Cover photo for Michael Thomas "Mike" Bockrath's Obituary
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1947 Michael 2022

Michael Thomas "Mike" Bockrath

November 26, 1947 — July 30, 2022

BOCKRATH, Michael Thomas “Mike”, age 74 of Vandalia, OH passed away Saturday, July 30, 2022. Mike was born November 26, 1947 to Victor Sr. and Alma (Zimmerman) Bockrath. A 1966 graduate of Chaminade High School, he was drafted into the Army, serving until 1970. Once out of the military, Mike joined his brothers and worked for the family business, Bockrath Carpet Store. He then ventured out on his own to start Mike Bockrath Inc, where he specialized in carpet cleaning, installation and repairs. Always enjoying the great outdoors, he loved to hunt, fish, play softball and spend time with his beloved Irish Setters. Mike was a member of Lyre Lake Fish Club, and volunteered at numerous fish fries for the Polish and Lithuanian Clubs. Hamlin Lake in Michigan was a favorite vacation spot for Mike having gone there as a child, a young adult, and then later with his wife Judy. When he could no longer spend time outdoors, he could often be found in his recliner watching old movies, such as Around the World in 80 Days or a 1950’s “sci-fi”. Mike was a caring, fun-loving, and sentimental person. He treasured the memories he made with his family over the years especially of holidays spent at his parent’s house. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Mike is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 37 years, Judy Bockrath; his brother, Ed Bockrath, and his parents, Vic and Alma Bockrath. Left to cherish his memory are his nieces Lynn (Shane) Prenat and their children, Allison and Gretchen, and Michelle (Bill) Baker, and their children, Rachel and Nicholas; nephew, Bill (Joey) Cains; brothers, Vic (Mary Francis) Bockrath, and Gary Bockrath; sister, Shirley Bockrath; life-long friends, Mark Kucharski and Dan Ledbetter, and numerous other nieces and nephews and their children.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Laurels of Kettering and Hospice of Dayton for their excellent care of Mike. No services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made in Mike’s name to Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave., Dayton, OH 45429.


Growing up, my cousins and I had the impression my Uncle Mike did not really like kids all too much as he would often yell at us to be quiet and showed very little patience with any misbehaving. Over time, I learned to realize it wasn’t that he disliked us, he just preferred us when we became older adults and could take care of ourselves. His “bark” was always worse than his bite and under that gruff exterior was just a big teddy bear.
I have many fond memories of my Uncle Mike over the years from paying me to say my first curse words at the age of 3, to watching football and eating fried chicken on Sundays at my grandparent’s house, to Fourth of July celebrations at his house with unlimited supplies of firecrackers and sparklers. My fondest memory; however, is of helping him decorate my Grandma's house, a tradition we shared for over 20 years after my Grandpa passed away. We both loved “our traditions” and wanted to keep them going for as long as we could.
My bond and relationship with my Uncle Mike grew even stronger after the passing of my dad in 2003, just two short years after my Grandma had passed away. We both had lost two very important people in our lives and needed each other to help fill the void. We began talking to each other every Sunday morning at 9:00 am which was around the same time he would usually have been found having coffee and donuts with my dad. He became like a second dad to me offering advice when needed or just a friendly ear to listen when I needed someone to talk to…he was always there for me. In almost 20 years, we never missed a Sunday call to one another and I know this is something I will miss most of all.
We enjoyed getting together several times a year at the Pine Club for great food and drinks while reminiscing of times passed. He and my Aunt Judy would also try to stop by our house a few times a year to visit, but always made a special effort at Christmas time to see all of our decorations and exchange gifts. The greatest compliment my Uncle Mike ever gave me was telling me what wonderful, respectful children we had raised and how much he enjoyed sitting and talking with them. I knew times had changed when he began inviting them out to dinner with us to the Pine Club.
I will miss our Sunday chats and Pine Club dinners, but will cherish our friendship and the multitude of wonderful memories made, shared and forever remembered. Thank you for trusting me and letting me be there for you the way you were always there for me.
I will love and miss you dearly,

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