Michael Alan Bjerkos, “Tex,” 67, of rural Westby passed away suddenly Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.
He was born June 29, 1955, in Viroqua, Wis., the son of Morris and Gertrude (Pellowski) Bjerkos. He went to grade school in Bloomingdale and to junior and senior high school in Westby, where he graduated in 1973.
Michael worked for Henessey Trucking hauling livestock for a number of years. During this time, he met Cindy Dobbs, the love of his life, and they married on March 19, 1981. Unfortunately, they lost an infant soon after they were married. Even though Cindy’s health failed early in their marriage, Mike’s love for her never did.
When Henessy went out of business, Tex bought his own truck and hauled lumber for Jack Boldon, Wayne Wallace and others in the area. Michael’s love for the Kickapoo River had him working for a canoe rental establishment in Ontario for several summers. Later he went to work for Scott Dahl, Dahl Earthworks, operating the quarry. He loved this job and Scott and Doreen’s family.
Michael was a big animal lover, raising several dogs and feeding many stray cats his whole life. He enjoyed listening to old-time country music and watching western TV shows like “Gunsmoke.” Michael took after his mother in that he liked to raise a garden, and then can and preserve his produce, including making his own sauerkraut.
Michael enjoyed being with family and friends. He may have been known best for mastering an instrument that only few could claim the same; that was the Glockenspiel. This was played best at Danceland in Ontario, Wis. He also liked playing the guitar and banjo.
Michael always had a love for trucks and other machinery and saw value in old pieces, which, over the years, led to his accumulating his own private junkyard. But this was not junk — it was “inventory” to Mike. He loved boating and fishing and often passed time doing that with his uncle, Russell Bjerkos. Laurie Everhart and her two children, Nathan and Malia, were special to him.
Mike was a quiet man, but he had many friends who he shared time and wisdom with, and his kindness will be remembered by all.
Michael is survived by his wife, Cindy; his brother, Paul (Sonja) Bjerkos of Westby, Wis.; two sisters, Mary (John) Suddie of Galena, Ill., and Anastasia “Annie” Bjerkos of Huntley, Ill.; a sister-in-law, Frances Bjerkos of Westby, Wis.; a brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Sue Dobbs of Ontario; many wonderful nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and a lot of dear friends.
Michael was preceded in death by an infant child; his parents, Morris and Gertrude Bjerkos; his father- and mother-in-law, Stacy and Margie Dobbs; two brothers, Joseph Bjerkos and Gerald “Butch” Bjerkos; and one sister, Millie Wood.
A Celebration of Life will be from 4–7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the former Ontario Elementary School building, 114 Church St., Ontario, Wis. A private burial will be held at a later date in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Cashton, Wis.
Tex’s family would like to send out a special thank-you to the Cashton First Responders and Fire Department.
The Torkelson Funeral Home of Ontario, Wis., is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.