Cover photo for Michael Bashara's Obituary
Michael Bashara Profile Photo
1949 Michael 2017

Michael Bashara

February 13, 1949 — February 2, 2017

“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, In this world, Elwood, you must be - she always called me Elwood - In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me." -- Elwood P Dowd in Harvey.

Michael Edward Bashara’s life would echo that sentiment. It was one of many characters he would bring to life on the stage as a drama teacher and community actor. Michael, born February 13, 1949, the first child of the late Edward and June Bashara, took his final curtain call on February 2, 2017. In addition to his love of the theatre, Michael shared a kindred spirit with Bobby Zimmerman, in all but musical talent. He too was a boy growing up in northern Minnesota with dreams, ideals and convictions to change the world. Bobby became Bob Dylan, writing hundreds of songs and inspiring a generation, and Michael, following in his parent’s footsteps, became a teacher, helping shape the minds of hundreds of children.

He first honed his teaching skills as a college student working summers at Camp Easton in Ely, Minnesota. He was offered his first (and only) teaching job by the camp’s director who asked him to start a drama program in Buchanan, Michigan. He taught at Buchanan High School until his retirement. For Michael, teaching was not just a job, it was his calling. From cutting his vacation time short so he could make popcorn for the JV basketball tournament, to coaching cheerleading because no one else would do it, to directing numerous musicals and plays, being the first school in the nation to stage “Into The Woods”, to helping students pursue their dreams of college, to taking students from Buchanan to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Michael happily dedicated his life to education.

The only thing more important to Michael than being a teacher was his family. He was devoted to his daughter, Alexis. She was the center of his universe. For many years he loved his role of driver, taking her to violin lessons and orchestra rehearsals. He adored his wife, Joyce, and helping her with her dream business, Brew Ha Ha Cafe in Niles, Michigan. In the summer, family vacations were spent back in the north woods at the family cabin. It was his little slice of heaven where he spent the days swimming and paddling with his daughter. He remained close to his siblings Joy (Frank Ingram), Marc (Esperanza), and Beth (Brian Stevens), and would play a friendly game of bridge whenever there was a foursome. Never to miss a family gathering, his time with his in-laws, friends, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles, gave him great joy.

In the last years of his life, his curious and active mind was locked and he was unable to speak from the slow progression of vascular dementia. His final moments came quickly and too soon.

He often said, “To be early, is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is unacceptable.” Michael left this world early to be on time in heaven.

Michael Bashara, 67, died on Wednesday, February 2nd, from complications of Vascular Dementia at Lakeland Hospital in Niles.

A celebration of Michael’s life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9 S. Fourth Street, Niles, Michigan, on Friday, February, 10th, 2017. Friends may call from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. A funeral service will begin at 7:30 pm Friday at the church.

The family would like to thank Lauren, Lynn, SMCAS, Niles Fire Department and Lakeland Hospital for their help and compassion.

Memorials in Michael’s name may be directed to the American Diabetes Association 2451 Crystal Drive Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22202, ADEC of Elkhart Co 19670 State Rd. 120 Bristol, IN 46507 or Trinity Episcopal Church, 9 S. Fourth St, Niles, MI 49120.

Arrangements have been made at Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home 615 E. Main St. Niles, MI.
Condolences may be directed to

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts." -Jaques in As You Like It. Michael cherished all of his roles and the important parts family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers played.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Bashara, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 6

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree