Tom Michael (Mike) Louie, Jr., 58, passed away tragically on July 7th. He was born on May 1, 1964, in Jacksonville, Fl., and was a longtime resident of Lakeland.
Mike was married for 37 years to the love of his life, Virginia, whom he called his “everything.” They have two children, Michael, and Zachary. Their five grandchildren were the light of Mike’s life. For over 30 years, Mike was a dedicated, passionate, and creative executive in leadership roles with hospitality-minded companies such as The Walt Disney Company, Pizza Hut, and Arby’s. As a University of Georgia alumnus (Class of 1985), he was a loyal and enthusiastic Dawgs fan. Mike was thrilled to see his Dawgs win two National Championships in his lifetime.
As the son of Salvation Army pastors, Mike grew up with a love for Christ. His faith sustained him in difficult periods of his life, especially during recent years. He was immersed in music from a very young age, and an accomplished and talented musician of virtually every brass instrument, piano and guitar. Having a voice compared to both Keith Green and Neil Young, Mike wrote, composed and recorded his own songs. Mike was incredibly proud of his Greek heritage. He was competitive in sports, playing high school football, church and recreational softball, and participating in the amateur bicycle racing circuit. Motorcycle riding, kayaking and fishing brought Mike much pleasure in his free time. Mike will be remembered for his quick wit, sarcastic sense of humor, wry smile, and especially his uncanny ability to get people, especially Virginia, to fall for his jokes and pranks. He loved his family and friends deeply and fiercely. He took immense pride in taking care of, providing for and protecting those he loved most.
Most recently, Mike had been struggling with alcoholism and depression. Mike was kind and generous to a fault. He found it a blessing to help a stranger. His positive outlook on life, and desire to make everyone around him smile hid the incredible inner turmoil he struggled with in private.
Mike is survived by his spouse, Virginia, sons, Michael (Sarah) and Zachary; his mother, Ann Louie; grandchildren Max, Killian, Violet, and Indigo Louie, and Teylie Sloan-Louie; sisters Laura (Todd) Schindler, and Kelly (Leon) Williams; best friends (whom he considered as brothers) Mark Hollifield, H.B. Smith, and John Schaufelberger; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. His father, Tom Michael Louie, Sr., preceded him in death.
A celebration of life service for Mike will be held on Saturday, July 30, at 11 a.m. at the Salvation Army Church, 2620 Kathleen Rd., Lakeland, Florida. The family will receive visitors one hour prior to the service.The family thanks the organization, We Are The Essentials, for their tireless efforts and support. Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.
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