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Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home
Friday January 28th, 2022
4:00pm - 8:00pm

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Funeral Mass

St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saturday January 29th, 2022
10:00am - 10:45am

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Michael John Startz

Our beloved Michael John Startz (“Iron Mike'') went home to be with the Lord on January 17, 2022, at the age of 60. Michael was the ninth of 10 children, born in Joliet, IL at St. Joseph’s Hospital on October 4, 1961. He was a lifelong resident of Joliet, IL; briefly living in Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Crandon, WI; and in Morris, IL for the past 23 years. Michael attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Grade School. There, he was an altar boy, crossing guard, a class tutor, and graduated with high honors. As an all-around athlete, Michael played football, basketball, and his favorite little league baseball. His team won first place in the World Series Tournament in Williamsburg, PA, with Michael winning 1st place trophies for pitching. He attended Joliet Catholic High School (Hilltoppers) from 1975 - 1977, then transferred to Joliet Central (Steelmen) in 1978. At Central, Michael was on the baseball team and received a scholarship to Boone College in Iowa for minor league baseball. He was drafted to the Toronto Blue Jays, but instead following in his father’s footsteps becoming an honorary member of the Union Ironworkers Local 444 in Joliet, IL for 32 years, retiring early. Michael is survived by his daughter Sarah Welsch Neubauer and Karah Orr; girlfriend, and companion of 35 years, Bridgett Orr; his brother Bob, Bobby Jr. (Ellen), Elizabeth (Frank) Stec, Anthony Haas, JoAnn (Nick) Bravato, James Cox, Linda Marcolina, Judith Moats, as well as two grandsons, numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and cousins, He is preceded in death by his parents Robert Sr. and Constance P. Startz (nee Williams); his brother Howard Startz; and his sister Janeth Connor-Grogg. Michael will always be remembered for his stunning baby blue eyes, his gentle masculine voice, his sweet smile and his amusing laugh, his funny, outrageous, and witty humor, and most of all his extreme generosity to everyone. He had a heart of gold. He was thoughtful, kind-hearted, and very forgiving. He brought joy and happiness to everyone he met with his easy-going nature and his love for God holding fast to his Catholic beliefs and upbringing, frequently giving necessities and money to the poor and less fortunate, and helping out his family and friends, He had a beautiful sensitive soul, our protector, like St. Michael. He bravely fought a courageous cancer battle and numerous other struggles. He loved swimming, especially in the ocean in Florida and Hawaii. He loved to cook, play puzzles, watch George Carlin comedy shows and his favorite movie was The Greatest Story Ever Told. He loved watching sports, taking walks, bodybuilding, playing lotto tickets, and poker. His favorite thing to do was spend quality time with his daughter Karah, with whom he had a special bond, and family and friends. He was the life of the party. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, especially by us three amigos, Uncle Mikey or Mouse Man. Our bond will never be broken. Visitation will be Friday, January 28th, 2022 from 4-8 pm. at the Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home 1500 Black Rd, Joliet, IL 60435. A Celebration of Michael’s Life with a Mass will be at St. Patrick’s Church in Joliet, IL on Saturday, January 29th, 2022 at 10:00 am following the burial at Saratoga Cemetery on IL Rt 47, Morris, Grundy County, IL

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My deepest condolences to Kara, Bridget and his Family. Mike was a great guy and had a Heart Of gold .Now you are at rest with your the ones you lost during life. May god shine the light upon you Buddy

Joe & Anthony Sylvester Jan 28 2022 3:59 PM

A photo was added for Michael John Startz

Jamie Jan 25 2022 3:39 AM

Big Mike, what can I say that hasn't already been said. You've been family since 1987. You were my brother. There won't be a day that goes by that I won't think about you. Hearing you yell "JAMIE!!" when we would see each other. From sneaking us into Holiday Inn to swim to fishing in Wisconsin at Gile Flowage to watching sports and cooking out. Life won't be the same without you. I'd give anything to hear your voice again and hug you. I'll miss watching Chapelle, Family Guy, Happy Gilmore, Fargo and any Swarzenegger movie. "Put that cookie down!!!!" "I'm trying to cooperate here" "you can trouble me for a nice warm glass of shut the Hell up." But what I'll miss most is when it was just you and I talking outside near the grill. I know you are no longer in pain and don't have anymore worries. I'll always lookout for Karah so rest peacefully my brother and I will see you again one day. Love and miss you brother.

Jamie Keers Jan 25 2022 3:30 AM

Rest In Peace, Michael!

Debbi Wilson Randall Jan 25 2022 12:27 AM

Peace and comfort to those left behind. With deepest sympathy and warmest aloha,

Beverly Startz Aiwohi Jan 25 2022 12:12 AM

My deepest condolences to Mike Family. May his soul rest in eternal peace 🙏

Jeanne Jan 24 2022 11:41 PM

Uncle Mike....me and the kids love you so much...it breaks my heart to know that you will never be her in the flesh with us but believe you will always be in our hearts...I'm so glad Liala and I saw you at the mall on Christmas...I will always remember the times you lived with me on and off and want you to know that you will truly be missed by everyone that knew you especially me and the kids...you can rest now...give my dad...grandma...uncle Howie, aunt Janet and grandma Connie a kiss for me....we love you and miss you already...watch over me and the kids

Stephanie Moats Jan 24 2022 11:24 PM

Mike\'s death is having a profound effect on me because he was a huge important part of it since I was little. Even more then I realized. He was Family. He was fun and generous and even with his battles and hardships he never wavered. He was so funny and so much fun to be around. No one made you laugh like Mike. Our bbq\'s and bonfires will never be the same without you. I like to believe your in heaving enjoying a huge steak. He was my friend, my fellow Libra and like a brother to me. Rest now Mike and relax. I love you. Thanks for being apart of my life.

Heidi Jan 24 2022 8:15 PM

Michael may you rest in the arms of the angels. Your memories will remain in our hearts until someday we will meet again. I always remembered you singing Frank Sinatra songs especially Strangers in the Night--you knew all the words. Always had kind words and a smile that lit up a room.I know your parents, brother and sister now are waiting for you with open arms. Till we meet again dear cousin. love Dede.

CHRISTINE REMIJAS . Dede Jan 24 2022 7:17 PM

I am so glad you came to visit this summer. Had a good 3 weeks that I will always treasure. Rest In Peace dear brother ❤️

linda marcolina Jan 24 2022 6:42 PM

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