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Thread: The Bear's group-written obituary & memorial thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    The Bear's group-written obituary & memorial thread

    Since we excel at group stories, it seems like we can help ease our loss by offering our version. No word limits, feel free to add a sentence or paragraph, or a quote from one of his many posts on here.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Michael F. Raczko, 64, of Swanton, Ohio, died on October 18 due to complications of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was a frequent contributor to Cyburbia, where his handle was Bear Up North.

    His own words on Facebook
    Approaching 64, hair is back (but not much) even after years of chemo, radiation, and bone marrow transplant.....4-time mention in national and international news via Lake Superior State's BANISHED WORDS list published every year on New Year's Day.....grand prize winner in poetry contest, THE BLADE, mid-1970s.....co-author cover story for APICS magazine (65,000 circulation).....married, son and his family residing in Portland, OR.....Go Steelers, Go Blue !!! Creator of the world's largest hand-drawn fictional city map! Married to Katie, best damn wife I ever had!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Founder and Planner of De Noc; loved his Michigan sports teams specially University of Michigan Football and those Detroit Tigers; favorite vacation spot - anywhere in the Michigan UP; frequent contributor to Cyburbia; Loved his wife Katie and kids.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Most of us never met Michael F. Raczko in person but, as Bear Up North, he touched many of our lives intimately with his story telling ability and his openness about his life. We looked forward to his observations about the foibles of life and will deeply miss his ability to give us details in a way that made us feel as though we were fellow participants in his past and current adventures. In this online environment where anonymity encourages sarcasm and snarky comments, Bear unfailingly trod on higher ground. We are the poorer for his loss but richer for having known him.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  4. #4
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Eclectic taste in music, with particular fondness to horn bands of the 1970's including Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, Lighthouse, Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago. From his garage, also known to routinely exceed Swanton noise ordinance standards, particularly on Saturday afternoons.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Most of us never met Michael F. Raczko in person but, as Bear Up North, he touched many of our lives intimately with his story telling ability and his openness about his life. We looked forward to his observations about the foibles of life and will deeply miss his ability to give us details in a way that made us feel as though we were fellow participants in his past and current adventures. In this online environment where anonymity encourages sarcasm and snarky comments, Bear unfailingly trod on higher ground. We are the poorer for his loss but richer for having known him.
    WOW

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Most of us never met Michael F. Raczko in person but, as Bear Up North, he touched many of our lives intimately with his story telling ability and his openness about his life. We looked forward to his observations about the foibles of life and will deeply miss his ability to give us details in a way that made us feel as though we were fellow participants in his past and current adventures. In this online environment where anonymity encourages sarcasm and snarky comments, Bear unfailingly trod on higher ground. We are the poorer for his loss but richer for having known him.
    Very moving words to honor our fellow cyburbian.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I wanted to see Bear and RJ play basketball. I wanted to drink beer with them (even though I'm not much of a beer drinker). We would have called Bear one of the "Great Cyburbians" we wanted to meet, and almost went to a Stanfest a couple years ago, but we just couldn't do it. We will regret that for a long time.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    We were like in the same school, but different classes so we never talked. I can't say that I've read all of his posts or knew very much about him. However, I do know that he has impacted Cyburbia in a way that even some of the longest-term members cannot claim. I offer my condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone who's saddened by his passing. Be comforted in knowing that he's no longer suffering.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I was just browsing through some of Bear's posts over the years, and came across this one, in which he sums up his contributions to Cyburbia. But I think ofos really gets to the heart of it with his eloquent tribute.

    My sincere condolences to the Raczko family.

  11. #11
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    I was just browsing through some of Bear's posts over the years, and came across this one, in which he sums up his contributions to Cyburbia. But I think ofos really gets to the heart of it with his eloquent tribute.

    My sincere condolences to the Raczko family.
    Stop that. It only brings tears to my eyes.

  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Mike's obituary, from the Toledo Blade.



    Michael "Bear" Raczko, age 64, of Swanton, passed away at St. Lukes Hospital on Thursday, October 18, 2012. He was born on August 28, 1948, in Toledo to Ed and Helen (Sorosiak) Raczko. Mike was employed by Impact Products as an operation manager. He loved basketball, fishing and camping in the Upper Peninsula where he always wanted to live and he liked city planning with his friends at Cyburbia. He was an avid fan of the Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike was a hard worker who loved his family the most.

    He is survived by his wife, Kathy; son, Mathew (Maureen); step-son, Michael (Courtney) Foore; grandchildren, Anjelica and Luna; brother, Bill (Rose) and Terry (Karen); nieces, Beth (Mark), Lisa (Curtis), Jenny (Alan), and Robin Darbro, nephew, Scott (Jane); his companion, Molly, and many friends and loved co-workers.

    A celebration of Mike's life will be on Sunday, October 21, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. at Valleywood Golf Course, 13502 Airport Hwy., Swanton, OH. Memorial contributions may be made to the . Arrangements by Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home. Online condolences may be shared with the family at walkerfuneralhomes.com


    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Curious and caring

    Our Bear's frequent postings held a common theme. He loved to share information on many topics, and outlined details in a way that would have worked in any educational setting.

    Thinking back, he'd see a news item containing a peripheral detail (say, distribution). And he'd toss up a post containing several hundred words describing the connection, and an introduction to the process. Always in an interesting and entertaining way, with asides and comments that picked up other subsets of his global viewpoint. (I'm remembering many remarks about his life journeys: relationships, jobs, cars, sports teams...)

    Whether the detail was the heralded talking urinal cake or the banned words list, Mike would evidently spend quite some time thinking about it, and then share those pearls of wisdom on here.
    A number of his posts dealt with mortality; cancer survival, funeral playlist, and legacies, all logical trains of thought.

    Met him once, at a laefest. Our verbal conversation easily segued from whatever topics we'd been typing about on here. Seeing him and Katie in person reinforced all the easy-going comfort of their partnership.

    We enjoyed his "little while to stay here."


    "See ya later, alligator" shared on Katie's FB

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Oh damn, there go the tears again.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Now Bear is further up north, where he always wanted to be, no longer suffering, in the great "Big House" in the sky. RIP
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  16. #16
    Sorry it took so long to say something. Bear's death really saddened me.

    In a world where people online are often incredibly rude and vulgar, Bear was a thoughtful, kind, cheerful guy. The world (and cyburbia) were better places because he existed.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I had been avoiding looking into this thread for a while now. I just knew it would make me sad. And it did. Especially that photo of his ashes. Jesum! But we got a mention in the obit so folks know we’re here and thinking of him. I never even met the man, but sh!t, his genuineness showed through. Here’s to you, Mike!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Our Bear's frequent postings held a common theme. He loved to share information on many topics, and outlined details in a way that would have worked in any educational setting.

    Thinking back, he'd see a news item containing a peripheral detail (say, distribution). And he'd toss up a post containing several hundred words describing the connection, and an introduction to the process. Always in an interesting and entertaining way, with asides and comments that picked up other subsets of his global viewpoint. (I'm remembering many remarks about his life journeys: relationships, jobs, cars, sports teams...)

    Whether the detail was the heralded talking urinal cake or the banned words list, Mike would evidently spend quite some time thinking about it, and then share those pearls of wisdom on here.
    A number of his posts dealt with mortality; cancer survival, funeral playlist, and legacies, all logical trains of thought.
    Yes! I always looked forward to Bear's posts. He had a certain eloquence - a real voice - that not everybody has. Add to that the fact that he was forever positive. I was also amazed at his range of interests and knowledge. Who did not read his commentary and leave with a smile, or a new thought kindled?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    So sad to hear about Bear. He was a humorous, kind, thoughtful, and genuinely good person. I hope his family, and our online family here, heal from this loss.

    Much love Bear!
    A hui hou
    Occupy Your Brain!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I don't want to embarrass that other Cyb I'm married to, so I'll start by saying I cried a bunch last week. He got teary-eyed for the first time in the 7 years we've been together.I know a lot of people don't believe in cremation; we do. Still hard to see that proof that Bear is gone.
    Thanks to those Cybs keeping us up to date.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    "For the sword outwears its sheath, and the soul wears out the breast. And the heart must pause to breathe, and love itself have rest."

    - Lord Byron
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  22. #22
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    I imagine BUN was quite a jokester. In fact, I was just reading this thread and my chair suddenly collapsed and broke.

    Things that make you go hmmmmm. . . .

    Oh yes, Bear was in my dreams last night. A first for any Cyburbian.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Make it five!

    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    ...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Michael F. Raczko, 64, of Swanton, Ohio, died on October 18 due to complications of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was a frequent contributor to Cyburbia, where his handle was Bear Up North.

    His own words on Facebook
    Approaching 64, hair is back (but not much) even after years of chemo, radiation, and bone marrow transplant.....4-time mention in national and international news via Lake Superior State's BANISHED WORDS list published every year on New Year's Day.....grand prize winner in poetry contest, THE BLADE, mid-1970s.....co-author cover story for APICS magazine (65,000 circulation).....married, son and his family residing in Portland, OR.....Go Steelers, Go Blue !!! Creator of the world's largest hand-drawn fictional city map! Married to Katie, best damn wife I ever had!
    http://lssu.edu/whats_new/articles.php?articleid=2545

    "Much the same as 'put on the back burner,' these two phrases still have heat and are still in the road. Kick this latest phrase down the road." -- Michael F. Raczko, Swanton, Ohio

  24. #24
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    http://lssu.edu/whats_new/articles.php?articleid=2545

    "Much the same as 'put on the back burner,' these two phrases still have heat and are still in the road. Kick this latest phrase down the road." -- Michael F. Raczko, Swanton, Ohio
    Funny, I was just thinking about missing his overused phrases submission list this year.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I encourage all Cyburbians who can, to contribute to the Humane Society in Bear's name. The Toledo branch is located in Maumee, and we've all heard of Maumee! They will notify Katie if you contribute.

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