Michael Fleck



Michael Bryan Fleck, 81, of McCordsville, IN, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 15, 2024, after a day surrounded by his family. He was an avid reader, hat connoisseur, lover of Toblerone chocolate, and a principled debater. He was a loving husband, and devoted father and grandfather.

Mike was born in Toledo, OH, on November 3, 1942 to a surveyor and a beautician. He graduated from Bedford High School in Temperance, MI in 1960 with plans of becoming a teacher. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Toledo, OH, in 1965. He had joined College ROTC during the Vietnam Era and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation. Mike met Thea Pierce on August 2, 1964 while helping a friend set up flower displays at a mall in Cleveland, OH. She was “the most beautiful woman [he’d] ever seen.” Mike said he never officially proposed to Thea because he was concerned she would say no. He simply announced his marriage plans to her at a special dinner. They married on their 12th date on February 20, 1965, in Cleveland.

As a young Lieutenant, Mike served in Vietnam. He was stationed with the 394th Transportation Command, providing stevedore operations at Qui Nhon. His fascination with ships and shipping containers was likely born in this period as he was known to humorously reference his favorite commodity history book: “The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger”.

He was soon promoted to Captain and began to consider longer service in the Army.

Mike’s military career took Thea and their growing family to Ft Ben Harrison (Indiana), Ft Sheridan (Illinois), Ft Story (Virginia), Ent Air Force Base (Colorado), Charlottesville (Virginia) and a remarkable three tours in Germany (Augsburg, Heidelberg and Goeppingen).

During their seven and a half years in Germany, Thea planned and navigated adventures across western Europe and Mike dutifully drove their VW camper van. Mike and Thea camped, hiked, cross country skied, and explored the continent together with their three children.

Mike’s military career was as varied as it was interesting. Among other assignments, he served with Army Air Defense Command; a US Army Field Station responsible for collecting electronic and signal intelligence from the Soviet Union, Inspector General and with the Army Foreign Science and Technical Center. As he was promoted through the ranks, he served as Provost Marshal, Executive Officer, Chief and Deputy Commandant.

The family returned to the United States in 1980 for his final assignment at Ft Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis. Mike and Thea purchased a home in McCordsville, and began to establish roots as their children entered high school. Mike served on the command staff until retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1985. His military service would later inspire his daughter, two sons, a grandson and a granddaughter to serve in the Army.

Mike worked for the Pan American Games in Indianapolis before he returned to Ft Benjamin Harrison to work, as a civilian, for the Department of Defense for 30 years. He retired in 2005. Mike had an insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge. By this time, he had earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Indiana University and a Masters Degree in Adult Education from Ball State University.

Each of Mike and Thea’s three children got married and collectively had a total of 7 surviving grandchildren. Mike and Thea dedicated themselves to providing their grandchildren with an enriching and educational childhood. Once again, Mike drove around the continent while Thea planned and navigated. The grandchildren grew up seeing Presidential Sites, traversing the Lewis &Clark Trail, exploring National Parks, and touring state capitals and historic landmarks. As the grandchildren got older, Mike and Thea continued their educational trips with global experiences in Canada, Ireland, China, Tibet, Germany, France, Belgium, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Peru, Chile, Easter Island, and Cuba (when the country was opened briefly to Americans).

At home in McCordsville, Mike was committed to preserving the rural nature of Hancock County. He served on Nine Star Co-op Committees and in 2013-16 served on the leadership team that fought against the involuntary annexation of the Western boundary of Fortville. This legal battle went all the way to the Supreme Court of Indiana where the remonstrators of the Western Boundary won the case. Mike was called to testify for the State Legislature on the inequities of involuntary annexation which ultimately led to a change in the law.

In his last years, Mike frequently commented that he felt very privileged to have had so much quality time with his grandchildren. As they all entered adulthood, he continued to be a source of education, wisdom, support, and love to each of them. He found immense comfort and joy in their strong relationships with each other that had been fostered during their childhood at the grandparent’s home and on trips together.

Mike was known to have a rare way of engaging every person he met with true curiosity, respect, humor, and kindness. Even in his last hours, he was using his incredible wit to make jokes as well as his compassion and love to comfort his family.

Mike had hoped to live until August 2, the date that will mark 60 years since he met Thea. He regularly told family and friends that August 2,1964 was the best and most important day of his life. He wanted to be here to celebrate with Thea and the family. He will be there in spirit and we will celebrate his life and legacy at that time.

A Celebration of Life will be held for friends and family on August 2 at Ft Ben Harrison (specific location and times to be announced in July). Please visit www.feeneyhornakshadeland.com for updates.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to the Thea and Michael Fleck Family Community Development Fund for the improvement of education, agriculture, parks/recreation and quality of life in their home community. Gifts may be made online at: https://hancock.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create/fund?funit_id=3541 or mailed to the Community Foundation of Hancock County, 971 W. US 40, Greenfield, IN 46140.

Mike is survived by his wife of 59 years, Thea N. (Pierce) Fleck and their three children: Florence (Anthony) May, Peter Fleck, and Christopher (Nelia) Fleck, Daughter-In-Laws: Kim Fleck Huizinga, Michelle Fleck, and seven beloved grandchildren: Zachary (Morgan) Fleck, Sydney (Brandon) Sparks, Riley (Alexandra) Fleck, James May, Elizabeth May, Gabriel (Taylor) Fleck, and Alexandra Thea Marie Fleck, and four great-grandsons, and sister Shannen (Patrick) McMahon. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin R. Fleck, Florence M. (Knapp) Fleck, his brother Melvin Craig (Ann) Fleck, and a grandson, Kyle Reese Fleck.