Michael M. Oetken, a co-founder of J&M Displays, Inc., passed away on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, after a long illness.
Born November 20, 1941 in Burlington, IA, he was the son of Milton and Frances Oetken. On August 26, 1961 he married Rosemary Ann Scott at St. Mary's, Kingston, IA.
He was a 1959 graduate of Burlington High School and attended Burlington Junior College. He served in the Air Force from 1961-1965 and worked in intelligence in Germany during the Berlin Wall Crisis. He worked at the IAAP in Middletown as a lab technician on the hydrogen bomb. He also worked at Bonewitz Chemicals as a computer programmer. He co-founded J&M Displays, Inc. with his brother James Oetken in 1980, serving as CFO, and was instrumental in developing the computer software programs for the company.
Mike had a strong interest in meteorology and storm watching. He was an avid stamp collector. He enjoyed mushroom hunting and trips to Las Vegas with his siblings.
Mike is survived by his mother, Frances Oetken, of Burlington, IA; son, Kevin (Lisa) Oetken of Monmouth, IA, and daughter, Diane Van Duzen of Burlington, IA; six grandchildren and one great-grandson; brothers, John Oetken of Las Vegas, NV and James Oetken of Yarmouth, IA; sisters, Susan Skalinski of Burlington, IA and Maryann Beckman of Algonquin, IL, as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary; son, Jeffrey Oetken; and father, Milton Oetken.
The Rosary will be prayed at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1st, at Lunning Chapel followed by the family receiving friends from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Oetken will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, May 2nd, at SS Mary and Patrick Catholic Church in West Burlington. The Rev. Father David Steinle will be the celebrant. The Des Moines County Resurrection Choir will provide music. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, rural Kingston. The Burlington Area Veterans Honor Guard will conduct Military Rites.
A memorial has been established.
On behalf of Hop Kee Pyrotechnics & Pyromagic Multi-media Productions, Hong Kong. Our deepest condolence to Oetken's family. Michael will be missed but surely his tribute to the industry will be carried by Jim Oetken & the rest of his family members.
We remember being up on Mike's Weather Tower. Very impressive. He was a fellow worker at the IAAP. Always cheerful and dedicated. I had Jeff as a ninth grader and felt terrible when he died. What a burden for parents to deal with. Mike was a good person who will definitely be missed.
Friendship is a Priceless Gift that can't be Bought or Sold,
but it's Value is far Greater then a Mountain made of Gold,
for Gold is Cold and Lifeless it can neither See nor Hear,
and in Times of Trouble it is Powerless to Cheer,
it has no Ears to Listen no Heart no Understand,
it can't bring You Comfort or Reach out a Helping Hand,
So when You ask God for a Gift be Thankful he Sends,
Not Diamonds, Pearls, or Riches, But
The Love OF A Real True Friend
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
From all of the J&M South Family
The Big Bang Boom Fireworks committee from Norfolk Nebraska want to express our deepest sympathies to Michael's family and to the family of J&M Displays and all they serve. Michaell wil be missed. Rest In Peace Michael.
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