Beloved father, grandfather and friend, Michael Schipfmann drifted peacefully from this world Jan. 7, 2021, in Lakeville, Minn., at the age of 78.
Mike was born Sept. 11, 1942, to Gertrud and Heinz Schipfmann in Hamburg, Germany. After completing formal schooling, Mike moved to Switzerland to pursue an apprenticeship in the culinary arts, training for what would be a life-long passion and career.
Mike immigrated to the U.S. in 1962, finding sponsorship and a home in Chicago with an aunt. There he met and married his first wife, Rita. The pair moved to Iowa, and had two children, Carl and Karen. In 1989 Mike married the love of his life, Sue Landgraf Dahms, welcoming stepdaughter, Stephanie and stepson, Eric to the family, and joining the large and loving Landgraf clan.
Mike's apprenticeship served him well. His first job was as a chef on the passenger cruise ship Hanseatic, a two-year stint before immigrating. In Chicago, he worked in the kitchen at his Aunt Liesel's boardinghouse, and at the prestigious Pump Room of the Ambassador Hotel. In Iowa, he spent 10 years running the supper club Wendy Oaks with his cousin Hardy, before moving on to Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, where he would hold the position of Executive Chef for 20 years. Following his retirement from Elmcrest, Mike worked his kitchen magic at Kirkwood College, McLeod, Mount Mercy Hospital and CanTwo Food Brokerage.
A kind, patient, generous and gregarious man, Mike had time for everyone. He had many lifelong friends including the Hacienda (Office) crowd and was loved by all who knew him. The best times of his life were spent with family, traveling, whiling away time on (and by) the water like the family Florida trips and Landgraf Family reunions at Lake Okoboji, attending Oktoberfest celebrations across the U.S. and in Germany, attending his grandkids' sporting events and, of course, cooking. One of the many ways Mike showed his love to those dear to him was by cooking for them, as anyone who was lucky enough to eat his BBQ ribs, strawberry rhubarb jelly, or receive his holiday gift of Rotkohl could attest. His big heart, twinkling eyes and tuneful whistling will be greatly missed.
Mike is survived by his son, Carl (Carlene) Schipfmann of Lenexa, Kan.; stepdaughter, Stephanie (Wayde) Cin, of Lakeville, Minn.; daughter, Karen (Jay) Nielson of Cody, Wyo.; brother, Arndt (Dorte) Schipfmann of Hamburg, Germany; grandchildren, Emma, Isaac, Austin, Riley and Randall; niece, Britta (Ralf) and nephew, Cord (Carina); sisters-in-law, Julie (David) Thelen, Paula Landgraf, Anne (Mark) Miller and Carol (Pat) Lenhart; brothers-in-law, Jerry (Barb) Landgraf, Tom (Sue) Landgraf and John (Joyce) Landgraf; and numerous nieces, nephews and their families.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Sue; and his stepson, Eric.
Our family would like to thank Minnesota Hospice for their expertise, compassion, nurturing care, and thorough communication. We would also like to thank the Kingsley Shores assisted living/memory care Activity Directors Nina and Anika, LPN Thomas, the many RAs who cared for Mike, and the loving staff who intentionally stopped by during his final days to visit, share their stories and love for him. We are grateful for all the friendships he made with fellow residents.
No services are planned at this time, but photos and tributes can be posted to his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mike.schipfmann.5.
Memorial gifts can be made securely online at www.lbda.org/donate or mailed to Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Rd., SW, Lilburn, GA 30047.