Archive for September, 2014

Tracy Bachmann | September 10, 2014

A Lasting Legacy

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Mike believed in the power of camp. Through the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund, his legacy will continue for generations to come.

In Mike’s honor, we are proud to announce that Camp Highlands has partnered with the Illinois chapter of the American Camping Association to establish the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund.

Mike believed in the power of camp –­ he was a living example of how much it can shape a person’s life. Our hope is that through this fund, any child that wants to, may experience the power of camp. Through this fund our hope is that Mike’s impact will continue for generations to come.

Donations can be made to the American Camping Association of Illinois, c/o the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund, 5 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 1406, Chicago, IL 60603-3104. All donations are tax deductible.

We can’t thank you enough for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received. While we are terribly sad, we are also incredibly proud of the life and impact that he has had on all of you. What an amazing life.

 

Mike Bachmann, 1940-2014 as printed in the Chicago Tribune

The world is a better place because of the contributions of Mike Bachmann.

Born in Salem, Illinois on July 17, 1940, Mike died suddenly of a heart attack in Montreal, Canada on September 7, 2014.

Mike figured he was destined to run the family furniture store. But his summers at Camp Highlands for Boys in Sayner, Wisconsin changed all that. Starting when he was 10 years old, Mike attended Camp Highlands every summer for the rest of his life. When he was a student at Grinnell College, he decided that he wanted a life of camp – so he became a teacher, which would afford him his summers off, which would allow him to pursue his dream of running Camp Highlands.

It was at Highlands that he met the love of his life, Sharon Nothdurft, who was at camp because her father was a counselor there. They were married June 14, 1964 and just this past summer celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Together they lived in Western Springs, where Mike went on to work at a number of fantastic schools; Ideal Elementary, Spring Avenue, Avery-Coonley, and finally the College of DuPage, where he was chair of the education department.

Mike was an active leader at the Theater of Western Springs and the First Congregational Church of Western Springs.

He and Sharon have three children, who now have children of their own. Tim and Carol Bachmann live in San Anselmo, California with their son, Lukas; Laura and Jose Cubillos live in Park City, Utah with their children, Mateo and Esperanza; and Andy and Tracy Bachmann live in Gainesville, Florida with their children, Judah, Stella and Remy. He was an incredible father and outstanding grandfather, never one to deny a chocolate chip cookie or a motorboat ride. Mike also has a brother, John Bachmann, who lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mike’s lasting legacy though his directorship of Camp Highlands is an incredible thing to behold. Loving tributes from Highlands friends around the world have strewn in, declaring Mike Bachmann to being one of the most influential, considerate, generous and worthwhile men the world has ever known – just what he was.

We are deeply saddened that he took the left turn to heaven instead of the right to Nova Scotia. He will always be loved and missed, and his spirit will live on through others and Camp Highlands for Boys.

We have established a campership fund in his name so that any kid who wants to can experience the magic of camp. Donations can be made to the American Camping Association of Illinois, c/o the Mike Bachmann Campership Fund, 5 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 1406, Chicago, IL 60603-3104. All donations are tax deductible.

A memorial service and reception will be held this Saturday, September 13th at 1 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Illinois: 1106 Chestnut Street, Western Springs, IL.

14 Responses

  1. Don Hixon says:
    September 10th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    You were one of a kind Mike. You will be missed.

  2. Martha "Marty" Beeman says:
    September 10th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Mike’s death is a terrible loss for all of associated with Camp Highlands. He directed Camp with the same morals, ideals, purpose and spirit that was there when I first went to Camp run by Doc Monilaw. He was a wonderful director and is leaving it in the good hands of his family.

  3. September 10th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Amazing legacy and commitment to youth education

  4. John Klise says:
    September 10th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Hard to accurately express my gratitude to Mike, Sharon, and the entire Bachmann family for the years spent at Highlands. Always welcoming, always smiling, always there for you. So glad my sons were able to experience Highlands with Mike and Andy at the helm. Fond memories that will never fade of a man who made summers special in a slice of heaven in the Northwoods. He will always be missed but he will never be forgotten. God bless you Mike.

  5. Jack and Debbie Mason says:
    September 10th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Remembering the Bachmann family at this sad time. Love and prayers for all.

  6. Tish and Tim Lubenow says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Thank you Mike (and Bachmann family) for years of happy, wholesome memories for our boys. What a gift you were! Sorry it had to end all too soon but we are sure your legacy will live on.

  7. Vibeke Vogele says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Dear Sharon
    My condolences
    I am thinking about you
    Love Vibeke

  8. Deborah Dempesy says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Dear Bachman Family – The Dempesy Family is with you in your sorrow and grief. We will always remember Mike from Family Camp. And Our Beeman Reunions. He was a most gracious gentleman. We will carry him in our hearts.

  9. Chuck Doubet says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Dear Bachman Family – Allow me to share your grief – Mike was one of the first counselors to greet me upon my arrival to CH in 1957..I still see that grin…Although we called him Pee Wee, he was truly a giant among men, youngsters and grown-ups both..I’m sure you all will continue his his great work…..God has a new angel…I’m still THIRD…Chuck

  10. Gina and Sean Curran says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Our hearts were saddened today as we read about Mike’s sudden passing. He had such a kind and generous spirit. He touched many lives. I know that my brother, John Anderson, my son Patrick Curran, my nephews Tavenner and Angus Smith and our dear friends, Will and Andrew Krafft are all better men for having know Mike. May God continue to bless his family, his lovely wife Sharon and his camp for many years to come. The shores of Plum Lake will miss his footsteps.

  11. Rob Rousseau says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    So sad to hear the news. Camp Highlands and Mike have played a huge role in my life.

  12. Scott says:
    March 1st, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Mike was the most wonderful guy. My condolonces to Sharon and entire family. Mike was and always will be Camp Highlands He was loved by all
    Scotty Nelson
    Former Camper & Counselor

  13. Jim Silver says:
    May 5th, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Sharon. So sorry to hear about Mike. I spend the winters in Florida and had done emails with Mike over the years. He told me about the Thunderbird Lodge that my wife and I spent our honeymoon in. I can’t believe he’s gone. What a great person! I am trying to contact one of my
    cabin supervisors from 1962. Who would I contact? I visited him in 1968.
    He was in charge of my cabin in 1962 in the jr. Camp. His name is Ralph Monahan. Just one of those things. He was a car nut as am I. Is there someone up there who might be able to help me? You may not be able to help me, but I figured it might be worth a try. Again, I am so sorry! I saw Marylin Maxtel who worked there one summer on a flight a long time ago.
    She remembered me. Take care!
    Jim Silver

  14. Erik Prenzler says:
    May 14th, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Our son Christian attended Camp Highlands for four summers and Mike Bachmann will always be remembered. I told him I liked a sign near the water front that had a spiritual message and next thing I knew he sent us a photo of Christian with the message underneath. Yes, his life is to be celebrated!

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Tracy Bachmann | September 8, 2014

A note from Andy

God, make of me a worthwhile man.

Give me the strength to stand for right,
When other folks have left the fight.

Give me the courage of the man who knows that
If he will, he can.

Teach me to see, in every face the good,
The kind, and not the base.

Make me sincere in word and deed.
Blot out from me all shame and greed.

Help me to guard my troubled soul
By constant, active self control.

Clean up my thoughts, my speech, my play
And keep me pure from day to day.

Oh make of me a worthwhile man.

My dad first came to Camp Highlands in 1950. And it was at Camp Highlands where he returned every summer of his life – save one – when an untimely illness kept him away.

He always knew that Camp Highlands was where he wanted to be.

That’s why in 1963 he convinced some of the owners of Camp Highlands to sell him shares. He became the youngest member of the board of directors (at 23 years old) and over time he became the majority shareholder, and primary owner and director of camp. Camp has been his life vision and dream; and he has lived the dream like none other. You will not find a finer, more worthwhile man than Mike Bachmann.

His marriage to my mother was a match made in heaven (if you, like I, understand heaven to be a place on Plum lake). Thanks to my grandfather’s desire to be a staff man at Highlands, his daughters all ended up coming along for the ride as well. My mother has been at Highlands since she was three. She, too, has always found the magic in the place. Together they ran Camp Highlands and oversaw all operations, until he brought me on as his assistant director back in 1999. Over time he passed more and more of the decision-making and leadership of camp over to me and Tracy. He was always there to guide any decisions we made – but his advice always came after he would ask me, “Well, what would you do?”

He has been our strong foundation and the one to whom we all looked to see what an ideal example of a Highlands man could be.

It was my father who brought our Worthwhile Man prayer to camp; and it is my father who I think of as the perfect example of the man outlined in that beautiful prayer.

He has been not just a wonderful father and grandfather to our family; he has been one to many of yours as well. And he will be missed.

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I share the sad news that our Highlands Man has passed away. Mike Bachmann, the most worthwhile Highlands man I know has left this earthly plain and now resides in the star-lit skies, smiling down on us from heaven.

The earth is a lesser place for his passing.

He died quickly of a heart attack yesterday, September 7, 2014. He and my mother were en route to yet another great adventure.

There will be a memorial service at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Illinois at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 13th, with a reception to follow. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers during this sad time.

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Mike at the helm. We miss you already.

71 Responses

  1. Chris Jette says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    We’re so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do.

  2. Donna Rosol Johnson says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Andy:
    This brought tears to my eyes your Dad was such a wonderful man many Congo Memories. Please give your Mom a big hug and pass along my thoughts and Prayers for your whole family.

  3. David &Helen Baker says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    We will miss our dear friend Mike. He and Sharon have been our friends for 50 years. There are no words that can express how much we will
    Miss him. How great it was for them to celebrate their 50th Wedding
    Anniversary at camp this past June. Our thoughts and prayers go out
    To the family and all the people’s lives he touch.

  4. Kathy Egan says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Mike Bachman lived that beautiful prayer. Condolences and prayers from the Oak Park Egan’s.

  5. Rich Conboy says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Goodness, what a fine man and an even finer legacy.

  6. (William) Ryan Spence says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    One of my very few regrets in life was not staying actively involved with Camp Highlands. Besides my immediate family, nothing had a larger impact on making me the man I am today. I am saddened to hear of the loss of one of the nicest men I have ever met. It’s probably not possible to calculate the amount of lives he touched. My deepest condolences go out to the Bachmann family.

  7. Chris Ponsiglione says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    It was only seven summers. Fifty six total weeks of my life. Not a single day goes by all year round that I don’t think about something from my time at Camp Highlands. I probably have more great memories from those seven summers than from all the rest of my first thirty years combined. I owe a tremendous debt to Mike Bachmann (and the rest of his family) for making those memories and feelings possible. The lessons of fairness, selflessness, freindship, and many others were learned by example every day at Camp and have served me well in my life. I only wish I could have appreciated the lessons as much then as I do now. I imagine that countless men and boys feel this way and that is a legacy that will be hard to match and truly is the mark of a Worthwhile Man.

    • Chris Hill says:
      September 8th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Amen!

  8. Karen & Todd Stelzel says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Andy–if our hearts are broken, we can only imagine how shattered your family’s hearts are. Your dad was so loved and so special. We will miss him forever.

  9. courtney says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Sending prayers to the entire Camp Highlands family! xxoo

  10. Nick Haskell says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Andy,
    I’m so sorry for you and your family. From your description, your dad was one of those unique individuals who impacted people wherever he went. Wish that I had met him.

    I will keep him and your family in my prayers.

    Warmly,
    Nick

  11. Peggy Barber says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Dear Sharon and Family,
    I am heartbroken at your loss and if there is anything I may do for you please let me know. (708-301-1325). I will bring some soup by this week and will call first before I come.

    Peggy

  12. Nigel Flanagan says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I only spent one summer as a counsellor, 20 years ago now, but have the most precious memories. His legacy is one to be proud of and clearly in good hands. God speed.

  13. Mary Nutter says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Andy My prayers are with you and your family as you go through the next few days. Mary and Ron

  14. Larry reimer says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a great man from a loving and deeply beloved son. We continue to your dad, your mom , your family on our prayers.

  15. Larry reimer says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a great, loving man from a great and beloved son. We continue to hold your dad, your mom, and your dear family in our prayers.

  16. allison says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I’m sorry you lost your father so soon. Im glad he was such a good man.

  17. Don Hixon says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    One fine man. I was honored to know Mike. He will be greatly missed but I know he is waiting in heaven to be reunited with us at some time.

  18. Helen Wood says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    My prayers go out to your family in this time of loss and grief. Mr. Bachman fully committed his life to the belief that even one summer can be an experience to build a life on.

    Mike embodied the Worthwhile Man challenge. Everyone who every spent a summer at Camp Highlands was touched by Mike’s sincerity and devotion to the Camp Highlands creed. Hopefully those moments of shared insight and compassion will be translated into worthwhile lives.

    Most sincere regards to the entire Bachmann family,

    Helen Wood, RN
    Boulder, CO

  19. Zada says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    We know you and your family are inconsolable right now but we
    surround all of you with our love. Zada Brian Rachel Leslie

  20. Marilyn Larson says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    This was a beautiful notice of Mike’s passing. The photo of Mike at the helm was perfect. One always knew Camp Highlands was in good hands with Mike and Sharon and their family in charge. Our hearts are breaking for all of you. Marilyn and Dale Larson

  21. Sally Kimberly says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    What a great man – so sorry for your loss.

    Sally

  22. Nettie says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    He was the kind I would like to be…glad there is you.

  23. Bonnie Bean says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to a remarkable man. Upon a visit to Camp Highlands last summer, the Bachmann family welcomed me into their gracious, kind and loving hearts. What a wonderful blessing that was, and it will always remain within me. Mike was the foundation of it all. He now has smooth sailing, full sails and God’s light shinning upon him. My heart and prayers go out to the Bachman family.

  24. Yuval Bar says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I too have lost my father recently (well 2 years ago), but know the pain and emptiness this bring you. I spent two days (maybe it was along time ago) at Camp Highlands for Andy and Tracy’s wedding.

    I want to pass along my deepest sympathies to the Bachmann family for your loss. I wish you love, peace and many years of memories to warm your hearts and souls.

    Kindness and love,

    Yuval Bar

  25. Jean Epling says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I am so grateful I got to meet and experience Mike in his milieu, Camp Highlands, this summer. I share in the grief of your family and the hundreds (thousands?) of people whose lives have been touched by Mike.

  26. Michael Bertrando says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Very sorry for your loss , sending love and good vibes your way.

  27. Fielding McElroy says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Andy,
    I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. My heart felt Condolences to you and your family.

    best, Fielding McElroy

  28. Ann Pieper says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Tracy and Andy – Zach and I are so sorry for your loss! Hugs to all of you!!

  29. Patsy Pace says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Words cannot express the profound sadness we all feel. The entire Bachmann Family can be comforted by all the incredible years that Mike devoted to the shaping, guidance and wisdom dispensed to thousands of adolescent, teenage and young Highland Men. Mike’s legacy lives on in each and every camper, parent and person he touched throughout his life. As a parent, the qualities instilled in my two sons at Camp Highlands are a huge part of who they are today…and for that I am truly grateful. Our hearts are breaking now, but our memories are very rich because of a wonderful man…Mike!! Much love to you all, Patsy Pace

  30. Santiago Manuel Castro Dau says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I’m terribly sorry for your loss Andy.
    Your father was an exceptional human being. His kindness is one of the first things that come to mind when I think about camp, especially in my early years as a camper. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

    Sincerely
    Santiago Castro

  31. John Yates says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I was very sad to hear this news.

    Mike did so many good acts and created so many positive memories that he shall truly live for ever.

    My condolences to the Bachmann family.

  32. Lisa Russell says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Dear Sharon, Tracy and Andy,
    We are just devastated at this tragic sudden loss of Mike. It is because of him that we sent Christopher to Camp Highlands. Three years ago I called him with my interest in camp for Christopher. We had a wonderful conversation about the camp. Ironically your dad/husband had gone to Grinnell College and your mom Sharon to Bradley University. How much more could the stars be aligned. Bob, Christophers dad, and I Lisa, Christophers mom, had both gone to Grinnell and Bradley. We knew this
    was meant to be!! He put me at ease after our conversation. It was Mike who personally sent me a picture of Christopher hiking the Porcupine Mountatins a year ago. He sent it via email. I was so thrilled to get it. Both
    Mike and Sharon and the younger Bachmans are what this world should be
    made of. Thoughtful, caring, interested people. All of the Bachmans have
    calmed my nerves when we first sent Christopher away. Our first boat ride
    on Plum Lake was with Mike and Sharon three summers ago. Your dad
    was so interested in the loons. He loved the serenity of his surroundings up
    there. His enthusiasm will be missed. God had taken a wonderful worthwhile man to help him above. It is with our deepest sympathy that we
    send this note. Sincerely, Bob, Lisa and Christopher Russell

  33. Mary Koon says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Sharon,
    I am just seeing this now and am so, so sad for you! What a lovely, extraordinary man Mike was. What a blessing to know him — even briefly.
    With prayers and sympathy and love,

    Mary Koon

  34. Matthew Towson says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Dear Andy, Tracy and Sharon,

    I am so, so sorry to hear this news. When I read your post I was in complete disbelief. I cannot tell you how much your father/husband meant to me and my time growing up at Highlands. To this day I can still hear his voice at the end-of- camp banquet and the theme of On Golden Pond playing in the background while the lights went out and everything and everyone went quiet. It will be a memory I will always cherish. While I am very sad to hear this news, I’m so glad I got the chance to see him again this summer and that my daughter had a chance to meet him when we picked her up from Manito-wish, as well as my wife when we stayed at the camp two years ago. Unfortunately, I will be unable to make the Memorial Service. I really wish I could. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Matt Towson- Camp Highlands 1983-1987.

  35. Kris Milner says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    This is such sad, sad news! Mike poured so much of himself into Camp Highlands where our son John was a camper for five years, and now has been on staff for two. We are so blessed that we just lucked into CH when John was 12. Didn’t know anything about it and just put him on the bus in Madison. I can still feel the motherly tears of uncertainty when the bus pulled out. His experience at CH has been the utmost best part of his growing up and now having success as a college freshman. Mike was so integral in all of that. Mike, Sharon, Andy and Tracy, you cannot know how much we appreciate what you have given to our family. God bless!

  36. Dave Onion says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Dear Bachmanns,

    I’m so sorry to hear this very sad and unexpected news. Mike was a terrific human being. He made our world a better place. We will cherish his memory.

    With deep sympathy,

    The Onion family

  37. Dick & Sue Venecek says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Dick is just devastated. He has hundreds of wonderful memories of Camp Highlands. May he rest in peace. He was a beloved man.

  38. Dick & Sue Venecek says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Dick is devastated. He has hundreds of wonderful memories of Mike and Camp Highlands. Grandson Connor Johnson has gone for many many years. Our very deepest sympathies go to all of you. Our prayers, Sue and Dick Venecek.

  39. Kathi Best says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Andy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss! Gretel called and told me……I will hope to see you and your Mom over the weekend, but please know that I am thinking of all of you!! Kathi Best

  40. Preston Havill says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    RIP Mike, and all the best to all the Bachmann’s from all the Havill’s. Thanks for keeping me in the outdoors Mike, it has made a huge difference in my life. It has always been sad since the last time I was at camp, to know that my Camp Highlands days are behind me

  41. Chris Hill says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I can’t stop crying.

  42. Laura and Vince Juarez says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss.

  43. Janine Shinn Cashman says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    My condolences to the family! Words cannot express the impact on me and my family that Mike had and will continue to have through us! Please do not hesitate to contact us as the need arises. You are family to us too!

  44. Greg Pace, Sr. says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Memories of Mike and Highlands are still fresh in my memory. The best summers of my youth were in the cool waters of Plum Lake. How could memories get better? By having two sons go to Plum Lake in their youth to experience all Mike and the Family still had in place. Camp was there for them as it had been for me. The names of the staff may have changes over the years but the tradition, life long friendships and experiences were the same. We all have Mike to thank for setting this legacy which Andy is following. To use a favorite Pace Family quote from Highlands; “How lucky we are”. Thank you Mike for creating such a place as Camp Highlands, I hope I get a few more summers there with the next generation. Greg Pace Sr., late 60’s Camp Highlands camper

  45. Julie & Jim Armstrong says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Dear Sharon, Andy, Tracy, Ross,
    We are so very very sad to hear about Mike. He has been such a steady, sincere, and inspiring influence on so many young men for decades – and that includes our young man, Jack. And we cannot thank Mike and Sharon enough for devoting their lives to making Camp Highlands such a special place where young boys can grow into worthwhile young men. Jack is the young man he is today because of Mike’s unique and enduring vision for camp. He will be sorely missed. Our prayers to you all,
    Julie, Jim, Jack, and Caroline Armstrong

  46. Julie & Jim Armstrong says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Dear Sharon, Andy, Tracy, Ross,
    We are so very very sad to hear about Mike. He has been such a steady, sincere, and inspiring influence to countless young men over many decades – our young man, Jack, included! And we cannot thank Sharon and Mike enough for devoting their lives to making Camp Highlands the special place it is. Jack is the young man he is today because of Mike’s enduring vision for Camp Highlands. He will be sorely missed. Our hearts and prayers to you all. Julie, Jim, Jack and Caroline Armstrong

  47. Barb, Kevin Rasmussen says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Sharon, Andy, Tracy, Bachmann family, Barb and I are so sad to hear of Mikes passing – he was more than an employer, he was like a father to me, he will be missed – our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the entire Camp Highlands family.

  48. Deborah Hill says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing Andy. You will feel him in the little moments, the stories and songs and so many familiar spaces he shared with you…and so many others. I (we) am so grateful Julian, Jhett, Tristan and Jerry got to embrace Mike’s piece of paradise at Plum Lake and got to know this very special and Worthwhile Man. We are blessed by you, and thank him for your gift to us. Sending you much love and support.

  49. Carole Anne Cech says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Always friendly, always a smile, always made you feel special on Sunday mornings when he’d greet you…………….he will be missed……………a lot.

  50. Aubry Mennesson says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 2:07 am

    So sad to read this Andy! My sincere condolences, all my thoughts and prayers to you and the Bachman family. Your father was indeed a very special man. To this day, I treasure the wonderful memories of him and Camp Highlands.

  51. Eric, Martha, Jack and Andrew Patton says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 2:09 am

    We are so sorry to hear about Mike. Both Eric and Jack have fond memories of their time spent at Camp Highlands. Mike was a perfect example of a worthwhile man.

  52. Mike and Mary Moen says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 7:06 am

    To the whole Bachmann Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing Mike, through Camp Highlands, with so many families. He has influenced so many of us, young and now old, on our journey to hopefully be worthwhile men. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Mike and Mary Moen

  53. Ruth Larson Bender says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Our thoughts are with you and your family now, Andy. Dan and I plan to attend the memorial service on Saturday. Your dad…and your mom….changed our lives. Ruth and Dan Bender

  54. Patti Scribner says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Dear Sharon and all the Bachmann Family,
    Mike leaves such a wonderful wake of fine young people from all over the country, the world, to follow him. And it will keep expanding. How sad you must feel, but how proud, too. Our deepest sympathy to you all. You surely made a difference in our family.
    Your Plum Lake neighbors,
    Patti and John Scribner

  55. Connie Scholfield says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Thoughts and prayers are with you, your famly and the entire Camp Highlands Community. Your father immediately reached out to me when I returned to Red Pine in 2008 and welcomed me into the community of Camp Directors with open arms and wonderful advice. I will never forget that! He truly now “resides in the star-lit skies, smiling down on us from heaven”. Connie and Red Pine Camp

  56. sarah magner says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    It is hard to forget a man who gave us so much to remember. Thoughts and prayers and Big Hugs from All The Magners!!!

  57. Thatcher Leavenworth says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. My grandfather (Tom Anderson), my brother (Luke Leavenworth), and all my male cousins, the Andersons, Bramelys, and Cothermans attended Highlands. Mike’s voice and the lessons he taught, still echo in my mind and influence my decisions as a man and as a father of my own son. Thank you Northwoods. Thank you Highlands. Thank you Mike. Our thoughts are with the Bachmanns and all the extended Highlands family.

    Day is done…
    Goodnight campers.

    Thatcher Leavenworth
    1983-1987

  58. Susan File says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    My grandsons are going to Camp Highlands because my dear friend fred wollrab went there from the age of eight through high school. Fred said that Mike Bachmann and Camp Highlands saved his life. Three years ago I picked up the phone and call the Camp Highlands number and this cheerful gregarious voice answered and it was Mike…… A three-minute conversation and three years later I am ever so grateful for your father….. May you draw strength and peace from his presence that will surely be with you as you walk this journey….. He has prepared you all so well

  59. Julien Vermorel says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Dear Bachmann Family and Friends of Camp Highlands,
    I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mike and wish you courage and strength in this moment of grief.
    He was truly a caring and wonderful man.
    I had the great pleasure of being a camper, AC and Counselor over 30 years ago at Camp Highlands and the memories of Mike, Sharon,
    all the kids and staff, Plum Lake and around, songs and laughter, great memories of joy, fear and awe, they all remain strong and resonate deeply.
    For this time gone by and this campfire that still burns bright inside of us, thank you Mike.

  60. Judy Beilman says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Andy,

    We were so touched by your wonderful tribute to your dad. Our family was never fortunate to attend Camp Highlands, but we felt as though we were there whenever we shared the stories with your mom and dad. Our hearts are very heavy with the loss of our dear friend, Mike, but we know that his heart is healed and no longer burdened. May God bless you and your family with His sustaining love in these difficult days. You are surrounded by the love of the very many lives Mike and Sharon have touched.

    The Beilmans

  61. Josh Cecil says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    To the entire Bachmann family-

    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember, at 8 years old, meeting Mike when he came to a neighbor’s house to introduce us to camp. No single place has had as big an impact on my life as Camp Highlands. Mike will always be remembered as one of the individuals who first taught me what it meant to be a man and has impacted so many boys and men with his devotion to sharing what it means to live with others in mind.

  62. Julie Armstrong says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Dear Sharon, Andy, Tracy, Ross,
    We are so very very sorry to hear about Mike. He has been such a steady, sincere, and inspiring influence to countless young men – over many decades – including our young man, Jack. We cannot thank Mike and Sharon enough for devoting their entire lives to making Camp Highlands the special place it is. Jack wouldn’t be the young man he is today without Mike’s enduring vision for camp. He will be sorely missed. Our prayers are with you all. Julie, Jim, Jack and Caroline Armstrong

  63. Dan Davis says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    I spent 12 wonderful summers of my life up at Camp Highlands. I owe much of who I am today to camp. Moreover, I will never forget the endless kindness, intrigue, and genuine wisdom. He has touched the lives of countless campers, staff, and family. Mike truly lived the meaning of the Worthwhile Man poem, and I am deeply saddened to hear he has passed. His legacy will forever live on at camp and the shores of Plum.

  64. Rosey Astle says:
    September 10th, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Dear Backmanns, I feel as if I have lost family in learning of Mike’s passing. I started working on camp Highlands in the 60’s and continued for 40++ years. Our son Mark was a camper and our 3 grandson’s also.
    Mike was always a great man and person to work with. Mike will be
    greatly missed. God’s blessings to all of Mike’s family and his Camp
    Highlands family. The “men” of Highlands are a great legacy to leave the world. Rosey Astle, (CPA) from Peoria,Illinois

  65. Jim DiDomenico says:
    September 10th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Perfectly stated Andy! Mike was THE Worthwhile Man, and gave us all the perfect example of how to be THIRD! My family is, and will be eternally grateful for everything Mike has brought to our lives. Your letter was perfect except that you just left out one line. Yes, ‘the earth is a lesser place for his passing’, . . . . but aren’t the folks up in heaven that much luckier! ‘How lucky we are’ to have known Mike!

  66. Kathy Kelly Gallegos says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. The whole Kelly family sends their condolences to the Bachmanns-our wonderful neighbors for so many years. Your Dad was extraordinary in every way and we were all lucky to have known him. His legacy of all of you and all the people he touched is monumental. xoxo

  67. Marilyn and Peter Julius says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    We so respected Mike — as a friend, a parent, a leader, a man of integrity and good humor. Like so many others, we will miss him enormously. — Marilyn and Peter Julius

  68. Carol and Brian Duffy says:
    September 12th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Mike was an incredible role model for our boys and we will be forever grateful for the profound positive impact he had on them. He was a mentor, a scholar, a gentleman. He is gone, but will never be forgotten.

  69. Cathy Winter says:
    September 12th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Dear Bachman Family,

    The Dehkes/Winter family is devastated to learn this news. He was such an inspiration and role model for many–least of which were my brothers, David and Drew and my sons, Peter and Erik. I remember my Dad telling us how he played hours of catch with Mike during that first summer at Camp Highlands as he had quite a bout of homesickness. I believe that Mike’s first counselor was my father! We are unable to join you this weekend but sending thoughts and many, many prayers. Mike was “the Worthwhile Man”. His legacy is as large as his life. Our love and sincere condolences to your entire family.

  70. Carol & Chuck Liedtke says:
    September 13th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    We feel so fortunate to have known Mike and your whole family at camp for fifteen years. Mike was truly a dedicated Camp Highlands man. He touched so many lives in a very positive way. He will be missed.

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Tracy Bachmann | September 7, 2014

Sad News

With much sadness in our hearts, we would like to share the news that Camp Highlands Director, Mike Bachmann, passed away today, September 7, 2014.

We appreciate all of your love and support at this time as we try and wrap our minds around this loss. He affected the lives of so many – as a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, camp director and friend. He will be so missed.

A memorial service will likely be Saturday, September 13, at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs, however, we are still working out the details and will update this post as we know more.

How lucky we all were to have known Mike. Truly a Worthwhile man.

42 Responses

  1. Andrea says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Our hearts and prayers go out to you at this time. Mike was one of the greatest, and kindest men who taught many the value of those qualities. He will be missed.

  2. Jennifer Moore says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Each and everyone of the family are in our prayers. What a gift to have had a man have such a positive influence in so many young men’s lives. Camp will never be the same but is all that much more incredible because of him. Will sincere condolences, Carter Moore, Jennifer Korczynski Moore, Jeff Moore.

  3. Lisa Helmuth says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    We are so very sorry for your loss. How lucky we were to have met Mike
    Just a short month ago. God bless you and hold you near as you mourn the loss of this wonderful man. With deepest sadness, Lisa Jeff and Jack Helmuth

  4. Carrie & Brendan Masini says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Our prayers are with the whole Bachmann family. Mike was a wonderful man and touched so many lives. His legacy will live on forever, especially at Camp Highlands.

  5. Roberta Raasch says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    We are completely in shock and with heavy hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Bachman family.

    The Raasch Family-Brad, Roberta, Mark Nick and Allison

  6. Ginger McDonald says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    The whole McDonald family is truly saddened by the news of Mike’s passing. He and all the Bachmanns have been an important part of our summers for almost 20 years. Our prayers are with Sharon and the entire Highlands family.

  7. September 7th, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    We are so very sorry to hear the news of Mike’s passing. He has certainly been an outstanding leader in traditional camping and has left a wonderful legacy. He will be fondly remembered by so many! Please know we send you our deepest sympathy and understanding.

    Georgi and Jeremy Starz and the Camp Nicolet Family

  8. Hilda Sitges says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    This surely is a bad surprise!!! We remember him with gratitude and love. He will always live in the hearts of all the people who knew him.
    Big hug to the Bachmann family. You will be in our prayers and heart!!!

  9. John Martinson says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. The “your” I’m referring to is all of the Bachmann family, but as you are all aware, the larger “family” that Mike touched is much, much larger. His impact was great, and he will be greatly missed. Thanks for sharing him with all of us, and I hope you all eventually find your way to a place of peace and solace during this sad time.

  10. Mike and Mary Moen says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to the whole Bachmann family and the extended Highlands family. Mike was truly a worthwhile man who had a significant role in helping many of us to grow into the people we are today. Thank you.

  11. wendy williams says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Oh, no. I am so sorry and sad. He is a wonderful man. We will miss him, terribly. Wendy Williams

  12. Barbara and Andy Yokom says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Oh we are so sad to hear this news! Mike Bachman helped and led many so many to develop young men into honorable “Highlands Men” ! We are very proud to have had our Charlie be a part of Camp Highlands for so many years. We are very grateful to Mike! One of the very few things our son took to college to put on his bulletin board was his I’m Third bumper sticker! Lots of hugs and love to the Bachmans from the Yokoms!

  13. Brad Wilde says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    The Bachmanns are in our prayers –

    With heartfelt condolences,

    The Wilde Family

  14. brad buchholz says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Mike was truly a great mentor and father figure to me. I will never forget how Mike comforted me as I was overwhelmed my first day as a camper (1977) Mike was a true “leader” in every sense of the word. I am sure that Mike’s legacy will live on tthrough his family and his spirit will remain alive throughout the grounds of Highlands…..the true pland of heaven here on earth. May God bless your spirit Mike….I will never forget you and May God comfort your family and friends as you depart for Glory!

  15. Lisa D'Angelo says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Camp won’t be the same without Mike on his red scooter. I am so glad thankful that I went up to camp this year and had a chance to be with Mike.
    He was a very special person!

  16. Charlie Stearns says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Oh my gosh what horrible news. He was a tremendous man and leader and will be missed by so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bachman family.

  17. Laura says:
    September 7th, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    So sad hear about Mike, such a nice man im great full i had the oportunity to know him.
    Send you all my love and worm hug.
    Laura

  18. Inga Broerman says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 12:22 am

    We are so sad to hear, his presence will be truly missed! So glad that we were able to know him and Max and Augie to learn from him.

    Our condolences to your family and our prayers.

    Max, Augie and Inga

  19. Jeanne schott says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Dear Bachmann Family,

    We are so sorry to hear that Mike passed away. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Have peace know that he touched so many lives.

    The Schort family

  20. Ann Cochran Willer says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Mike was always a man with and smile and gentle heart. So glad I had a chance to see Mike this summer. The Plum Lake family will truly miss him. My prayers and love to the Bachman family.

  21. Tom Walsh says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 8:11 am

    From 1957 to 1961i spent my summers at Camp Highlands, due in part to the Peoria connection. Mike was the counselor who helped turn me from a boy to a man, as I am sure he did for so many years over his lifetime.

  22. Annette Sorkin says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 8:43 am

    The Sorkin family including campers AJ and Skyler are very sorry for your loss. Prayers to all of you during this very difficult time.

  23. Laura Bernhardt says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Will always remember Mike showing our family CH on our camp tour. From the first moments, we were hooked. God bless to the Bachmann family.

    Tom, Laura, Russell and Carolyn Bernhardt

  24. David Rahr says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 9:30 am

    So sorry to hear the news, Mike had a positive impact on three generations of the Rahr family. I remember Mike coming to our home in the mid-70″s with his slide projector to tell me about CH; although my Dad and uncle were alumni, someone thought I needed convincing. And so began my 5 years on Plum Lake, followed by my sons combined years of 10+.

    An amazing place made so by Mike and the terrific staff of Camp Highlands.

    Mike leaves a wonderful legacy. To all the Bachman’s, so sorry to get the news.

    David Rahr 75.76,77,78, and 79

  25. September 8th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    We were saddened to hear of Mike’s passing yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bachmann family and all of their loved ones.
    Sincerely,
    John Eliason Sr., John Eliason Jr., Jona Eliason, and the staff at Eliason Lumber & Hardware.

  26. September 8th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    We were saddened to hear of Mike’s passing yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bachmann family and all of their loved ones.
    John Eliason Sr., John Eliason Jr., Jona Eliason, and our entire staff.

  27. Carol & Chuck Liedtke says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:30 am

    It is with sad hearts we receive this news. Mike was a remarkable man in so many areas, and we are thankful we were able to spend quality time with him at camp. He was the ultimate Camp Highlands man. Bachmanns, you are in our hearts and prayers.

  28. Ernestine ellington says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Camp highlands is a benchmark in my grandsons life I am so grateful the camp is such an awesome experience
    Losing a parent especially one that is loved is emotional.
    My thoughts are with you.
    Love
    Robert and ernestine

  29. B.Lynn Webster says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I am stunned and saddened by this tremendous loss. All family, camp, and friends are in my heart. “My Little Cabin” comes to mind. My family and Trey have been blessed by getting to know Mike and his family over the years.

  30. Karen deReyna says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    We are so incredibly shocked, sad and heartbroken! I feel so grateful that Will and I were able to get to know and experience the wonderful man that Mike was. He will be greatly missed. Hugs , thoughts and prayers to all the Bachmann family, especially Sharon!
    Karen, Will and the whole deReyna Family

  31. Heidi Zimmermann Backes says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    On behalf of my entire family, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    ~Heidi

  32. Deborah DEMPESY says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    The DEMPESY family is so sad to hear this terrible news of Mikes passing . Our hearts are with you and your families – all of you .
    Please know that he was loved and honored by all .

  33. Chuck Rosene says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    The Rosene boys joins the Highlands family in sending condolences to Sharon and the entire Bachman family. Mike was a mentor, a teacher, a wise counselor to so many young men – it’s been 44 years since I have been to Highlands, but his presence is still fresh in my memory! We’re so sorry for this loss!

    Chuck Rosene (with David, Pete, and Ben)

  34. Cody Upp says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Mike instilled in me some of the greatest qualities I possess today. He has influenced hundreds of thousands of young men in a way no other human being could. You will be missed.

    Cody Upp

  35. Punita Khanna says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you! We feel so grateful to have known Mike who exemplified the very ideals CH teaches. We send all our love and support for Sharon, the rest of the Bachmann family and extended families.
    John, Punita and Rahul

  36. Jimmy Brown says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone at Camp Highlands! Mike was a tremendous man and I have several memories of some great conversations with him during my years as a counselor at Red Arrow Camp. He dedicated his life to Camp Highlands and had an amazing impact over the years.RIP Mike!

  37. Diane Peterson says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    The JR White family is saddened to hear of Mike’s passing and the loss all the Highland’s families are experiencing.
    Condolences to the entire Nothdurft/Bachman clan and all of the former and current campers!

  38. Dan Winzenried says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I am so saddened the news of Mike’s passing. My thoughts are with the entire Bachmann family. I am thankful for the many wonderful summers Mike provided for Zak and myself. I believe Mike’s reference was highly responsible for landing my job as a teacher and coach and I am grateful.

    Thanks Mike

  39. Jorge Cano says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Upon hearing this news I felt truly saddened, immediately I remembered my first experience coming to camp and how scared I was a boy of 8 coming to camp in a foreign country all by myself. The person who picked me up was non-other than Mike, immediately my fears vanished, from the security and loving manner this person irradiated. Since then Mike has been one of my benchmarks in this world for my actions and my personal growth, if i could influence others a tenth as he did, and could inspire so mucho good as he taught us to, I would consider myself lucky. Mike thank you for all you’ve taught to every single person you came in contact with, your passing has left a huge hole in our hearts, which I will try to fill by making myself the worthwhile-man you had envisioned for all of Us.
    Andy, Sharon, tracy and the Bachmann family our deepest condolences from the Cano family, our prayers will be with you.
    Mike you will be sorely missed.

  40. Jane Enterline says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Our condolences to your family.
    With love, Jane, Walt & William Enterline

  41. Barry Sullivan says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    The Sullivan family extends their deepest condolences to the Bachmann and Highlands family.We are all deeply affected by this news. Thank you Mike for the many camp memories and experiences that have not faded with time. Barry, Tom, Peter & Owen Sullivan. 1969 to Present.

  42. Paul Fitzgerald says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    We just met Mike at Family Camp this August. At the suggestion of our wonderful friend, Marty Beeman, my wife, and I brought 2 nieces and a nephew for a fantastic experience of camp. We were thoroughly impressed with Mike and his professional, warm style of managing the camp to ensure that everyone enjoyed their stay. Our thoughts and prayers to family and friends who have been so close to him over many years.

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