Michael "Mike" Kroeger passed away peacefully on June 26, 2020, joining his beloved wife Nancy, who passed away on January 7, 2020. Mike’s sons Dustin and Chris were by his side during his last days.
Mike was born in Peenemunde, Germany on February 24, 1942 to Hermann “Iwan” Kroeger, a test pilot and engineer, and Rosmarie Bender Kroeger, an artist and writer. The Kroegers immigrated to the United States and settled on Monte Sano in Huntsville, Alabama, becoming part of the NASA family that would help put man on the moon with the Apollo program. By now, the family had expanded to include brothers Christian and Claus.
Mike graduated from Huntsville High School in 1960 and started studying at the University of Alabama. On a return transatlantic ship from Germany, Mike met Sandie Pohlman. They married in 1965 and soon welcomed two boys, Christopher Michael and Dustin Patrick.
After graduating with an undergraduate degree in engineering and then receiving an MBA from the University of Alabama, Mike joined Mead Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1974, Mike and his family moved to Houston, Texas, where he held various executive management roles in the oil production industry.
In 1980, he met and fell in love with Nancy Green Jones, marrying on September 10, 1999 in Heidelberg, Germany.
As a businessman, Mike’s greatest gift was leading by example and recognizing that his role was to help everyone in his organization succeed. Whether it was developing strategy, hitting operational goals, taking care of the office landscaping, or holding cookouts for the weekend shift, Mike gave his all to his employees.
As a father, Mike instilled in his boys a passion for sports, a love for surf and turf, and manners to hold the door open for others, especially girls. Later in life, he was the first to remind them to be thankful for their families and to take time to “smell the roses.”
As a Kroeger, Mike was the first to stay in touch with his brothers, his extended family in Germany, and his Huntsville NASA family. He was very proud of his family and each of them would get a call when anything important happened to any Kroeger anywhere in the world.
As a friend, Mike was a friend to all, helping neighbors however he could, staying in touch with high school classmates and alumni of his Harvard executive program cohort, and making sure everyone he encountered – from the owner of his favorite barbeque joint to the assisted living and hospice team who took care of him – knew they were important to him and appreciated in his life.
And finally, as Nancy’s husband, Mike gave of himself unconditionally. He was an active supporter and advisor for her career, including nightly debriefs on the back porch over a glass of wine and a view of Nancy’s garden. He loved her friends. He loved her family. She was the love of his life and when she passed, his hope was that he would be with her again soon.
On June 26, 2020, Mike rejoined Nancy and their love now continues. Mike will be missed by his sons, by his family, and by his friends. May he rest in peace.
Mike is survived by son and daughter Dustin and Christie, son and daughter Chris and Stacy, grandchildren Kate, Sage, and Kysen, brother and sister Christian and Diana, brother and sister Claus and Debbie, niece and nephew Erika and Terry, several extended family members in Germany, and several members of the Green family of Georgia.
A celebration of life event will be scheduled later this year with details to follow.
A virtual memorial is available at the Cypress-Fairbanks Funeral Home website where memories can be shared celebrating the life of Mike Kroeger.
In lieu of flowers, Mike asked that donations be made to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in honor of his “Georgia Peach” Nancy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Kroeger, please visit our floral store.