Michael L. Vinecki
1968 – 2009
Michael Lee Vinecki, age 40, passed away peacefully in the arms of his wife and children Thursday morning, March 12, 2009. He fought a valiant battle with a rare, aggressive form of prostate cancer. His wife, Dr. Dawn Estelle, and their four children, Yukon Dominick, 11, Winter Lee, 10, Magnum Edwin, 8, and Ruger Michael, 6, will carry on his mission to find a cure and end prostate cancer.
Also surviving are his parents; sister, Brenda (Daniel) Kwapis of Johannesburg, and brother, Rick (Alicia) of Traverse City. Many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews will miss Michael, as well. Michael was a 1986 graduate of Gaylord High School.
He was a musician and spent his teen and early twenties playing polkas across the country with his brother Rick. It all began at an early age while playing drums with his dad and brother in a 3-piece local band. Michael played with the grammy-winning group, Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones, in 1990 and toured the United States and Europe while still a young man. He performed with numerous other groups because of his ability and amazing talents. While living in the Chicago area in the late 1990’s, Michael formed a country band called “Michael Lee and the Dusters” and played in the Northern Illinois area.
Auctioneering was Michael’s second love and he was an integral part of Vinecki Auction Services with his family. His brilliant smile and smooth style will be missed. Michael was an active member of the Michigan State Auctioneers Association and National Auctioneers Association. He served on the MAA Board of Directors and competed in the Michigan Auctioneer Championship finishing as a finalist several times. His most recent accomplishment was obtaining his Broker’s License in Real Estate.
Following Michael’s diagnosis in May 2008, the entire family became involved with the Athletes For a Cure, a branch of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “Team Winter” was founded by his daughter Winter to actively raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer. People are currently swimming, biking, and running across the country in honor of Michael and in support of Team Winter. The family and friends will continue this effort on Michael’s behalf. The Inaugural Team Winter 5K Challenge was originally schedule for June 6, 2009 in Grand Rapids, MI in memory of Michael. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the race has been moved to July 25 in Charlevoix. For more details, visit www.teamwinter.org.
Michael will probably most be remembered for his smile and quick wit. He always had an amazing ability to light up any room he walked into. Even during his last visit to an MAA Conference this January, Michael was continuing to find ways to make people smile. Friends and family who wish to honor Michael’s memory may contribute to the Vinecki Children College Fund, through the Nelson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734 or mail to the MAA at 4529 Gibbs NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544.
Words of prayer and encouragement may be sent to:
Dr. Dawn Estelle-Vinecki
514 Camp Ten Road
Gaylord, MI 49735