Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Ty Oppenlander

August 1, 2020
Lawton, MI





Ty's own one-word description of his life. And though he left this world way too soon, he was right. Ty was one epic human being who deeply impacted everyone he met and will now be a treasure in our hearts forever.

Ty Richard Oppenlander, 37 years young, passed peacefully in his sleep on 8.1.20 at his Lawton, Michigan home that he grew up in, from a rare and aggressive brain tumor that he had painfully battled for more than three years. Ty knew how to make every moment count with a larger than life presence, radiant smile, and perpetual sparkle in his eyes. His magnetic positive personality touched thousands of lives all over the world. Ty's charisma, charm, and zest for living his best life was infectious and he had a unique and genuine talent for making every one of his friends and family members feel special because he truly believed everyone was special. He inspired those around him to be accepting, kind, and happy. Ty lived in Orlando, Florida but was born and raised in Michigan, graduated from Hackett Catholic High School where he was a standout basketball player and student. Ty then attended and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fl where he led their water ski team to two U.S. Collegiate National Championships while he won three individual National Slalom titles and earned All-American honors three years in a row before turning professional. He went on to earn an MBA from Rollins College and resided most of the year in Florida training as a professional slalom skier and serving as operating/owner of his Oppenlander Realty brokerage company as well as co-director of Ecodeme Investments. But Ty always returned to his home in Michigan (his "happy place") each summer to coach students at his Ty's Ski Academy. Ty also traveled frequently back to Michigan at other times throughout the year to spend time with his family whom he loved more than anything. He is survived by his father and mother, Richard and Jill Oppenlander, his two sisters Lauren (Brian) Turuta and Ricci Oppenlander, and his beautiful 4 year old son, Brock ("Lil B") Oppenlander.

Ty lived life BIG and was very grateful for the opportunities and adventures that he experienced over the years. He has traveled the world coaching and skiing, but his favorite trips were to the Moomba Masters Water Ski Tournament in Melbourne, Australia. He has several accomplishments in slalom waterskiing including achieving a #1 World Ranking for 21 and Under, he consistently held a top ten in the world ranking for professional skiing, was inducted into the Michigan Hall of Fame, held numerous U.S. National Championship titles, was a U.S. National Record Holder, and held several state and U.S. Regional titles and records.

Ty was a gifted athlete who, in addition to skiing and basketball, loved to snowboard, play tennis and beach volleyball, run and bike through the trails of his Lawton farm, cuddle with his many dogs, paddleboard, wakeboard, and be part of any water activity or outside adventure. His love for all people was inspiring. He gave the best bear hugs and constantly had a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face. Ty was exceptionally witty, loved music and playing chess, and was always the life of the party. But what he loved most in this world, and was most profoundly proud of, was his extraordinary son Brock, or as Ty called him "Lil B". And, Ty devoted the past 4 ½ years to creating a loving foundation for Lil B to grow and live his best life just like his Daddy did—instilling kindness, respect, confidence with humility, a keen sense of humor, and happiness. Ty fought leaving this world for as long as he could just so Lil B could have real memories of their special bond. Ty was steadfast in his commitment to giving Lil B an unforgettable start to his young life, despite knowing the odds against him of ever beating his brain tumor.

IN HONOR OF TY, the Oppenlander family is asking that any donations please be made to Brock's 529 education fund (go to and use code Y0H-N2Y) or simply send a check written out to Brock Ty Oppenlander—Education Fund, addressed to Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander, 8191 Moorsbridge, Suite C, Portage, Mi. 49024. Ty would be deeply grateful.


Ty's motto was "Dance Parties and Hugs" (which he always initiated…) so of course he requested a huge party at his lake in Lawton, Michigan to honor his life. This celebration will be held at a date to be determined soon. In addition, there will be a funeral service in Orlando, Florida at the Woodlawn Funeral Home and a dedication of a special bench, occurring at a yet to be determined date.

Thank you "Big T-Y" "Brutha Boy" "Cuz" "BZ" "Ty Guy" , "Hot 24", and especially "Daddy" for your smile, positive energy, and making this world a better place. We love you so much and will miss you in an epic way.

Please visit Ty's personalized web page to sign his online guest book and leave a message or condolence for his family at