Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Michael 'Mike' Lawrence Machesky

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Michael "Mike" Lawrence Machesky of Champaign, Illinois, was born on Feb. 25, 1952, in Bessemer, Michigan, and passed on May 21, 2024, in New Haven, Connecticut, at the age of 72.

Michael was a curious and gentle soul who had the rare ability to use humor to share his insights with others. He was loved by many and will be dearly missed.

Born to Shirley and Lawrence Machesky, he spent much of his childhood across the globe, including places as far away as Indonesia. Despite this, he always deeply appreciated and loved his birthplace, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which he continued to visit most summers.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 with a Ph.D .in water chemistry, and this is also where he met his wife, Susan. They celebrated 38 years of marriage last year. They were blessed with three children, including a son, Joseph, who passed shortly after birth.

Mike was a proud father who loved watching his daughters' sporting events and offering them career advice.

Mike spent the majority of his career at the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois, working as a geochemist before retiring in 2017. Earlier this year, he was honored at the American Chemical Society for his lifelong work advancing the field's understanding of fluid-solid interfaces. He was known for being a dependable collaborator and patient mentor.

Mike was an active biker, a craft beer connoisseur, a freshwater fisherman and an avid Wisconsin sports fan.

He is survived by his wife, Susan; daughters, Jo Ellen and Anne (Jared); and siblings, Stephen, Jefry and Lee Ann.

A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, Aug. 16, at Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin, at 2 p.m.. where a meal will be served. He will be buried on Saturday, Aug. 17 at St. Mary's Church in Hurley, Wisconsin, with more information to follow at a later date. Any donations can be directed to the Superior Rivers Watershed Association.