At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
MUSH (Misunderstood Siberian Husky Rescue)
1309 Sweetbay Drive
Elkhart, IN 46514
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, Michael Kuis made a significant impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was vibrant, fun-loving, and free spirited with a zest for life that was truly contagious. Mike was filled with unspeakable joy to share the best days of his life with his true love, and together they experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. The sort of guy who would do anything for anyone, he was generous beyond compare. Life will never be the same without Mike here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever treasure.
It seems only fitting that Mike’s journey began during a time that was as colorful as he was. It was the 1970s when Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Apollo 13 made it back to earth after aborting its mission in space, and Jaws wowed audiences on the silver screen. Progressive rock brought us bands like Yes, Genesis, Aerosmith, and AC/DC, and the world of music was never the same. Amidst this exciting time was the year 1974 when Melvin and Dora Kuis were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as winter began to fade as March dawned in Vicksburg, Michigan in 1974. Their wait was over when the baby boy they named Michael L. made his arrival on March 3rd in nearby Kalamazoo. He was the younger of two children in his family as he was raised in the family home in Vicksburg alongside his sister, Kerri, who was two years older than he was. From a young age Mike was a fun-loving boy who loved making others laugh.
In many ways Mike was a young boy of his generation. His father worked as a contractor while his mother worked at Upjohn. Mike was never really into sports as he tried playing Little League but discovered that he really didn’t like it. However, he loved being outside. He and his father took part in a local bass fishing tournament, and he also loved being with his father inside his garage as Mike loved all things mechanical, especially pulling things apart. When he was 16, Mike started bagging groceries at a local grocery store, and as a junior in high school he was able to buy a 1982 Buick skylark. Mike and his dad put a ton of work into getting it all fixed up, but unfortunately it didn’t really matter since he crashed it three weeks later!
After graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1992, Mike spent a few years working with his father. He did some other random things as well - even working as an EMT for a time. Mike went to ITT and earned his certificate. For the last five years, he spent time working as an electrical technician at TRMI.
New and exciting changes were in store for Mike when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Traci Bruner, and they met at Cowboy Up. They soon started dating, and with a desire to establish a life together they were married on August 1, 2014, on the beach in South Haven. After a honeymoon in Antigua, the newlyweds returned home. They were a happy couple who so deserved to have found one another, and they complemented each other in many ways. Mike was very affectionate with Traci, often texting her kiss emojis, and he always needed multiple kisses every night before going to sleep. They enjoyed watching movies together with Traci preferring romance movies while Mike loved Star Wars. Mike also enjoyed all of the Iron Man and Wolverine movies, and he recently enjoyed the Superman versus Batman movie. A motorcycle enthusiast, he drove his wife all around on the back of his motorcycles and was especially proud of his dream bike, his Triumph rocket.
Throughout his life Mike was a man of many interests. He was an animal lover since he was a boy, especially where turtles were concerned as he was known to pull off the road to save a turtle that was crossing. It was also while growing up that Mike learned to cook, and he was the one who made dinner every night in addition to taking care of the grocery shopping! He was a meat and potatoes guy who was especially famous for his meatballs, rice, salsa, and lasagna. Being a certified SCUBA diver, it didn’t take Traci long to become certified too. They both loved diving and had the chance to swim with the sea turtles on their honeymoon. Since he had always wanted a dog, Mike finally talked Traci into it after about a year and got one at Christmas. They had the most beautiful Siberian Husky, “Kobi” and interestingly it ended up being her dog! Mike liked kayaking on Lake Michigan as well as on local inland lakes, playing video games in his man cave, and drinking Arnold Palmers, Summer Shanty beer, and his morning coffee as well. When it came to music, Mike was all rock while Traci was all country, and it was Traci who took care of mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow. As someone who always wanted to learn to play the guitar, he was excited when his wife got him a guitar for Christmas. Of course Mike’s first love was riding motorcycles, and he had several friends who also rode motorcycles. He loved going on bike trips all over with South Haven, Saugatuck, and Holland. His love for ice cream also gave Mike the perfect excuse to go out riding.
All who knew Michael Kuis would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was so much fun and always eager to help others with a respectful and courteous manner that drew others near with ease. Mike was known for always having a smile, and his devotion to his family and friends was unmatched. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Michael L. Kuis, of Portage, died on April 18, 2016. Mike’s family includes his wife, Traci Bruner-Kuis; step-daughter, Andrea (Brittany) Parker; parents, Melvin and Dora Kuis; sister, Kerri (Travis) Wilcox; niece and nephews, Jacob and Julia Munson and Jeffrey Wilcox; and by his dog, Kobi. Visit with family and friends on Saturday from 3 – 4 p.m. at the The Bridge Church (7200 Angling Rd, Portage) where services will be held at 4:00 p.m. A reception will be held in the church hall. Please visit Mike’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to MUSH (Misunderstood Siberian Husky Rescue). Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, Kalamazoo.