A native of Lake Forest, Illinois, Mike was born on September 22, 1967, to Patrick and Bernadine Carroll. A proud Lake Forest High School Scout, Mike excelled in football as quarterback and captain of the team and basketball (as captain), and was a member of the school’s first lacrosse team, which went on to win the first state championship in Illinois, among other athletic and academic pursuits.
In 1986, Mike enrolled at the University of Kansas, earning his B.S. degree in psychology in 1990. As a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity and an avid Jayhawks fan, Mike established lifelong friendships with his upbeat, optimistic and effervescent personality.
Upon graduation from KU, Mike made Kansas City his home, and with his characteristic entrepreneurial spirit founded Carroll Inc., selling casework and millwork, primarily to an up-and-coming startup operation at the time, Bagel & Bagel (later to become Einstein Brothers). His focus on detail and keen eye for quality in their restaurant furnishings and atmosphere helped make it a destination eatery in its early days. Like his father, he was a natural with customers, and his dedication enabled him to be respected and recognized in the industry early on in his career.
Eager to live life to the fullest, after five years at the helm of Carroll Inc., he opted to spend a year traveling the world, visiting cities all over the globe, from Athens to Amsterdam, Dublin to Delhi. With his welcoming personality and generous temperament, he undoubtedly brightened the lives of those he encountered throughout this exciting adventure.
Upon his return, he joined the family business in 1997 as General Manager of Operations of Carroll Seating, based in Chicago, and expanded the business with Carroll Seating – KC, which established a firm foothold in the Midwest by selling a vast array of products to schools, hospitals, laboratories and more throughout Kansas and Missouri. Carroll Seating – KC flourished into a multimillion-dollar enterprise thanks to his efforts, and he continued to foster its growth for the next 25 years, opening offices in St Louis, Missouri, and Owatonna, Minnesota. To date, Carroll Seating, with headquarters in Chicago and Kansas City, now represents more than 25 institutional furnishing lines, servicing more than 1,500 accounts in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois.
Mike was fortunate to reconnect with the woman who became the love of his life, Maureen McMeel, in 2010. They were married in August 2013 in Amelia Island, Florida, blending their family (of six children in six different schools without a driver!) with grace, care, and most essentially, a sense of humor and promise. Mike and Maureen loved to travel (traversing the globe to far-ranging locales including Croatia, Cambodia and Vietnam, to name a few) and enjoyed music, volunteering, biking, hikingand more in their time together, which ended far too soon. He was a devoted music fan, traveling to venues across the country to enjoy artists of all genres, including an annual pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz Festival with many of his Lake Forest friends.
Mike’s endearing disposition and love of family, friends and music delighted all who were fortunate to know him. His smile lit up a room and any conversation, as one could not help but smile with him; it was infectious. He thrived by being with people, and people loved to be with him. Charming, smart and funny, he will be deeply missed.
Mike is survived by Maureen; three children, Porter, Corbin and Hudson Carroll; three stepchildren, Wheaton, Elizabeth and Reilly Jackoboice; sister Susan (Kevin), brother PJ (Suzy), and brother Tracy; and a host of nieces and nephews.
A private service and memorial will be held at a later date. In remembrance of Michael’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to Christmas in October in Kansas City, Missouri, or Tipitina’s Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana.