April 26 - January 8, 2000


Another traveller passes,
rounding the final bend,
to set foot upon the deck
of a gossamer ship,.
a soul carried from this harbor
seaward to a shining realm,
burdened no more
with the cares of this land.
We who remain
raise our hearts in farewell,
smiling for the time
we too shall depart,
to join once again,
friends beyond the mist.

Author unknown


Please leave virtual flowers and a note to Grizz on his Findagrave memorial located HERE

Grizz might be the sweetest boomer we ever knew.  He had been ill for a long time, but never once did he return to the hospital wihout a boomer letting the others know. Hundreds of prayers were said for this silent, delightful man whose life must have been made so much richer with AOL and the friends he found here. I met Grizz in Gatlinburg and my life was made so much sweeter for it.  I will always remember moving my hand in beat with the cicadas that he could not hear, and the easy way he communicated despite his inability to hear or speak well.

A funny story worth telling, although Arial could probably tell it a bit better, that of his arrival to Gatlinburg. Beloved Ariel was sent to the airport to pick him up, where she waited without being able to find him.  Finally she had him paged, but again, without results. At long last, she heard herself being paged! Grizz had paged her and they were able to make contract. what Ariel did not realize was that Grizz could not hear, and the story was repeated many times by all, a tribute to Grizz's delightful sense of humour and laughter.

May you rest in gentle peace, dearest Grizzly, and never be forgotten by those who remain behind.  We love thee.


I met Grizz twice, once at the Gatlinberg Reunion and then again this past August In Rochester, Mike was one of the most kindest sweetest person I ever met.  You looked at him and immediately fell in love the Grizz.  His sons were very special to him. Mike, you will be missed by all of us Boomers. The pain is gone now and you are in a place where there is no pain, just happiness. We love you very, very much.  I will always remember my Hug from you.    Love Sonya


I have had the honor of being at 3 reunions with the most lovable man on earth, of course I mean our Grizzly Bear. Mike was a true gentleman and defender of the ladies with the biggest heart of anyone. I specificly remember in the pool at the motel in New York in 1997-- Grizz wasn't at the pool yet , but his son Daniel was. Daniel and I got talking and he said to me " I am the luckiest kid around" and I asked him what made him say that and he replied "because Grizz is my dad" let me tell you, I had to swim a little away to hide the tears that I felt knowing that a son loved his father that much and wasn't afraid to say so to a stranger. Daniel was 12 at the time and you know how a 12 year old boy usually feels. I am going to miss our Gentle Giant for a long long time. Grizz , my friend, rest in peace and may the Lord look over your boys and keep them safe and happy.

Love forever,



I am so sorry to hear about Mike......I remember him so well..........Can see him now......smiling and giving those great Hugs!!! He gave the best HUGS!!!!!!!!!   Merle Ann (Sissy)


To those of you who never met Mike, let me tell you he was even nicer in person than he was online. I'm just so glad that so many of us did get the opportunity to meet him.A big, sweet, gentle, bear of a man with a heart too fragile to sustain him.Sail on Grizz. You will be missed; you certainly are loved.  -Lonesome Steve (Doggy)


I met Griz online the first day I signed onto AOL. He was one of the first Boomers to show me the way. Because I was on disability Mike helped me cope with the fact that I could no longer work. He also let me in on the fact that he was deaf.

When the New York reunion was planned Mike wanted to attend but was concerned that people would shy away because of his deafness. I'm happy to say that this was never the case. Mike and I met the Friday before the reunion picnic and along with several other boomers we danced the night away at a 50's bar. Mike was immediately embraced by all and found a home.

Luckily I had two other occassions to spend time with Mike. In Gatlinburg he was one of the Boomers sharing the Chalet. Oh how he loved that Showbiz, Luvs, Ariel, BlondDee1 and I all pampered him that weekend. He had come even though he was recently released from the hospital. I believe Mike felt Boomers were his best medicine.

Again I met him in Rochester. It was apparent his health was rapidly failing but never once did Mike lose his smile or sit and complain. I can still feel the bear hug he gave as he left us that Sunday.

Mike you were one of the best. Be at peace SWEET BEAR


Kathie (Call)


My memories of the big "ol bear"..the GRIZZ

He was one of the first Boomer Guys to give me a Hug when I came on line so very long ago. He always made the Boomer Gals feel special in his eyes...and I loved him for that. So when the chance came to meet him in Gatlinburg I knew I wanted to do something special for him. ALWebster came up with the idea of bringing the party leis. We weren't quite sure what we would do with them but I knew we'd do something unique. When we decided on it, ole Grizz was the first one I headed for. I slipped a lei over his head at the Saturday night party and whispered in his ear....

"You've just been lei'd by the very best" !! Of course, he couldn't hear what I said, but he knew the meaning when I winked at him and he read my lips as I slowly repeated them for him.....He gave me the biggest smile and warmest hug and kiss and I even saw a tear in his eye. And, yes, he even blushed. I will carry that with me always and know that he is smiling down on me from his faithful cloud in heaven. I was happy to give him a smile and receive his big hug in return. God is with you now, my dear friend, for you were truly one of the blessed ones in your heart and soul.

You always had and will forever have...My Love In Friendship ....GEEZLUIZ


Mike was a dear freind to me as well as so many Baby Boomers. We talked so many times about so many things. We talked so many times about his being deaf. I never had the pleasure to meet him. He was going to dance with Earthwinds and I in Nashville in May. In my heart I know he will be with us in the chat room as well as Nashville.

Mike, I know your no longer in pain and the suffering has stopped. Your at Peace now and I know in my heart that you are enjoying the sounds of the Angels that surround you. Wilma (UQ)


My hubby and I are both very sorry to hear that our Bear is no longer with us.

We were fortunate enough to have met and spent time with Mike -- he was truly an amazing man. I'm happy that our Chicago party gave us a chance to "spoil" him a little -- we ladies made SUCH a fuss over him!  All of the Boomer ladies were pouring honey on Mike -- as he had "threatened" to lick honey off us, as any self-respecting bear should! (seepics below)

Our hearts go out to his young sons and the rest of his family -- I once spoke briefly to his sister-in-law in the Chicago area, asking for an update on Grizz's condition during one of his many hospitalizations -- and true to form, Grizz had not told them he was again in the hospital -- it wasn't "serious" that time, and he didn't want to bother them.

Love, Jude (Buf)


Every once in awhile someone crosses your path who possesses an aura of gentleness and kindness that somehow light your way. Mike was one of those people for me as Im sure he was for many of the boomers. I often told him that it seemed ironic to me that a man with such good heart should have to have it mended so often.

I remember back in the early days in the boomer room when Mike would be flirting with the ladies and hiding in the bushes. He loved honey and so in Chicago we ladies doused him with honey and he loved it. When I remember Mike I want to remember those happy times.

When I was at a particularly low point in my life, Mike was there to hold my hand and help me through it. We decided early on that we would always be there for one another, that we would be forever friends. When I think of Mike now I remember the treasure that I had in his friendship and wish forever would last just a little longer.

Mike loved his two boys and we spent alot of time comisserating about raising children. If the boys should read this I want them to know that their father loved them above everyone else in the world. He worried about them, and cared for them and fought for them. I pray that they keep their fathers love in their hearts now and always. For in remembering those good times, we never really lose those we love.

The Boomers were very special to Mike. Everytime he was sick and in the hospital, the response from the Boomers was unbelievable. I want those people to know that their cards, gifts and prayers kept Mike going for as long as he did. This is a man with great courage who fought his battles with strength and determination. There were times he was ready to give up, but fought one more time. I am so very proud of him for that.

Today the pain is over, the battle is ended. And until we meet again on some other path may God hold you in the palm of his hand my friend.... may God hold you in the palm of his hand.



I've been an AOL Baby Boomer for almost 3 years now and I can remember Grizz being a part of those wonderful friendships for exactly that long. My first special memory of Grizz took place early summer of 1998 when we were all planning our trips for our reunion in Gatlinburg, TN. Grizz wanted to go in the worst way but was having trouble making his flight arrangements. It was a Saturday night and I happened to be at my mom's cottage on Cape Cod. Of course, I was chatting in the boomer room...LOL. Grizz asked some questions about flight arrangements to Gatlinburg and then we ended up in IM discussing his predicament. Well, as it turns out, Grizz asked me to call the airline and make his arrangements for him. Trusting soul that he was, he ended up gave me his credit card number, his full name and address, etc. He was so thankful for my help with that...but hey, boomers help other boomers...that's just the way it is. I can't begin to tell you how many times he thanked me in Gatlinburg. Another memory I have of Grizz is of the reunion itself in Gatlinburg. We were all asked to bring a small memento of our particular state to exchange with another boomer, so I brought a Boston Celtics baseball cap. Grizz ended up with it and he was so very thrilled. Everytime we talked thereafter he always reminded me of how much he loved the cap...and he never failed to tell me he was still wearing it. Although, on a couple of occasions, he told me that one of his sons had absconded with it...LOL. Lastly, those of us who were in Rochester this past summer were lucky enough to spend a few more hours with the Grizz. He was sooooo happy to be with all of us...that was obvious from his big smile and those awesome HUGS of his. I will always remember him sitting with us on the beach that Saturday afternoon just enjoying boomer company. I feel extremely blessed to have been a friend of Mike's. He was not a "grizzly bear" as his name implies...instead, I saw Mike as a "Gentle Ben" kind of bear. I will always love you ((((((((Grizz))))))))...you have a special place in my heart forever. Look in on us once in a while, ok??? We really need you to do that.************ Jana (Luvs4x4)


The first time I met Mike was in August, 1997. He was one of the first Boomers I had ever met. We were standing at opposite ends of the hotel registration counter. We BOTH looked up ...... smiled.....I looked at him and said Grizz? He smiled and said....Witt?.....Then we hugged and I started babbling.......then he looked right in my eyes and told me he couldn't hear me but could read my lips. We became instant friends!

I had the pleasure and honor of seeing Mike three more times, in Chicago, in Gatlinburg and in Rochester.

No matter how he felt, he always had a smile and a joke. He was a caring, gentle man who always put others before himself.

He may have used the name GRIZZLY, but inside he was a teddy bear, a honey bear and always a friend.

My thoughts of Mike will always be cherished memories that bring a smile.

Marsh (Witt)


Grizzy, what a wonderful man he was and I know that God will use him well......as he did here on earth.

Jan (Blue Dott)


Mike very much wanted to come to Gatlinburg, but in order to do that he had to fly into the Nashville airport and hope he could get a ride from Nashville to Gatlinburg with someone. Well, I think it was Betty (Dreemca) who contacted me knowing I lived in Nashville and was driving to Gatlinburg to see if I would consider doing this. I thought about it, had never met him but was told he was a jewel, so I said yes. I knew about the smoking and decided when I was in dire need of a cigarette I would just pull over, etc.. Well, the big day came, I knew his flight number, time, etc.., he would be arriving in Nashville on a straight flight from his home, so I was at the Nashville airport in plenty of time. I first went to the baggage pick up area and waited. And waited. No Mike. Finally, I drove around and parked and went into the main area of the airport. By this time, I was getting a little concerned. I checked the monitors and his flight had already arrived about an hour before. Now, I didn't really know what Mike looked like, and he really didn't know what I looked liked, so this was already confusing. I went to the gate, searched the baggage area again, then I decided it was time to PAGE him. So, I went to the customer service counter and asked to please page Mike Ackles. They did. No response. They paged again. No response. In total, I think I paged him about five times. Absolutely no response. They checked to verify he had indeed been on the plane, and he had. I really didn't know what to do at this point. So, I had him paged one last time. Almost immediately after my page, I hear a page. The page went like this; Paging ArielFirst, Paging ArielFirst, please come to the customer service center. At first, I couldn't believe it. I knew it had to be me, who else would be paging my screen name. Then it dawned on me that Mike must have forgotten my real name. So, I ran to customer service. There stood Mike. There was no mistaking who it was. I ran up to him and said "Where have you been, I have been looking everywhere for you?" Well, Mike just looked at me. I asked him if he had heard me paging him for the last 45 minutes, and he still just looked at me. At that point something told me something was amiss. It was then, standing face to face to him, I found out Mike was deaf and also had a speech problem. A little detail Betty and everyone else forgot to tell me. I have to say, from that point on it just got funnier. Once we both settled down and finally stopped laughing I went and got the Blazer, realizing at this point that Mike was also impaired as far as strength and being able to walk, etc.. Well, I drove around, picked him up, went to baggage, loaded everything up, and we finally hit the interstate to Gatlinburg. About two hours later than we had planned, LOLL

As we started our journey, Mike and I found ways to communicate. Mike could read lips, but that's a little tough to do when you're driving and you can't look straight at the person you're talking to. But, we worked it out. During that five hour trip we had a ball. If he was hungry, he would point to his mouth. If he needed to go to the bathroom, well, he pointed. And we began to talk in our own way of communicating. I fell in love with that angel of a bear during those five hours. We would be talking away, and you know me, I'd be rattling on and on, look over at Mike, and he would be snoring. I think that was a clue.

When we arrived in Gatlinburg, we followed the map, well I should say Mike followed the map. If it had been up to me, we would have been driving all around those mountains for another 2-3 hours. He got us to the chalet home base, they gave us another map that showed where our actual chalet was, and Mike got us there too. We had great people in our chalet too. We all worked together so Mike would be comfortable, and we all went outside on the deck when we wanted to smoke, because Mike absolutely hated the smell of smoke. But, we all still had a wonderful time. Including Mike. He had a ball. Something I remember, to the day he died, he never called me anything but Ariel. Never. He knew my real name by then, but he never used it. To him I was Ariel and nothing else.

When it was time to leave, and of course all of us hated to, everybody helped me get Mike and baggage loaded up. He was also flying out of the Nashville airport, so we had to allow for plenty of time. I took the SHORT way out of Gatlinburg, avoiding Pigeon Forge, (sorry guys, I should have told you). On the way, Mike saw a pottery shop. He knew by now I collected pottery, real pottery made my hand. He asked to stop, and he bought me two beautiful pieces of pottery. One has slits cut in it, so when you put a tealight in and light it, it glows out from all the slits. Those two pieces of pottery have sit in my living room since then. When I learned of Mike's passing, that was the first thing I did, was light his pottery. Then I laid on the couch looking at the light, and cried for one of the dearest people I have ever met.

Our trip back to Nashville was even better and I got him to the airport in plenty of time. The porters were none to thrilled as I barked orders for a wheelchair, etc.., but Mike made it home just fine. I talked to him several times on the phone after he got home through his TTY number for deaf people. I can't count the number of times we laughed on line about our initial meeting at the airport. And I lost count of the number of times he told that story in the boomer room. It was one of those memories you never forget.

I believe God makes things happen for a reason. I would have never got to know Mike so well if he had not rode with me. I might have met him in Gatlinburg another way, but nothing like the way I did. He forever touched my heart. He still does.

And everytime I light his candle, I will remember a very special angel. I just hope God sends me Mike for my angel, I surely need one.

Teresa (Ariel)


Mikes/Grizzly's son came into room tonight to thank us all for our love and support for his father and to let us know what plans have been made.

Service for Mike Ackles will be held at Smith Funeral home on Monday Jan 11th from 2 to 4 PM and 7 to 9 PM and the services will be on Tuesday Jan 12th at 0ne.

The address is
Mike Ackles
Smith Funeral Home
221 East Main Street
Elsie Michigan 48831

Cards can be sent there and they will be given to the family. Sign your card somewhere Baby Boomer Room so they know who we are.Any questions or thoughts can be sent by Email to his son OrEoxPuNk.

Mike was not a big flower fan. His family would appreciate it, if you would like, you can make a donation in his name to a Heart or Diabetes foundation instead of sending flowers. And sign an Organ donor Card as a memory to Mike. He died of natural causes, his body just gave out. He was on a transplant list but he didn't make it that far.

What a wonderful tribute it was to see the room full tonight to honor Mike/Grizzly He loved you all so much. He told me how much all the cards and trinkets you sent to him in the hospital meant to him. They helped him keep going. He will be missed by this family. We know he is a peace now and without pain.

Love you all.  Linda/Away

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