Rev. Michael D. McLain, passed away Thursday, December 3, 2015 at St. Mary’s Hospital with his family at his side at the age of 65. Fr. Mike was born on November 21, 1950 in Evergreen Park, Illinois the son of Robert and Charlotte (Durley) McLain. He was a 1968 graduate of Little Flower High School. Fr. Mike proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1970 until 1972. He was united in marriage to Christine McDermott on December 4, 1971 in Evergreen Park, Illinois. The couple first lived in Country Club Hills, Illinois until 1977 when their first child Michael was born. They then moved to Independence, Missouri where Fr. Mike was employed by the Brechteen Company. In 1978, a second child Tina was born. While living in Independence, Missouri Fr. Mike began his career as a Farmers Insurance agent from 1988 until 2003. He was also employed at Tippin’s Restaurant in Independence, MO. After the death of his loving wife Christine, Fr. Mike chose to enter the Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin in 2003. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cardinal Stritch University and received a Masters of Divinity from Sacred Heart School of Theology. Fr. Mike was a member of the Merrill V.F.W. Post 1638 and a third and fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus #2032 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish Rhinelander where he served as the Chaplain. Fr. Mike was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood at the Cathedral of Christ the King, in Superior, Wisconsin on June 29, 2008. On July 15, 2008, Fr. Mike became the Parochial Vicar for the Mellen cluster of six parishes which include; Most Holy Rosary, Mellen; St. George, Clam Lake; Most Precious Blood, Glidden; St. Anthony, Highbridge; St. Anne Sanborn. On August 1, 2009 he became the Parochial Administrator for these six parishes. On June 29, 2010 Fr. Mike became the Parochial Administrator for St. Francis Xavier Parish, Merrill. He became Chaplain for the Rene Menard Council #113 of the Knights of Columbus and on July 3, 2012 he became Pastor for St. Francis Xavier Parish, Merrill. On July 1, 2014 Fr. Mike became Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Merrill and St. John the Baptist Parish, Bloomville and on February 17, 2015 was named Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Merrill, St. John the Baptist Parish, Bloomville and Parochial Administrator of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Rhinelander and St. John’s Parish in Pelican Lake. On July 1, 2015 Fr. Mike became the Parochial Administrator of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Rhinelander and St John’s Parish, Pelican Lake and on July 24, 2015 Fr. Mike became the Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus Macdonald-O’Neill Council #2032 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Rhinelander. Memorable quotes from Fr. Mike, “Carpe Diem” Sieze the Day! “Life is short eat dessert first!” and most notably “Life is about food and relationships”. Fr. Mike loved making pizza and was well known for his various flavored popcorn. In his younger years he had been active in scouting with Troop 221 of Independence, Missouri and was an honorary warrior in Tribe Mic-O-Say. Fr. Mike will be remembered for his quick wit, puns, love of music especially the drums, sense of humor and loving heart. But most of all he will be remembered for his strong faith, his loving ways and interaction with the school children, especially his high five’s and his dog Harley. Fr. Mike will also be remembered for his passion to see the completion of the remodeling at Nativity of Our Lord Parish. Surviving Fr. Mike are his loving children; Michael P. McLain of Franklin, WI and Tina McLain of University Place, WA, one brother; Timothy (Dallys)McLain of Sycamore, Illinois, twin sister; Mary Jane Martin of Pembroke, Georgia. Also surviving are nieces, nephews, and other relatives and many friends. Fr. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, loving wife Christine on August 6, 2001 and by one brother James McLain. The visitation for Fr. McLain was held on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at the Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, December 7, 2015 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, (St. Mary’s site). Bishop Peter Christensen officiated. The graveside service was held aat St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery, located at the corner of Memorial Drive and Thielman Street Merrill. Full military honors were conducted by the Merrill V.F.W. Post 1638. A Scholarship fund in honor of Fr. Mike is being established. Any memorials may be given to the Fr. Mike McLain High Five Scholarship Fund. The proceeds from this fund will be used to assist with catholic education.
Eternal rest grant unto Fr. McLain, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, WI 715-365-4343. Celebrating lives and healing hearts. All are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com