Hard-working and driven, Michael Rego always tried to take the world onto his own shoulders, to do the difficult things himself in order to make life easier for others. A friend to all, Michael loved being around people, and liked everyone he met. Michael’s boundless energy, no-nonsense attitude, and kind heart will live on in the hearts and memories of all those whose lives he touched.
Michael Mead was born on August 27, 1967, to proud parents Michael J. and Carol Jean “Jeannie” (Michaels) Rego. The youngest of the family, Michael grew up with older sisters Jean Ann and Renee. The Rego family lived in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where Michael was a dentist and Jeannie was a dental office manager (and later ran a cleaning service). Michael was an energetic little boy, who enjoyed sports and loved playing flag football with his cousins in Lannon, Wisconsin. He managed to wear out two Big Wheels tricycles, and his father had to glue rubber from old tires into the holes Michael wore in the plastic wheels!
When the time came for Michael to go to school, he was a reluctant student – his mom had to drag him to school. In first grade, he came down with pneumonia, which resulted in his being held back a grade. After that, Michael was one of the older boys in the class, and he always stood up to bullies, protecting the underdog.
By the time he was in high school, Michael was an all-around athlete. He played offense and defense for the football team (#33), and was chosen as Most Valuable Player for three years running. He also played intramural basketball, and ran sprints for the track team. After graduating from Wauwatosa East High School, Michael went on to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for one year. He played football for the Marquette University-Club Football team, even though he wasn’t a student there. Michael had friends on the team, and since they needed more players, he was asked to join the team.
In 1992, Michael became an entrepreneur when he opened a bar called “Rego’s” on Humboldt and Garfield with his sister, Renee. The bar business is a tough life, however, and they decided to close the bar after five years. Through this experience, Michael realized he was well-suited to owning his own business, and his thoughts turned to painting. He had begun helping a painter when he was in high school, and continued painting during breaks in his college years. After the bar closed, Michael established his own painting company, which he called Clean Cut Painting, LLC. Under his leadership over the next 15 years, the company grew and became very successful. He had a good relationship with his crew members, who became very familiar with some of Michael’s favorite expressions: “Thought you knew,” “Liberals are to blame for …,” “My Brother,” and “T-cup.”
Michael purchased a duplex in the Bay View neighborhood, and later two duplexes on Milwaukee’s East Side. He renovated the duplexes himself, and really enjoyed living on the East Side. He could often be spotted around the neighborhood, jogging or riding his bike. He owned a boat for a short time, docked at the Rock Bottom. For vacations, Michael took memorable trips to Belize, Jamaica, and New York City. At home, Michael loved following his favorite teams – the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. His favorite players were Tony Dorsett and the legendary Brett Favre, and he followed them as they moved from team to team.
Friendly, hard-working, and ambitious, Michael was a loving son and brother, a good boss, and a loyal friend. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many friends and family members.
Michael Mead Rego died on October 29, 2012, at the age of 45. Michael’s family includes his parents, Carol Jean (Dick) Lemke and the late Michael J. Rego; his sisters, Jean Ann (Mark) Kurzynski and Renee (Tom Svendsen) Rego; his nephews, Anthony Rego and Ryan Kurzynski; and his lifelong friends, Matt Bevington and Terry Andrews.
Family and friends will gather at Suminski LifeStory Funeral Home, 1901 N. Farwell Avenue, (414) 276-5122, on Saturday, November 3, from 1 p.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 2 p.m. Please visit Michael’s personal memory page at www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com, where you can learn more about his life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.
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