OBITUARY

Michael A. Wrage

September 27, 1958November 4, 2018
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It with great sadness that the family of Mike A. Wrage announce his passing on the afternoon of November 4, 2018 at his ranch in San Antonio, FL. Mike is survived by his wife Kathy, of Tampa, FL; his sons, Tyler (Elizabeth) of San Antonio, FL and Jared (Betty) of Tampa, FL, and his beloved yellow lab, Deuce.

Surviving family includes Kathy’s parents, Albert and Mary Lou Weitzel; brothers, Jerry (Margaret) Wrage, Francis (Jean) Wrage; Brothers-in-law John (Sanda) Weitzel, Don (Kelli) Weitzel, Sisters-in-law Linda Thoms, Nancy (Doug) Brandt, Susan Ogard and JoAnn (Jon) Hunter). Nieces and nephews, Susan (Tim) Weismann, Rob (Valerie) Wrage, Ann (Bill) Davis, Laurie (Ken Priesner) Wrage, Betsy (Doug) Reid, Shawn (Rebecca) Wrage, Randy (Kristy) Wrage, Marty (Louise) Wrage, Jim Bob (Maria) Wrage, Riley Wrage, Ryon Wrage, Paul (Lynn) Weitzel, Michele (Jeff) Housh, Craig Weitzel, Tami (Kevin) Reilly, Amy (Matt) Oliver, Nichole (Brett) Bentley. Jon (Teresa) Bentley, Holly (Jason) Rogers, Troy (Renae) Brandt, Jason (Dezarae) Brandt, Melissa (Patrick) Slavin, Sarah (Chris) Wilson, Lisa (Clint) Taylor and Shelby Weitzel.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Ansel and Lillian Wrage of Valentine, NE; brother, John Wrage of Cozad, NE; nephews, Scott Wrage and Darren Boe.

A true western romantic, Mike was born into a ranch family September 27, 1958 in Valentine, the heart of the Nebraska Sandhills, to parents Lillian and Ansel Wrage. He graduated from Missouri Military Academy, Mexico, MO in 1977 and from Chadron State College, Chadron, NE with a Business Marketing degree in 1981.

On a lucky Friday the 13th, Mike met the love of his life, Kathy Weitzel, and they married November 28, 1981. The couple were blessed with two sons, Tyler Ansel and Jared Michael. For over 35 years, Mike was a leader in the employee benefits industry building operations in Tennessee, New England, and Tampa, FL where as a Northwestern Mutual Financial Advisor and founding partner of The Strategic Group, Mike continued his passion for providing financial security for business owners and their families. A recipient of the Chadron State College Distinguished Alumni Award, Mike was a member of the CSC Foundation and a supporter of Jesuit High School. An avid out-doorsman and sports enthusiast, Mike coached youth football, loved watching football, played a mean round of golf, fearlessly downhill skiied, and hunted with a few good dogs.

After many years hiatus from everything horse related, Mike returned to his cowboy roots, and the sport of team roping where he competed in local ropings and PRCA rodeos with his son, Tyler. In 2016, he proudly won the O4RA Champion Head-er. Mike lived larger than life, was quick with a laugh and a joke, grilled a perfect steak, loved to kick up his heels on the dance floor, reminisce to a country song, was a much-loved husband, proud father and a true “Pards” and mentor to many.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Mike A. Wrage Memorial Scholarship Fund C/O The Strategic Group, 16029 N. Florida Ave., Lutz, FL 33549.

Please join us for a visitation, Friday, November 9, 2018 from 6–8 pm at the Blount Curry Funeral Home, 3207 West Bearss Ave-nue, Tampa FL 33618. A Mass in celebration of Mike’s life is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 11 am at the Jesuit High School Gymnasium, 4701 N. Himes Ave., Tampa with a reception to follow. Father Richard Hermes S.J. will officiate.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, November 9, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, November 10, 2018
REMEMBERING

Michael A. Wrage

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Carlye Johnson

November 10, 2018

My children ,Quincey and Sullivan Johnson traveled to Scandinavia with Mike this past summer. I am writing on behalf of them, and myself. They both came home from their 2 week trip and excitedly told me about their adventures and the wonderful people that they had traveled with, one of those especially being Mike. Both of my children are a little bit shy at first when meeting new people (both of them being ranch kids themselves) but Mike brought them out of their shells quickly. They felt an immediate connection to him because they could tell he cared about them; talking with them, asking them about themselves, making them feel apart of the group of mostly adults. They looked forward to seeing him the next day while traveling. They told me how full of life, kind, warm, and funny he was. In a very short time my kids came to admire and love Mike, how could someone not? Even though I didn’t meet him, I feel the connection to him from my children. We are all so sad to hear of this vivacious, charismatic, wonderful man’s passing. Sending lots of prayers, hugs and love from Nebraska and the Johnson family.❤️ Sincerely, Chad, Carlye, Quincey and Sullivan Johnson

Kim Mulhollnd

November 10, 2018

My thoughts and prayers to Kathy and the Wrage family. I worked without Mike a very long time ago at Principal Financial Group. He was one of the most caring and genuine men I have ever known. A larger than life personality and the best sense of humor. I will remember him fondly and know that he will be missed dearly.

Carrie Wiza

November 9, 2018

I'm struggling to find the words to express how very sad I was to hear of Mike's passing. Kathy, I can't imagine the loss you're feeling, but I hope you find comfort in the wonderful memories of the life and love you and Mike shared. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.

In sympathy,
Carrie Wiza

Bruce Petrie

November 9, 2018

Mike was bigger than life. I always enjoyed trading horse stories with him since he had his ranch and we had our horse farm. I remember the night well when my wife (Ginger) and I sat down with him and his wife Kathy in Denver, Colorado for a few drinks after dinner. My wife is an accomplished equestrian (over 50 yrs. of riding including winning the collegiate nationals) and she started talking to Mike about horse training, breeds, etc. and I think it's the only time in my 22 years of knowing Mike that I saw him be quiet for more than 15 minutes. He knew he was in the presence of someone that knew more than him about horses. He was that smart!
We'll miss your stories Mike...and I promise you we'll go trail riding when we're together again so you can tell me some more!
Missing you.
Bruce and Ginger Petrie

Nancy Griffith

November 8, 2018

Dearest Kathy, My heart goes out to you at this time! To loss your husband is so very hard, but to loss one with the HUGE personality as Mike will be intense. I enjoyed our great Scandinavian trip with you both this Summer. I will cherish those memories and I wish nothing but the best for you and your beautiful family. Many prayers coming your way! Much love! Nancy Griffith

Cathy and Roger Brainard

November 8, 2018

The last time we were together with Mike and Kathy was fittingly at a Jesuit function. After dinner the four of us sat down to catch up. We laughed and told stories and laughed some more. I remember that time as being more intimate and more special than usual in some way. And we all felt it—what a treasured memory that evening will remain.
There is a hole in the world without Mike in it.
Our love and sympathy
Cathy and Roger

Rich Skelton

November 8, 2018

I want to express my deepest sympathy to Tyler and your family at the loss of Mike. I only spent one day roping with him and he made a genuine impression on me. I could see that he had a passion for the sport and not only improving his skills but to enjoy his time in the pen with Tyler and his friends. God Speed, Sincerely, Rich Skelton

Ray & Pam Hart

November 7, 2018

We met Mike,Kathy and the boys in June 1988 about 3 hours after the moving van unloaded their belongings in our new neighborhood in Holliston, Mass. We walked over to meet them and brought a bottle of wine . Mike couldn’t find the box with kitchen supplies so he was flipping burgers with a piece of card board. The ladies opened the wine, he offered me a Coors Light and a treasured friendship began. Just six months later Mike and Kathy took In our boys on a late Christmas night when our daughter was born .
We vacationed together on Cape Cod, we coached our boys in baseball and football all the way thru Pop Warner. As an insurance agent he taught me all I need to know about employee benefits and selling HIS products! He taught me about the Nebraska Huskers Black Shirts , Garth Brooks and about the people he loved. He was always full of life, did a mean Jack Nickleson impression and never shy about his convictions.
Driveway Margaritaville, Le limo; Otabee and Jigabee. Thanks for the some of the greatest memories , Mike. He was one of a few guys who would call my wife Pammy. And she loved him for it. We were neighbors for 8 years and friends for 30. But we will love him forever. God be with you my friend. You will be dearly missed, a void now and always in our hearts.
Pam & Ray Hart

Tom Gabelman

November 7, 2018

A real good man that gave us all so much life and friendship will be missed that by all that were luckie enough to call him a friend. To me he was as big às the Sand Hills. Best wishes to you Kathy an d entire family.

Daniel P. Bartlett

November 7, 2018

Mike will always have a special place in my memories. I met him through his nephew Jim Bob here on one of his visits to Des Moines. Although we are not related, he has always been "uncle mike" to me since that day. Golfing with him here at Wakonda or in Tampa at Avila was always so fun and hard to describe. His infamous back pains and subsequent groans were hilarious and fun to imitate. His giant smile was infectious and he was a blast to have in the foursome. I always looked forward to the next round with him, especially the 19th hole where he really excelled. It has been difficult to relate his passing to those who knew him here in Des Moines. Everybody who knew "uncle mike" carries fond memories indeed. I felt lucky to hunt with Jim Bob and Mike in Valentine, and also on the Platte River with them, along with Jared and Tyler. Those hunting memories will last my lifetime I am certain. Of course, "Gasparilla" in Tampa was also a fun road trip a couple of times. Kathy, Jared, and Ty......I am so very very sorry for your loss. My warmest regards to you all these difficult days. So sincerely, Dan.