Cover photo for Michael "Mike" Borneman's Obituary
Michael "Mike" Borneman Profile Photo
1964 Michael 2019

Michael "Mike" Borneman

April 1, 1964 — November 23, 2019

Rib Mountain

Michael “Mike” E. Borneman, 55, passed away surrounded by loved ones on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 after a hard fought battle with cancer. He was born on April 1st, 1964 in Milwaukee, WI to Bob and Lee (Smrz) Borneman.

Mike married the love of his life Julie (Woodward) on June 17th, 1989. After 39 years together they were each others rock and it showed to everyone they met, especially during the last 17 months while he battled these diseases. Mike was first diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in July 2018 and after 4 months of chemo he received a bone marrow transplant from his son, Mitch. In April 2019 Mike was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, and in May he suffered from an Ischemic Stroke. Recently, the cancer had metastasized to his liver. He was always positive, with a smile so big it reached his piercing blue eyes. Through everything he would always say “we got this, go team Mike!”. He was an amazing husband and a wonderful father who will be greatly missed.

Mike was a graduate of Wausau East High School. He started working for Bob Borneman Homes in 1981, where he crafted his talent for working with his hands. Mike has worked for Ghidorzi Construction since 2005. As a family, we could not have asked for a better employer, especially since Mike’s diagnosis.

Mike’s favorite past time was hunting at the shack, his passing was in true “Big Mike” fashion to take place opening day of rifle season. He also loved spending time with family and friends at the cottage during the summer where he taught many people to fish and enjoy the outdoors. Mike loved coaching his son in hockey and watching him play from mites to college. He enjoyed maintaining his garden and helping Julie harvest the crop into salsa and sauces for everyone to enjoy. Mike spent many hours admiring the birds at the feeders in their backyard. He loved listening to music on ozzy’s bone-yard and quizzing people, especially his daughter-in-law. Mike also liked talking about politics with his son-in-law.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife Julie; children Ashley (KC) Kline of Rib Mountain and Mitchael (Kristina) Borneman of Weston; his parents Bob and Lee Borneman of Rib Mountain; sister Sandy Weiland of Wausau; brother-in-law Kurt (Jessica Tlusty) Woodward of Ringle; nephew Maxwell Woodward, niece Grace Woodward and his dog Audrey May. He is preceded in death by his father-in-law Lionel Woodward and mother-in-law Karen Woodward.

Our family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the oncology nurses and Dr. Ahuja for taking such great care of Mike. He said he could not have gotten through everything he did without their genuine concern and support. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the Aspirus Oncology Department for Cancer Research.

Thank you to Dr. Nietert for all the support and guidance over the years.  The dedication and hard work from the Aspirus Rehab Unit was greatly appreciated to help Mike achieve his goal of walking down the isle at his sons wedding.  We would also like to extend gratitude towards Dr. Hall and staff at UW-Madison Carbone Cancer Center.

A Memorial service for Mike will be held at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 at Brainard Funeral Home- Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston. Rev. Cindy Bachara will officiate. Visitation will begin at 2:00 PM. To share condolences, please visit

Here are some of our favorite Mike’isms...If you have others, please share them:

“Be productive”

“It’s only money”

“YOU are the predator”

“We got this!”

“Somebody’s gotta be the first statistic”

“You have one job and one job only and that is to cover the back door man”

“Aim small, miss small”

“Doesn’t matter where you go, they’re gonna be there”

"Don't fruit the beer"

"Just providing for my family"

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


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