Michael Robert Drinane, Sr. 72, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 1, 2014 surrounded by family. He was born on June 9, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois to Clare and Robert Drinane and spent his childhood days being doted on by his aunts, playing football with the boys, swimming in Gage’s Lake, and sledding down dead man’s hill with his younger brother, David. He attended St. John of God Grade School and graduated from Leo High School. He received his degree in accounting from Loyola University where he excelled in his studies and graduated early though he admitted to rarely buying the textbooks.
After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Genanne. His first child, Jennifer, was born on his twenty-sixth birthday, and Michael Jr. and Dana were born after the family moved to Tinley Park, Illinois. He became an active member of St. Damian’s parish. He used his creative talents and love of music to write and direct numerous large-scale productions for the benefit of the church. He also belonged to the Jaycees, a respected community service organization, at one time serving as president. There, he shared his gifts by planning and coordinating many successful fundraisers, including an annual Fourth of July carnival and an annual haunted house, much to the delight of countless members of the community.
During this time, he was greatly enjoying his work at US Gypsum, a job he began directly out of college. He was in sales and frequently won incentive trips, allowing Genanne and him to travel all over the world. In 1980, he was offered a promotion which took the family to Overland Park, Kansas. Despite their deep ties to Chicago, the family quickly came to love Kansas so much that Michael even declined a promotion that would have meant another move, and he continued his work with US Gypsum in Overland Park until his retirement.
Though he was extremely involved in the community and successful in his work, his true joy was with his children. His youngest child, Anni, was born in 1983, and he was very busy devoting his time to two teenagers, an elementary student, and a baby. He could frequently be found helping with homework, coaching basketball, baseball, softball, and track, enduring (but thoroughly enjoying) Indian Guides and Indian Princesses, and patiently and enthusiastically listening to countless band concerts of dubious quality. He particularly loved family vacations. He provided the children with wonderful memories of Disney World, Wauconda, California, and particularly, the yearly trips to the condo at the Lake of the Ozarks.
At a young age, he was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a rare form of frontal-temporal dementia. Though the news devastated his family, he was still able to share his sparkling personality, sense of humor, and love of music for a number of years, much to the delight of his grandchildren. As the disease progressed, his gift of words failed him, but his ability to connect with his loved ones endured, and his family never questioned his love and devotion.
By 2012 his disease progressed to the point at which he could no longer remain at home. Though heartbroken, the family made the unavoidable decision to move him into the skilled nursing department of Garden Terrace at Overland Park where he was taken care of by the excellent staff who soon came to love his gentle nature and warm smile.
In August of 2014, Michael and Genanne celebrated their fiftieth anniversary surrounded by family, music, and laughter. Sadly, as a natural progression of the disease, his health rapidly declined soon after, and he passed away on November 1, 2014. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Visitation will be Friday, November 7, 2014 from 10:30 to noon at Holy Cross Catholic Church 8311 W. 93rd Street Overland Park, Kansas. Mass will be at noon followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Michael’s memory to the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University – Searle Building, 11th Floor, 320 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611.
Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Hold on to your memories, and let them guide you and your family during this time of sorrow.. Michael’s many talents have always brought a smile to our face.
Ron and Pat Wilfinger
Dear, dear Genanne and family,
We just learned of Mike’s death and we are so, so sorry. What wonderful memories we have of him and of you at Cabaret and Saint Damian’s. He was truly a delightful person and so intelligent. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad, sad time. May he rest in peace.
Ron and Patty Skarzynski
We have such wonderful memories of you and Mike, especially during Cabaret at St. Damian’s. He was a talented, kind man with a great sense of humor! Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you!
Ned and Karen Miltko
Mike was always like the older brother you wished you had. His intelligence and sense of humor was missed by all at USG the day he retired. He gave us some really great memories.
My deepest sympathies to the entire Drinane family.
Genanne and Family,
Our deepest sympathy, thoughts, and prayers. Mike was one of the first people I met when I began at USG back in 2001. His kindness, sincerity, and thoughtfulness was priceless. I remember the many stories he told especially his time when he played football at Soldiers’ Field in Chicago. He spoke so often and so proudly about his Family! God Bless his Soul and may his legacy continue on for many generations!
The Joseph Cherrito Family
May Michael’s gentle soul rest in pease. A pleasure to have known him.
To Genanne and family. Many memories are shared with you and Mike when you lived in Tinley Park. I shall never forget the j
Jaycee events where Mike and Tom worked so hard including the Soap Box Derbys. And Genanne and i starting the women’s Jaycettes.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you.
Beautiful tribute. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Gennane and family.
Dear Drinane family,
What a joy to read about a talanted dearly loved man. I pray God’s blessings on you all during this difficult time & the days to come.
A coworker & friend of Anni.
Michael, my cousin, was a constant presence in our life growing up in a large family. Picnics and family gatherings were always something to look forward to. I loved his sense of humor and his smile. His love for his wife Genanne and his family was always evident. Although I had not seen him for quite some time, he will always be a cherished part of my life.
I send my love and prayers to Genanne and the family.
Such a loss of such a beautiful man. He did so much for my daughter, Melissa Shipman, as she loved sports as much as he did – coaching basketball and softball. He always made me feel a part of his family. Such sadness today fills my heart. He will be missed. Linda Smith
Genanne and family,
Nancy and I would like to pass along our thoughts and prayer to all of you upon the passing of Mike.
During my career at USG I have had the good fortune of working with some wonderful people and Mike was one of them. I often looked up to him as a role model of integrity and relationship building. His creativity was amazing, I still get a laugh when I think of the skits he would perform at our sales meetings.
Scott & Nancy