Obituary of Michael Charles Gogel
Please share a memory of Michael to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Michael Charles Gogel was born on January 17, 1942, to the union of Charles Gogel and the former Lora Retzke. At an early age, Michael displayed an innate gift for art and knew that it was what he wanted to do professionally. He graduated from Macomber High School Toledo, Ohio and continued on with a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the American Academy of Art, Chicago, Illinois.
Michael married the love of his life, Sharon Maenle in the original portion of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church that his wife’s family helped construct. The couple was blessed with three children. Michael owned and operated Michael Gogel Fine Arts, which he used a variety of skills including sketching, vehicle pin striping, painting and framing. Many local businesses prominently display his art and hand painted signs. Just before his retirement in 2000 he took a special trip with his beloved wife to the upper peninsula stopping at lighthouses along the way. After her passing lighthouses became the thing that Michael painted the most, to keep himself connected. Many of these paintings are displayed in the homes of his friends and family.
Michael was known to many, especially by children of local schools where he went to share his vast knowledge, as “The Fossil Guy”. He was very enthusiastic about teaching those around him about the earth’s ancient history. As a member of the Toledo Gem and Rock club he participated in many activities to find fossils, artifacts, and gems. On one such trip to an Ohio quarry, Michael assisted in discovering the largest face plate containing fossil fish in Ohio. This was a historic find, garnering him much praise in the fossil community. A picture of the fossil even became the cover photo for “Fossils of Ohio”.
Michael was also an avid collector of many things, taking great pride in sharing his collections with others. He always kept himself busy with the local art clubs, civil war re-enactments and as a boy scout leader. He found peace in the outdoors, and loved to surround himself with nature, whether that be fishing, gardening, or caring for his many farm animals & pets. Due to this love, he found himself working at the KOA Campgrounds for a great many years. Despite having many hobbies to occupy his time, Michael was always available for loved ones. He prioritized spending time with them whenever possible and was always generous with his love and joke telling.
Michael Charles Gogel age 81, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday; April 21, 2023. His passing was preceded by his parents: Charles and Lora Gogel; his loving wife: Sharon Gogel; a daughter: Susan Harbaugh; a son-in-law: Scott Harbaugh; and a brother: John Gogel.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his children: Judy (Jeff) Wertenberger, Eric (Ashley) Gogel, and daughter-in-law: Joanna Gogel; seven grandchildren: Brandy Gogel (Daniel Kimple), Megan Wertenberger, Jessica Harbaugh, Erica Gogel (Dylan Fotich-Plaza), Luca Gogel, Carter and Natalie McBee; one great-grandson: Ezekiel Kimple; and bonus grandchild Jessica Memering.
Friends may gather from 10:00am until 12:00pm on Monday; May 1, 2023, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church; 7295 Kruse Rd, Petersburg, Michigan 49270. A Celebration of Michael’s Life will follow at 12:00pm also at the church. Procession to Zion Evangelical Cemetery on 14442 Tunnicliffe Rd, Petersburg, Michigan for burial will take place directly following the service.
In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the Gogel Family. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.