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Michael Jon Makar, born January 12, 1971, died on March 14, 2022. He was the son of Luby Makar (1947-2012), a Ukrainian who was born in a displaced persons' camp in Germany, and third-generation Madison native Jean "Beanie" Stevens (1950-1994). He always was called Michael in order to be distinguished from his namesake Michael John Stevens aka Uncle Mikie. To the Ukrainian side of the family he was "Meeshu." Fittingly, he was baptized at Saint Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Milwaukee. The last few weeks in global events were especially upsetting to him, a usually apolitical person.
Michael's life may be described best by the Charles Dickens lines: "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." While he received and gave unconditional love to his large, extended family members and friends, his childhood was marked by frequent moves and often a change in "parents." He lived in California, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and, first and last, Wisconsin. Because of the need to adapt often, he developed a sharpened set of skills including extraordinary tolerance and the ability to be forgiving and forgiven. Michael was especially grateful for the stability of the last almost twenty years of living on the second floor of a Madison apartment building while a succession of family members--maternal grandmother, C. Bernadette Stevens (1928-2016); cousin Quincy Markowitz; and cousin Zachary Markowitz who was more like a brother--lived on the first floor.
Michael's interests ranged widely from travel (including a whirl around Europe, 2004), jewelry-making, yoga, computer maintenance, and handyman projects. The last earned him the youthful, enduring moniker of "Makguyver." There are those of us who believe he could fix anything. His mechanical and electrical abilities were matched by his creative way to solve a problem. He was a technician and an artist who generously gave of his talents for the benefit of his loved ones. He had a long history of volunteer work, most recently with Dream Bikes of Madison where he was able to put his mechanical abilities to use for the benefit of the community.
At age 28, Michael was diagnosed with the rare, genetic Wilson Disease and received a liver transplant. He often cited November 13, 1999 as his birthday. He lived over 20 years of post-transplant life in great comfort and appreciative of being given a normal life. He died while awaiting a donation for a second transplant.
Michael is survived by his beloved, older sister, Bridget Makar Thomas and her husband, Tobin Thomas, and their children: Jalen, Myles, Vanessa, Anthony, Taite, Quinn, and Daniele to whom Michael was "Unkum." Additional survivors include his paternal aunt, Helen Makar Neuman; his maternal aunts and uncles: Janet Stevens, who became "Mauntie" (a portmanteau of mother and auntie) decades ago; Thomas Stevens and his wife, Mimi; David Stevens and his wife, Wei Han; Carol Stevens; and step-aunt, Roxanne Starr and her husband, Tom Starr. His step-grandmother, Mary Stevens, also mourns his death. He also leaves behind a "village"
chock full of cousins and people who the Stevens recognize as family. He was predeceased by his parents, Luby Makar and Beanie Stevens; and uncle, Mike Stevens (1952-2017), and aunt, Patty Stevens Blum (1953-2021). All four of his grandparents predeceased him as well: Stanyslaw and Ledia Makar; Bernadette Stevens, and Raymond Stevens.
A celebration of Michael's life will be held on March 25, 2022, Friday, 4 PM to 6 PM with a short service at 5 PM at DOXA Church, 2700 Novation Parkway, Madison, WI 53713. DOXA Church staff and members have been generous with their support.
Cress Funeral Service
3325 E. Washington Avenue, Madison
Friday, March 25, 2022
4:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)
Friday, March 25, 2022
Starts at 5:00pm (Central time)
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