Michael Lee Vinecki, age 40, died peacefully on March 12, 2009, surrounded by his family in their Gaylord home. He fought a courageous 10-month battle against a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer. Michael was born May 3, 1968, in Petoskey, Michigan, the son of Virgil and Theresa (Slivinski) Vinecki. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Dawn Estelle, daughter, Winter, age 10, and sons, Yukon, age 11, Magnum, age 8, and Ruger, age 6. Also surviving are his parents, sister, Brenda (Daniel) Kwapis of Johannesburg MI, and brother Rick (Alicia) of Traverse City MI. Many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews will miss Michael, as well.
Michael was a 1986 graduate of Gaylord High School. He was a musician and spent his teen and early twenties playing polkas across the country with his brother Rick. It all began at an early age while playing drums with his dad and brother in a 3 piece local band. Michael played with the grammy-winning group, Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones, in 1990 and toured the United States and Europe while still a young man. He performed with numerous other groups because of his ability and amazing talents. While living in the Chicago area in the late 1990-s, Michael formed a country band called “Michael Lee and the Dusters” and played in the northern Illinois area.
Auctioneering was Michael’s second love and he was an integral part of Vinecki Auction Services with his family. His brilliant smile and smooth style will be missed. Michael was an active member of the Michigan State Auctioneers Association and National Auctioneers Association. His most recent accomplishment was obtaining his Brokers License in Real Estate.
Following Michael’s diagnosis in May 2008, the entire family became involved with the Athletes For a Cure, a branch of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “Team Winter” was founded by his daughter, Winter, to actively raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer. People are currently swimming, biking and running across the country in honor of Michael and in support of Team Winter. The family and friends will continue this effort on Michael’s behalf. The Inaugural Team Winter 5K Challenge will be held June 6, 2009 in Grand Rapids, MI in memory of Michael. For more details, visit www.teamwinter.org
Friends and family who wish to honor Michael’s memory may contribute to the Vinecki Children’s College Fund through Nelson’s Funeral Home or donate to prostate cancer research through the Team Winter website.
Visitation for Michael will be at the Vinecki home at 514 Camp Ten Road, Gaylord, on Wednesday, March 18, from 3 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. A visitation will also be held Thursday, March 19, at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord starting at 2 P.M. with funeral services beginning at 4 P.M. There will be a private burial.
You may continue to follow “Michael’s Journey” at www.michaelvinecki.blogspot.com.
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