On March 8, 2012 Michael “Mish” Karaffa lost his heroic four-year battle with cancer. Through all adversity he kept his unique sense of humor and positive attitude. He was concerned for everyone’s welfare above his own and a gracious host to the end. Michael was born on January 20, 1955 in Gary, Indiana. He was very proud to be a cradle catholic attending St. Mark Catholic School, Bishop Noll High School and St. Joseph’s College in Indiana. In 1977, after graduating with a BA in business and economics he moved to Houston and began his career in the computer industry with Burroughs Corporation. His current position was Vice President of Worldwide Business Development for WildTangent, Inc. based in Redmond, Washington. Prior to joining WildTangent, Mike was the Vice President of Major Accounts for Hyperion Solutions. In addition, Mike held management positions with Aldus Corporation and Wang Laboratories.
His proudest accomplishment came in 2005 when he achieved a lifelong dream by earning his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. A “Bucket List” item, as he would say. He was a devoted “Irish” fan with season football tickets that rarely missed a home game. Mish loved all sports and played football, basketball and golf. He successfully completed the Houston Marathon in 1999 and 2000. He was a devoted family man and loyal friend to many.
His adoring wife of 21 years, Tami, and their beloved daughter Allyson of Sugar Land, Texas survive Michael. Also, his sister, Mary Ellen and brother in law Tom Koziatek of Las Vegas, Nevada. Father and Mother in law, Charles and Abbigail Ball of Sugar Land, Texas. Brother and sister in law Charles and Sheila Whitson of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Brother in law Ed Krause of Houston, Texas; Nieces Karen Koziatek Casey and husband Shaun of Indianapolis, Indiana; Kathy Koziatek Forstadt and husband Michael of Las Vegas, Nevada; nephews Michael and Karl Krause of Houston, Texas and Nicholas and Jonathon Whitson of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Preceded in death by his father Michael Karaffa, mother Dorothy O’Bradovic Karaffa and sister Karol Karaffa Krause.
A Wake was held on Sunday, March 18, from 5:30 to 9:00pm at Sugar Land Mortuary, 1818 Eldridge Road in Sugar Land, Texas with a Holy Rosary led by Rev. Joe Templado at 6:00 pm and Eulogy by Rev. Bradley Wright at 6:30pm. The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Monday, March 19, at 10:00 am at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road, Houston, Texas by Rev. Douglas Guthrie. The family will receive friends for lunch following their private goodbye at the funeral home. Michael will be cremated and laid to rest at Cedar Grove cemetery on the campus of his beloved University of Notre Dame where he can “Wake up the Echoes” for all eternity.
In observance of Lent, Mish would be very pleased if you could make donations in his honor to either “The Shirt” foundation, the John Cardinal O’Hara Society at www.nd.edu or the angels at Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe Blvd., who allowed him to pass peacefully at home listening to his favorite “Irish” tunes.