SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 2020
VISITATION : 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: 12:00 p.m.
DRAEGER-LANGENDORF FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in memory of Maxine Tank (Mike’s sister) to Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (11709 W Cleveland Ave, Suite 2, West Allis, WI 53227; https://www.dsaw.org/donate).
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Michael James Tank, aka “Tank” passed away suddenly on Jan 30th at the age of 69.
Mike lived a full life, graduating from Whitefish Bay high school in 1969 followed by enlisting in the US Navy in 1970.
He served for four years, from 1970 to 1973. Following Boot Camp and Machinist Mate “A” School at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, Mike transferred to the USS Ouellet DE1077, becoming part of its first crew. While attached to that ship, the USS Ouellet was deployed to the Western Pacific, where, off the coast of Vietnam, it came under hostile fire repeatedly. When the ship was not at sea, it was based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Upon completing his four years of service as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, Mike returned to his hometown of Whitefish Bay, WI. His service directly inspired his youngest sister, Tara, to eventually enlist in the Navy.
He married the love of his life, Jan Janke in 1986 and they enjoyed nearly 25 years of marriage together. They and their dogs went yearly to the Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, taking in at least one of the off-road trails on every visit. They were also loyal participants in many of the local festivals…Maxwell Street days, State Fair, 7 Mile Fair, pulling their little treasure wagon behind them.
His other love was for his dogs JD, Bear and Fred and his cat McGee along with Jan’s dogs Cody & Charlie and cat Tasha.
Mike worked at the Milwaukee Journal for 20 years as a mechanic but had actually started earlier as a paperboy and then a station manager. After the Milwaukee Journal closed their fleet shop, he went to Airoldi Brothers for 25 years.
Mike had a strong sense of family and a genuine interest in each family member. Whenever a family member came into town, he always found time to catch up with them. He took us all for motorcycle rides and let us help him with his 1966 Chevelle stock car. He was a huge fan of NASCAR races and drooled over many of the cars on the car auction shows. He watched over our mother and they’d have dinner together every couple of weeks. He will be missed at family events by all, including many nieces, nephews and cousins. He has left a legacy on all of our hearts that will never be forgotten. We will all miss the hugs of our gentle bear and know he is busy giving hugs to everyone in heaven and talking about cars to his heart’s content.
Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Janice; sister, Maxine, his father and mother, Max and Carol Tank
He is survived by his sisters Maria (Rick) Sandford, Marsha (Mark) Shuda, Tara (Syndey) Breckenridge, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to meet in the Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home and Crematory on Saturday, March 7, 2020 for a visitation from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. A service with military honors will follow at 12:00 p.m. A private interment will take place at Graceland Cemetery in Milwaukee. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in memory of Maxine Tank (Mike’s sister) to Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (11709 W Cleveland Ave, Suite 2, West Allis, WI 53227; https://www.dsaw.org/donate).