Obituary for Michael Rex Sheets


Michael Rex Sheets

April 16, 1951 - June 6, 2021

Michael Rex Sheets, Mike, was surrounded by family when he passed away on June 6, 2021 at his home in Markleville, Indiana following a courageous four year battle with cancer. Born on April 16, 1951 in Anderson, Indiana to Silver Star decorated World War II US Army veteran father Rex David Sheets and mother Mary Patricia (Williamson) Sheets. Mike graduated from Anderson High School in 1969. 

On November 19, 1971, he married the love of his life, high school sweetheart Debra (Chenoweth) Sheets. They bought a home in the countryside where they raised their three children Phillip M. (Cathy) Sheets, Rebecca J. Sheets, and Jeremy R. Sheets, and cared for horses, dogs, cats, and a host of other small animals.

Hired by General Motors in 1971, Mike completed a four year tool and die maker apprenticeship and worked as a tool and die maker at GM for 46 years. At home, Mike could often be found putting this technical knowledge, craftsmanship, and natural creativity to use working on motorcycles in his workshop, home improvement projects, and on custom creations for family and friends like penny bracelets for the kids, hand letter punched steel tags for the grand-dogs, custom machined drink coasters, and so many other creative projects. 

Known for his dry sense of humor, Mike was a master of hijinks and of delivering jokes with a perfectly straight face. His best friend since kindergarten, Tom Nicholas recalled, “Growing up together and walking up and down the alleys of the old neighborhood gave us hours of entertainment, especially when Mike found a hatchet. I remember him sticking it up his sleeve before we went to the store. The lady grabbed him and said ‘Gotcha.’ thinking he may be stealing something. When Mike pulled out the hatchet she said, ‘Oh, a boy scout!’ That still makes me laugh.”

Mike was a fiercely loyal friend. He maintained friendships from school, work and motorcycling—including a long-standing close friendship with motorcycle friend and drinking buddy Phil Benson. For over 30 years, Mike was an active member of Harley Davidson Chapter 1277 Motorcycle Club, sponsored by Benson Motorcycles. He planned, led, and participated in countless group motorcycle rides on memorable and sometimes wild adventures spanning from coast to coast. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, computers and his creative, energetic grandchildren, Dylan Brown, Max Sheets, Leo Sheets, and RJ Rickard.

Mike is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, and siblings Paulette (Butch) Tompkins, Kevin (Cheryl) Sheets, and several nephews & a niece. He is preceded in death by his parents. 

Per his wishes, there will be no services. 

Memorial donations may be made to The Cancer Research Center or a charity of your choice.

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