Michael's Story

MACHIAS - Michael "Mike" Shane Ranke, 43, left this earth Friday, September 18, 2015 after a long battle with addiction. Michael was born on October 3, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, son of Terrence John Ranke and Martha (Hill) Ranke.

Michael graduated from Machias Memorial High School in 1989 and received his certificate in Culinary Arts from Eastern Maine Community College in 1991. He continued his education in 2004 by obtaining a certificate in Electricity Technology from Washington County Community College.

Mike was a charmingly handsome son, brother, father, and friend. He had an infectious smile and a joy for living life to the fullest. He was a generous and loving dad to his daughter Jordan and son Zeke. Mike never missed an opportunity to express how much he loved his children, hug them, and share his pride in their accomplishments. He let everyone know that they were his greatest achievement.

Mike was a hardworking and creative individual. He enjoyed his job as a lobster boat sternman. Mike possessed a joyful, vibrant attitude while on the water and took great pleasure in the beauty of a sunrise. Among his creative gifts were gardening, cooking, and an appreciation for music. He passionately loved gardening and had a natural green thumb. He was also a very talented chef. He spent countless hours in his gardens and could whip up a meal from the oddest ingredients. His love of cooking originated with his first job as a baker at Mackenzie's and continued at Helen's Restaurant, both located in Machias. His love of music led him to have amazingly loud sound systems and frequent visits to live rock concerts.

Mike was a very friendly and welcoming individual who made others feel like family. No matter what their background, Mike treated everyone with love. He had a magical ability to engage and forge a relationship with anyone. Mike was a very passionate person and was famous for his dramatic outbursts of excitement during Patriots games and uncontrollable giggles watching Two and a Half Men. He was a perfectionist when it came to finding the ultimate Christmas tree and took his job of stringing the colored lights very seriously.

Despite his seemingly endless positive traits, Mike could not escape his drug addiction. Inwardly he fought a difficult battle and attempted to disguise his struggles from his parents, his children, and their mother. He lost his fight with addiction and left his family with an overwhelming amount of sorrow and heartache. We find comfort in knowing that he is now at peace. We will miss his laugh, bear hugs, silliness, and unconditional love.

Michael is survived by his children, Jordan and Zeke Ranke; father and mother, Terrence and Martha Ranke; sister, Tanya Ranke; grandmother, Marie Hill; his former spouse and the mother of his children, Jennifer (Collins) Ranke; and his four-legged canine friend, Hazel Mae, as well as a community of adoring friends. Michael was preceded in death by grandparents, George Hill, Gertrude and Stanley Ranke.

A memorial service and celebration of Michael's life will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2015, at Helen's Restaurant, 111 Main St., Machias. If you knew Mike or you can relate to his struggle with addiction, you are welcome to join us. In honor of Michael's memory, donations can be made to: ARISE Addiction Recovery, 3 Davis Lane, Machias, ME 04654.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.mcclurefamilyfuneral.com
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