Michael “Mike” Rentz McKibbin passed away peacefully at Gundersen Health System, surrounded by his family, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, following a massive stroke.
Mike was born Nov. 24, 1942, in Washington, D.C., the first-born child of Carlyle Rentz and Katherine (Beall) McKibbin. Born into a military family, he spent his childhood growing up in Washington, D.C., Bainbridge, Md., Japan, Alaska and Guam. Following the family’s return to Wisconsin, Mike graduated in 1960, from Viroqua High School.
A U.S. Army veteran, Mike served his country from 1960-63, graduating from electronics and missile schools. Following his honorable discharge, he attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. For many years he was a U.S. postal carrier, doing farming on the side and was actively involved in Habitat for Humanity. Mike worked for North Country Contractors, owned by his nephew, Michael Reschke for nearly a decade. He helped build homes across the country, from Three Rivers, Calif., to the North Shore of Lake Superior, and many more homes across the Coulee Region. He loved the beauty and tranquility of Esofea Valley and living on the Rentz family farm for most of his adult life. He took great pride in the rich history of the Rentz family. He cherished the earth and embraced the work of living green, giving thoughtful attention to preservation and proper recycling and composting.
He was an avid reader and enjoyed creative writing, for many years publishing “The Esofea Report.” Other activities included: gardening, music, relaxing at South Park, playing softball with a local team, golf, playing cribbage on winter nights, FB chatting, family reunions, visits and lengthy conversations with good friends. To all who knew him well, he was a unique character with great intelligence, a generous and gentle spirit and a big heart.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Wayne C. McKibbin. He is survived by two brothers, George (Dianne) McKibbin, Westby, John McKibbin, Vandalia, Mo.; two sisters, Karen (Ron) Morris, Vandalia, Jane (Dave) Reschke, Buckeye, Ariz.; sister-in-law, Diane McKibbin, Three Rivers; cousins and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mike was a faithful member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Esofea, a member of M.O B. (Men of Bethany), and participated in many fund-raising events over the years.
Funeral service will beat 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Bethany Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Pete Beckstrand officiating. Family will greet friends in celebration of Mike’s life following the service. A private burial will take place at a later date.
In lieu of plants or flowers, memorials may be given to the Bethany Lutheran Church.
The Vosseteig Funeral Home of Westby is serving the family. Online Condolences may be offered at www.VossFH.com.