Michael “Mike” Gustine


Michael John Gustine, 70, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 after an extended hospitalization.

He was born on October 16, 1951 in Pierre, SD to Ralph L. and Dorothy “Dottie” M. (Coan) Gustine, joining his sister, Nancy. He participated in neighborhood baseball games, and once served as ball boy for the college team Pierre Cowboys, who coached their little league teams. Many childhood team members still remember fondly his relentless enthusiasm for playing.

The family relocated to Rochester in 1963. They remained in Rochester through Mike’s school career.

In 197 he married for a brief time and his son, Jason (Gus Lynch) was born on October 2, 1972. Mike took great pride and joy in Jason’s later success in acting and comedy.

He married Maureen Ver Douw in December 1979 in Dakota County. Together they had 5 children.

Mike continued in his avid participation in sports, serving as a youth softball coach, playing on teams in tournaments as well as organizing them and umpiring in the area. Mike is respected greatly for his skill, impartiality, his keen eye and humor. He also enjoyed playing tennis (barefoot) and participated in many golf tournaments.

Mike was employed in the hospitality industry. He worked alongside his dad at Shakey’s Pizza, the Radison & the Kahler. He was also employed at Daniel’s in Kasson and Frank-n-Stein’s in Byron from where lifelong friends were made.

He attended Riverland College in Rochester and was employed at Von Wald’s followed by Sheriff’s Youth Program in Austin until health issues intervened in 2002.

Mike was a big influence in keeping his 1969 JMHS classmates connected, calling for monthly “Geezer Gatherings” which held a lot of laughter.

Mike was loved by many who valued his appreciation for life, his supportive friendships, his unparalleled humor and his kindness.

Mike is survived by “the always lovely” Maureen; his sons, Matthew, Zachary, Samuel (Samantha) and Jacob (Melissa); his daughter, Megan; his grandchildren, Jacinda, Jasmine, Jaxsen, Amelie, Briannah, Jones, Evelyn, Addison, and Mason; nephews, Bill, Christopher, and Jesse Magnuson; and cousins; sisters-in-law, Beverly Dittel, Debra (James) De Wilde, Karen (Kendrick) Wise, and Richelle (David) Weisgurt; many nieces and nephews; and his dog, Cujo and cat, E.T.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Nancy; his son, Jason; nephew, Joel Magnuson; great nephew, Dylan Martinez; his old pal Bob Evenson; sister-in-law, Paula Rude; and a myriad of friends.

Goodbye for now, Michael. You will not be forgotten. Thank you for your love and the memories.

A celebration of life will be held from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at Frank-n -Stein’s Restaurant & Lounge, 15 Frontage Rd Byron MN 55920, where a glass of Jameson will be raised in his honor. Food will be provided.

Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Mike may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com

19 thoughts on “Michael “Mike” Gustine

  1. Thanks for so many fun memories.A wonderful sense of humor and sharp wit.Alway’s caring and concern for others. An original who can’t be replaced. So grateful for your friendship. Won”t be forgotten soon. Love you man!

  2. Mike, always so kind and compassionate. I will never forget your laugh, your love of life, family and friends. You set the bar high ❤️…I love you friend ❤️

  3. Mike, I was so happy after all the years that passed after graduation that we could once again meet up and bring Maureen and Bernie with us. I am so thankful we had a few years to catch up, laugh, and reminisce. There are no words to convey how much we all will miss your smile, laugh, the hugs and kisses when we all got together. You are loved and missed my dear friend and will never be forgotten.

  4. Dad, I’m absolutely heart broken. I struggle to see how I can even go on, but you raised me to be strong and keep moving forward no matter what life throws at you. You were and always will be my hero. I know you are proud of the man I’ve become and I owe that to you. I feel like I have to start a whole new life now, completely restructured. You always encouraged us, said you loved us and never let a phone call go unanswered. I still can’t believe we’ll never get to share a meal, a hug, or a laugh together ever again, but I treasure all the ones we did share. I now have a new guardian angel and the prospect of the day I leave this Earth is much less frightening knowing you’ll be there when I arrive. Goodbye for now. I’ll see you again, but not TOO soon. I love you so much…

  5. Mike
    It is hard to believe that I will never again see your beautiful smiling face! I’m so glad we got to reconnect in our twilight years. I so enjoyed our Geezer Gatherings. The shared fun times where we tipped a few and caught up with each other I will cherish forever. I will miss you old friend. Gone but never forgotten. Love Elaine

  6. Mike, it was always a beautiful joy to see you and Maureen at Johns shows.
    Your smile and kind words warmed my heart!
    You both loved being a part of johns life!
    May God wrap you in his arms and forever in the hearts of all that you have embraced

  7. Oh the memories. As his neighbors for almost 20 years we sure had stories to share and trouble to get into. Mike you will be greatly missed but as said previously, never forgotten. Love your neighbors to the South, Ronda and John.

  8. Mikey, such a wonderful spirited guy who never complained about the cards you were dealt. I am so glad I got to see you at our 50th re union. I will miss you friend and your quick wit and caring personality.Loved seeing your posts on FB about you soaking up the sun on the ramp (naked) you would say and just enjoying life. Fly high my friend!❤️

  9. Gus, I will miss your smiling face and most all your caring and thoughtful nature. We were blessed to know and share time with you. Rest In Peace my friend.

  10. As we all know life is precious and our time on earth is unknown but to have the luxury of knowing someone as special as Michael is something I will Carry with me…Playing football in our apartment parking lot barefoot throwing footballs to all us neighborhood kids…made my day on a number of occasions…always had a positive outlook on things even in the toughest of times and a sense of humor that would brighten anyone’s day…I will miss you

  11. In loving memory of Mike! I only had a couple of times where I got to talk to you. I enjoyed that conversation. We had stopped on our way up north. You were so inviting to coffee, or whatever was there. I should explain it was at a park where you were having a family reunion picnic. I won’t forget that, though, as you waited for more .members to show. It was a good conversation. Well, hold down the spot for another reunion. We’ll all meet again.

  12. Mike,
    You were always a teacher of life. The main thing I learned from you and your family is: It wasn’t what you have that makes life great, it’s who you have (family and friends) to enjoy with. You always made everyone’s day better. You and your family always meant the world to me whether anyone ever know it or not. I’m grateful to have been a part of you and your family’s life. You made this world a better place. Rest In Peace

  13. Rest In Peace Mike. I remember your kind friendliness and thank you for a life of giving.

  14. Mike, you were one of a kind and irreplaceable. I also moved to Rochester in 1963. Your warmth, magnetic personality, wit, and love of life had me at the get go and never stopped. The Class of ’69 Geezer Gatherings and this earthly realm will never be the same but hopefully we will carry on in your honor. Rest in peace, Mike. Feel my goodbye hug.

  15. I just found out that Mike passed.
    I have lots of fond memories of him in the 70’s. Nancy Lynch and autumn we’re close friends. I remember when their son Jason was born.
    I’m so sorry I lost connection Over the years. Memories are a part of our soul.
    God bless all of you children of Gus, you forever carry him with you in your hearts, and souls

  16. I cannot possibly express to you all what a joy it is to read these comments and stories, I just checked back in and saw a few that I had missed. I can tell you with the utmost confidence and certainty that my Dad loved you all, and you meant every bit as much to him as he did to you. The world has lost a true family man, a true friend, and a true lover of life. God bless you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings here for us. It means so much more than words can say. ❤

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