Michael E. Overacker

Aug 14, 1947 - Aug 9, 2011

Michael E. Overacker's Story:

If Michael Overacker was around, one was sure to know it as no matter where he was he was the life of the party. He was colorful, vibrant, and someone who loved to laugh and to share his laughter with those around him. Mike was willing to work hard, but he also knew how to have a good time and made sure there was plenty of time in his life for both. With the love of his life by his side for more than 30 years, Mike made a significant impact in the lives of so many around him. A loving and devoted son, brother, husband, and father, Mike will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.

As the year 1947 dawned, America was eagerly creating a “new normal” as we were shifting from being a nation at war to being a nation at peace. With the end of WWII in 1945, countless Americans were welcoming home their servicemen and as families were reunited, the baby boom that would last for more than ten years was underway. This year was one of great anticipation as a young family from Allegan, Michigan was eagerly awaiting the birth of a new baby. It was on August 14th that baby Michael made his arrival and was welcomed into the already bustling family of Robert and Edith (Mills) Overacker. He was the third of six children in his family including his brothers, Richard, Carl, Russell, Don, and David. Mike’s father worked hard to support his family, mainly as a dairy and grape farmer in Almena.

In many ways, Mike experienced a childhood that was rather typical for the youth of his generation. He enjoyed spear fishing in Blockers Pond and had a deep love for everything outdoors. Mike attended a one-room schoolhouse called Palmer’s School, and he went on to Paw Paw High School. As a high school student he played basketball and fit right in as a prankster since his class put a manure spreader in the courtyard during his senior year in hopes of getting a few good laughs.

After graduating from high school in 1966, Mike worked for his uncle at the service station in Paw Paw. Changes were in store for him when he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. He drove trucks while in Vietnam.

With his time in the military fulfilled, Mike returned home where he resumed the life he set aside while serving his country. He moved back to the farm and started working for Uncle Chuck and Aunt Efy at their Standard station. Mike made a career as a trucker, working as an independent trucker and also for Ralph Moyle Trucking as well as for other trucking companies through the years. It was a career that worked well for him as he liked the freedom of the road and had several semis throughout his life.

Life turned and a new and exciting direction for Mike when he met and later married the woman with whom he would share the best years of his life. Her name was Carla and they married on December 30, 1977, at her parents‘ home in Palacios, Texas. It was an intimate gathering, and the newlyweds remained there on their wedding night. Mike welcomed Carla’s sons, Bob, Ron, and Chris, into the family and loved them as his own.

The Overackers remained in Almena and built a new home in 1998. Sadly, their home burned down just 10 months later, but they were so grateful that everyone made it out unharmed. They later rebuilt their home, which is where they lived throughout the rest of Mike’s life. His family always played a vital role along his life’s journey, and one of the things he enjoyed doing most with his loved ones was joking around. Mike loved giving his son a hard time about being in the Marines, often calling him a jarhead, since Mike’s loyalty was to the Army. He also liked picking on his granddaughter, Meredith, but she gave it right back causing their exchanges to go round and round. Mike and Carla liked going to the movies, out to eat, and to visit friends. Actually, they enjoyed doing so many simple things with one another as it was just their time together that really mattered. Mike and Carla spent time tending to their garden together including Mike’s latest project - trying to grow a watermelon that was bigger than his granddaughter’s. Once a year he and his wife went to visit her family in the Gulf region, but he also got some fishing done while down there, too.

Throughout his life Mike was a man of many interests. He did some racing at Hartford and Galesburg in the stock car series and was loyal to Chevrolets. Mike liked keeping up with the NASCAR circuit as well and was a huge Dale Earnhardt, Sr. fan who was deeply saddened by the death of the legendary racer in 2001. His love for the outdoors remained with him throughout his life as he enjoyed deer hunting and fishing on local inland lakes. Mike liked his country music and a couple of his favorite songs included “Give Me 40 Acres” and “Phantom 409.” One of Mike’s favorite artists was Johnny Cash.

All who knew Mike would agree that we will miss the way he made us laugh. On one Christmas morning he decided to try his hand in the kitchen with some pancakes. Mike whipped up some flour and water and fried it and needless to say, that was a recipe he didn’t make again! There was also the time he took his father-in-law’s .243 with a scope and shot the woodchuck from the upstairs window. That gun kicked back so hard that it gave Mike a black eye and knocked him right down the stairs!

When reflecting on the life of Michael Overacker, we are reminded that each day is ours for the taking and that it is up to us how we spend each and every moment. Although he could be a bit set in his ways, Mike truly had a heart of gold. The memories he leaves behind will remain forever near and dear to our hearts.

Michael Overacker died on August 9, 2011. Mike’s family includes his wife, Carla Overacker; 2 children: Ron (Lita) Overacker and Chris (Colleen) Overacker; 3 grandchildren: Jacob, Chad and Meredith; 3 brothers: Russell (Karen) Overacker, Don (Kathy) Overacker, and David (Denice) Overacker; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Mike was preceded in death by his parents; 2 brothers: Richard and Carl Overacker; and step-son, Bob Overacker. Learn more about Mike, view his Life Story film, and share in some refreshments with his family and friends on Friday from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson-Paw Paw; 60900 M-40, 657-3870 where services will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. Burial will take place at Almena Cemetery. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo or sign his memory book before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be directed to Disable Veterans of America.

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Kalamazoo, MI

Exact Location: 42.2637616666667, -85.824055

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