Family and friends of Michael A. Meersman, 72, will gather for visitations and even more story sharing in his honor at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home 201 N. Northwest Hwy. Palatine, on Monday, March 25, 2019 from 3:00pm – 9:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be said Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 10:00am at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 455 N. Benton Street, Palatine. The Interment will follow at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery, Palatine.
Mike passed away on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Alexian Brothers Hospice Residence after his long battle with brain cancer (something that super glue or tape couldn’t fix). He was the beloved son of the late Al & Alice Meersman & loving brother to Lannie, Charlie and Greg.
Mike boarded his train on October 31, 1946 in Evanston and was raised in Palatine where he attended St. Theresa School for his elementary years, an all-boys Loyola for high school and college at Loras in Dubuque Iowa. While on break from college, he met Ann, whom he loved from the moment he laid eyes on her when she was working with his mom at the S.S. Kresge Co.
Mike always shared his fond memories of growing up playing army in the fields by his home, racing his Dad’s midget race cars throughout the Midwest, playing ball and watching the trains come through town. He had a passion for flying and dreamt to be a pilot, but became the next best thing, an accountant.
Shortly after graduating college, he wed Annie and became a CPA to provide for his growing family. He enjoyed his work over the years at Ernst & Ernst, Skil, National Safety Council, Cary Metal, RA Briggs, Homak, and Northwest Pallet CO.
In retirement, he became an usher for St. Theresa, volunteered at the Senior Center, enjoyed caring for his grandchildren as well as conquering the daily crossword puzzles in the newspaper. He got a kick out of teaching the grandkids how to master the popcorn machine for when preparing to watch his favorite John Wayne and Errol Flynn movies.
Michael was known for his bright and witty nature. He was definitely a jokester at heart. He will forever be remembered for how his sparkling blue eyes would brighten up when he told a teasing joke. Beyond humor his knowledge and collection of stories was vast and his passion for his life was strong.
His children and grandchildren were his greatest joy. He was prouder of them than they felt they deserved, but he encouraged and celebrated each of them for the unique persons they are. He taught them to be competent in the usual life skills, such as doing taxes, catching pop flies, making free throws, and burning bratwursts but more importantly, he taught them by his own example to be extravagantly generous in caring for other people. He took great pride in coaching his children’s baseball and softball teams for over 35+ years. He supported their interests and endeavors and he also taught them to have fun, whether it was running trains, playing catch or fishing in Minnesota.
Grandpa Choo-Choo was also known for his passion of his hobbies. He was a devoted fan of the Chicago White Sox and Bears. He loved making model airplanes, studying old coins, reading newspapers and tinkering with trains. His sweet tooth was fueled by DQ busterbars, frosties, slurpees, raspberries, and Spunky Dunkers, or the “bargain day old” donuts from the Jewel.
Mike and Ann enjoyed traveling where often summers were spent in Minnesota at the cabin. They also enjoyed road trips throughout the US where Mike’s keen driving directions usually landed them at historical spots of importance, taking cruises to the Eastern Caribbean with the kids and their last trip by railroad through the Canadian Rockies for their 50th wedding anniversary. They also traveled back to Loras to celebrate his 50yr college reunion with dear and cherished friends.
Michael was a man of great faith who spent his life helping people and spreading the word of God. He was a devout Catholic and a longtime member of St. Theresa Parish in Palatine.
Left on the train to continue the journey without Michael are his wife, Ann; his children Rob and his wife, Michele, Phil and his wife Kim, Paula and her husband Humberto Morales, Tom and his girlfriend Faye, Mary and her husband Adam Thurman, Mandy and her husband Robert Lach; his grandchildren Michael & Connor Meersman, Tony, Nathan, Joe & Jessa Meersman, Isabel, Avery and Adalyn Morales, Mia O’Donnell, Jake, Izabel, Sofie, Alecs Meersman, Sammy Meersman and Ethan, Nolan, Wyatt and Baby T (on the way) Thurman and Caleb Lach. His siblings Lannie (Dick Ashbrook), Charlie (Lisa) and Greg (Karen) and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends.
He was greeted at his final station by his parents, Al & Alice Meersman, his beloved pet dog Lucy and many more special family and friends.
It is clear that his lifelong devotion to his family began right away but lasted his lifetime. He found great joy from all the family and friends that visited through the years and shared stories of growing up, learning life lessons, college memories, work and his family. He will be greatly missed by all those whom he has met through life. Mike impacted so many lives in a positive way. His memory will last forever.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to be made in his honor to the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute via the donation link below.
Scroll to the second paragraph that begins with “For your convenience…” to click on the purple link to donate to Northwestern University. This will open a new page where you can designate your donation amount in the “other” section. In the open text box, please list “Nervous System Tumor Bank, directed by Dr. Craig Horbinski.”