Obituaries

Michael "Mike" Schermer

Photo of Michael "Mike" Schermer
Michael ("Mike") Schermer passed away peacefully on March 15th. Mike died from complications from pneumonia after a three-year battle with lymphoma. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 26th 1938, to Aaron and Lilien Schermer and was the eldest of two sons. After attending grade school in Brooklyn, his family moved to Atlanta, Ga. The family then moved to Fairhope, Ala., then Edgewater Park, Miss., and finally onto Hattiesburg, Miss., where he graduated from Hattiesburg High in 1956. He joined the United Stated Navy in 1956 and served as an electrician in the Navy until 1960. His time in the Navy enabled him to travel the world and experience different cultures, something he loved about his time in the service. After his service in the Navy, he enrolled at Mississippi State University, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering and business. While attending MSU, he met Vivian Bagwell, and they married in 1963 (divorced in 1986). In 1964, he graduated from MSU and took a position in Phoenix, Ariz., working for General Electric. Mike and Vivian had one child, Willa Madelyne, born in 1967 in Phoenix. Over the next six years, GE promoted him three times, moving the family to Albuquerque, Dallas, and Chicago. In 1977, Mike joined Harris Corporation as a national sales manager and moved back to Dallas. In 1979, he was recruited by Ross Perot to start a new business within EDS. He then left EDS to join CGA Computer Associates, managing their Southwest Region. In 1989, CGA Computer Associates was sold to CAP Gemini/Ernst & Young, where he stayed on for two more years. In 1989, he married Cathy Gamble. In 1990, Mike and Cathy started a new company, Consulting Partners, which he ran until 1998, when he sold the business to Modis Corp. Although Mike was a business leader and a company owner throughout his career, what he enjoyed most was selling and training employees how to sell a good service. If someone asked Mike what he did for a living, he would simply answer, "I'm in sales." In 2000, Mike retired. Over the years, Mike enjoyed sailing, tennis, snow skiing, and giving back to the community. Mike was a competitive tennis player into his 80s, when his team won a regional tennis tournament in the over-55 league. Mike's long-time love of snow skiing was highlighted by a 2nd place finish nationally in the NASTAR National Championships. He had a lifelong love of sailing and participated in the regattas of the Aspen Yacht Club during his time in Colorado. Mike was a longtime Unitarian Universalist. In every congregation of which he was a member, he started a program called Circle Suppers, designed to build community. While in Colorado, he participated in The Buddy Program, where he mentored Sergio. He also participated in the Spanish-to-English program, where he helped people learning English as a second language. While in Fayetteville, he was a Big Brother to Cameron for eight years. He enjoyed spending time with Cameron, including teaching him to play chess, backgammon, and tennis. Mike is adored by his daughter, Madelyne, who looked to him not only as a father but also as a trusted business advisor and the ultimate optimist. Mike was loved by Kelly and John Riley, who appreciated his advice, sense of humor, and devotion. Mike and Cathy's blended family included Lance Gamble and four grandchildren, Chance Gamble, Jordan Ben-Yehuda, Shai Ben-Yehuda, and Johnny Riley. Mike's grandkids enjoyed his playfulness, such as his magic tricks and his hang-a-spoon-on-your-nose routine. Mike and Cathy enjoyed 34 years of partnership, which included many fun travel adventures, retirement in Colorado, hiking, snowshoeing, blue-sky ski days, attending plays, sampling the local cuisine, and a shared love of animals and nature. Through the years, Mike developed many special friendships, which included traveling with Dan Tontz, crushing it with his Summerhill tennis partner Jake ("the Snake") Ladue, daily walks with Merle Williams, and spending time with his favorite Colorado neighbor, Bob Andre. If you asked Mike who his best friend and buddy was, he would always say his wife, Cathy. Mike is survived by his wife, Cathy, his daughter, Madelyne and son-in-law Ohad Ben-Yehuda, and their children, Jordan and Shai; son, Lance Gamble and his partner Vannessa Henley, grandson, Chance Gamble and his wife Rachel; daughter, Kelly and her husband John and grandson Johnny; his brother, Jeff Schermer and his wife Sharon and their children, Bryan and Kerri. Mike was so loved by his family and friends; his optimistic view of life will be greatly missed. A celebration of Mike's life will be held this summer with family and friends. Cremation arrangements are by Nelson Berna Funeral Home. To place an online tribute, please visit www.bernafuneralhomes.com

Published March 18, 2023