Michael Agneessens, a beloved husband, father, and friend, passed away peacefully on September 18th, 2023, surrounded by his adoring family in Green Bay, Wisconsin, after bravely confronting the challenges of lung cancer during the summer months.
Born on October 17, 1952, in Detroit, Michigan, Mike was the son of Frank and Dorothy Agneessens. A gifted swimmer, he graduated from Bishop Gallagher High School in 1970. Mike’s pursuit of knowledge led him to St. Norbert College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication.
Following college, Mike devoted his energies to the family business, Johnson Fish Company, a venture he worked tirelessly on from 1974 until its divestment in 1992. In the fall of 1974, he met the love of his life, Jeanne Verheyen, at a house party in DePere, Wisconsin. Their connection was immediate, and they nurtured their bond through postcards and letters while Mike traveled Europe after graduation. Two years later, Jeanne agreed to become his wife, and they exchanged vows in 1976. Together, they were blessed with three daughters: Jessica, Megan, and Elizabeth. Although Mike and Jeanne had initially dreamed of a son, they quickly realized that their daughters were more than capable of donning Packer jerseys and earning Division 1 scholarships, just as any son could. Mike was a devoted father, raising his girls with an abundance of love, unwavering support, non-judgment, boundless humor, and authenticity.
In 1993, Mike made the decision to embrace sobriety and became an integral part of his local 12-step community. He returned to school and redirected his professional path towards helping others through alcohol and drug abuse counseling. From 1996 to 2002, he served as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor at Family Services before discovering his true calling as an AODA counselor at Oneida Behavioral Health (Oneida Tribal Services) from 2002 to 2018. Over the course of 30 years, 8 months, and 14 days, Mike’s dedication and compassion touched the lives of thousands, leading them towards freedom from addiction.
Music played a vital role in Mike’s life, and he had a natural talent for playing the drums, participating in swing bands, rock bands, and prayer circles. He deeply understood the transformative power of music and passed on his appreciation to his daughters. Mike’s profound spirituality and kindness made him magnetic and approachable, helping others transmute pain into light.
Upon retiring in 2018, Mike relished daily walks, devoured countless books, and found solace in the meditative act of mowing his lawn on a riding mower. His greatest joy, however, came from skillfully manning the grill during the family’s annual summer vacations on Washington Island, a cherished tradition that has endured for 25 years.
Mike leaves behind a legacy of love and inspiration. He is survived by his devoted wife of 47 years, Jeanne, their three daughters, Jessica Agneessens (Devon Broglie), Megan Flanagan (Brian), and Elizabeth Brown (Zach), as well as his six grandchildren, Oscar, Joey, and Evie Brown; Matilda and Nora Flanagan; and Apollo Broglie. He is also remembered by his sisters Rosie Agneessens (Don Gerber), Carol Agneessens (Stephen Wolinsky), and Mary Agneessens (Henry Pierre Rieve).
In remembrance of Mike, we hold dear the memories of his life, love, laughter, and enduring spirit.
A scholarship fund has been established to subsidize attendance to a 12-step recovery retreat which was close to Mike’s heart and aligns with his lifelong commitment to helping others find hope and healing. To donate, send a check made out to Jean Agneessens to Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., Green Bay, WI 54302 or venmo @Megan-Flanagan-42040 (last four digits of Megan’s phone number are 9912).
Visitation will be held on October 10th, 2023, at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 130 St. Matthew St. in Allouez from 9:00 to 10:50 a.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Proko-Wall Funeral Home is assisting the family and online condolences and a complete obituary can be found at www.prokowall.com.
The Funeral Mass will be live streamed on the St. Matthew youtube page. If you must miss the live stream, it will still be available on their page.