.C. He received various medals and awards in the Pacific Theater for battles in New Guinea, Leyte and the Philippines. They include: Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with three Bronze Battle Stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Battle Stars, and three Overseas Service Bars. He was flown back from the Philippines and hospitalized in both Chicago and Battle Creek, Mich., for nine months when he was honorably discharged on Feb. 2, 1946. He was a member of the Bessemer American Legion Post 27 and VFW Post 3673.
Michael was one of Marty's Goldenaires' biggest and most dedicated supporters. He rarely missed seeing them perform wherever they were.
Besides his family, whom he loved dearly, he enjoyed all sports, especially the Packers, hockey and going to the casino. His pride and joy every year was his huge garden.
On Aug. 22, 1946, he married Marilyn Sell of Ironwood.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of 67 years; children, Sharon, of Chicago, Michael, of California, and Barbara, of Chicago; brother, Aldo; brothers-in-law, Ron Sell and Ed Shay; sister-in-law, Miriam Sell; special niece, Sandy Gauthier; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Joe; sister, Marion; and brothers-in-law, Bud and Earle Sell; sisters-in-law, Eleanor Ercoli, Marcella Sell and Eileen Sell.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 2, at 11 a.m. at Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home in Bessemer, with the Rev. Don Nicholson officiating.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.
Military rites will be accorded by the Bessemer American Legion Post 27 and VFW Post 3673 combined Honor Guard.
Inurnment will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery, Bessemer.
Arrangements are by Range Funeral Service and Crematory and Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home, Bessemer.