MOUNT HOREB - Michael Lee Pierce died on May 8, 2020, at age 76 after living with early-onset Alzheimer's disease for many years. Michael's greatest joy was being a parent to his two children, Benjamin (Melissa) and Taylor (Eric), and "Papa" to his grandsons, Ezra Lee and Arlo, and his future twin granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his father, Russell, and his beloved dogs, Morgan and Gemmy. He is also survived by his wife, Nancy, his mother, Clarabelle, and his brother, Guy. Michael lived an exuberant and creative life: he grew up in Oshkosh, Wis., immersed himself in UW-Madison academia, homesteaded in Alaska, worked as a farrier and blacksmith, farmed beef cattle, and served others in his work for the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services. He was gentle, humble, and unassuming. Michael loved learning, reading, making up the best "dad jokes," listening to everything on public radio, documenting ideas for brilliant inventions, being in nature, exploring lakes (he was always the first to test the strength of a frozen lake's ice), and believing a winch could fix just about anything. Dad, with all of our boundless love, we will always say "howdy!" to you in the morning and sing good night to you with your very own "Dumbo Rock."
Michael's family would like to express their deep and heartfelt gratitude to Morgan, Michele, and the staff at BrightStar Senior Living of Madison for their support and care throughout the final years of his life, Dr. Przybelski and the staff at the UW Health Memory Assessment Clinic, and the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. If you wish to make a gesture in Michael's memory, please consider a donation to the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at UW-Madison, the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, or the Sierra Club.
He who binds himself to a joy / Does the winged life destroy; / But he who kisses the joy as it flies / Lives in eternity's sunrise.
- "Eternity," by William Blake
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Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin
3330 University Ave #300, Madison WI 53705
Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
600 Highland Avenue J5/1 Mezzanine, Madison WI 53792-2420
2101 Webster St Suite 1300, Oakland CA 94612