Michael J. Leal, 72, of Ottawa, passed away November 15, 2020 at Morris Hospital.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon on Friday, November 20 at St. Columba Church. A walk-through visitation will be from 10 am to noon, prior to services, at the church. Due to CDC and local guidelines, masks and social distancing will be mandatory. He will be buried at St. Columba Cemetery at a later date. Ottawa Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.
Michael, “Mick” or “Mickey,” to those who knew him best, was born, September 2nd, 1948 in Ottawa to Joseph “Jess” and Cora (Miller) Leal. On April 21, 1979, he married Patricia (Hollahan) at St. Joseph Church in Marseilles, IL. He and Pat shared 41 years together: enjoying many travels, spending time with family, attending church, and doing crossword puzzles together; but their pride and joy are their children and grandchildren. He worked as a union millwright at LOF/Pilkington for 30+ years before retiring in 2000. He was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Ottawa.
He was a graduate of OHS class of 1966; a multi-sport athlete excelling in baseball and hockey. Mick dreamed of being a professional baseball player and had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals in his late teens. His passion for baseball continued throughout his life. He coached Little League for more than 10 years and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan--- grateful to have lived to see them win the World Series in 2016. He followed the other Chicago sports teams; the Bears and Blackhawks, leaving Pat to cheer on the White Sox on her own.
He was an avid golfer and fan of the game. He played golf up to the very end, you could find him most days at Dayton Ridge Golf Course between the months of April-October (and any day above 50 degrees in between). He also volunteered at the BMW golf tournaments at Cog Hill for many years. It was during one of these tournaments when he suggested to Tiger Woods that he shouldn’t have made some recent changes to his game.
He is survived by his wife; his children, Michelle (John) Krodel of San Antonio, TX, Michael A. Leal of Ottawa, Joseph (Erica) Leal of Menifee, CA, Shawn (Michael) Christie of Lancaster, CA, Anna (John) Wright of Ottawa, and Marco (Kristie) Leal of Ottawa; grandchildren, Courtney (Aaron) Christensen of Barstow, CA, Zachary Krodel of San Antonio, TX, Matthew Leal of Ottawa, Jacob Leal of Sycamore, Alyssa Leal of Ottawa, Kaleb Leal of Menifee, CA, Yvonne, Mackenzie, Michaela, Michael and Ethan Christie of Lancaster, CA, Graham Wright of Ottawa, Abbett, Henleigh, and Rooney Leal of Ottawa; great-grandchildren, Jackson Krodel, Emily and Paityn Christensen of Barstow, CA; siblings, Wayne (Kathy) Leal of Naplate, Patti (Jim) Myers of Ottawa, and Kevin (Heather) Leal of Ottawa; brother-in-law, Larry Simmons of Pekin; and his Godson, Brandon Leal of Ottawa.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, Juanita (Larry) Simmons and Randy Leal; and his surrogate granddaughter, Molly Yacko.
Pallbearers are his grandsons, Matthew and Jake Leal; nephews, Brian Leal, Brandon Leal and Greg Muncy; and his lifelong friend and neighbor, Gary Hoffman. Honorary pallbearers are his grandchildren.
We hope that Mickey is pain-free and playing the perfect golf game in Heaven, and is reunited with his family and his fur babies, Twix and Knuckles, along with his grand-pup, Berkeley. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, including all of the ladies at The HiWay, who took such good care of him when he was there.
A special thank you to the Morris Hospital and the COVID ICU unit. Their staff took tremendous care of him and worked tirelessly around the clock to provide him with wonderful care. We are eternally grateful for the love that they bestowed upon him throughout this battle.
Our family has been hit hard by the COVID virus. It has forever changed our lives and we hope that none of our family or friends have to endure this pain and suffering. Our final wish for him is that he did not die in vain. Please follow the health regulations put in place by your local government as they are for your protection as well as the health and wellness of our community as a whole. We pray that there is a cure for this virus in the near future and in the meantime, please wear the mask.
All memorials may be directed to the family or to St. Francis of Assisi Church in his memory.
To send flowers to Michael's family, please visit our floral store.