Hafemeister Funeral Home And Cremation Service
Mutsumi Michael Ishii, MD
February 23, 1961 - March 21, 2017 (Age 56)
Lake Mills, WI
Service: March 25, 2017
Mutsumi Michael Ishii, MD
Mutsumi Michael Ishii, MD, born In Milwaukee, February 23, 1961, died on March 21, 2017, at the age of 56, after more than one year of embracing terminal metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Born of immigrant parents, Michael is in deep gratitude for his father's career of teaching at Marquette University engineering to encourage his family to study, and for his mother devoting her life to raising her family and encouraging close immigrant family ties. Starting in engineering school, Michael found his interests growing instead in psychology and clinical psychology at Marquette University, medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin, and psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco.
Michael spent his short-lived twenty year career at Dean Clinic, in which behavioral health grew from one to six locations, and he pioneered helping to open the Sun Prairie location for adults and children to receive behavioral health services in their communities. He networked with many primary care providers, running a satellite clinic in Deerfield Family Practice, teaching in a collaborative primary clinic at Sauk Prairie, and collaborating at the Good Neighbors Free Clinic in Prairie du Sac. In 2013, Michael was given the Dean Purple Star of Excellence, whose cash award he returned eightfold to the Dean Reading Clinic for Children. One of his last acts at St. Mary's was giving a significant donation to launch the St. Mary's Foundation Campaign to Re-store Strength and Hope, a drive to build the only new state of the art inpatient behavioral health unit in the Madison area.
While forced from clinical practice due to the severity of his metastatic pancreatic cancer, Mi-chael renewed bases of strength in art, folding origami, painting digital watercolors, and writing Haiku. Michael enjoyed motorcycling, travel, light carpentry and landscaping, finding contempla-tive peace in work at a slowed pace. Through pastoral counseling, Michael reconciled with and accepted Jesus Christ in his life again. As a physician, knowing that he was terminal from the initial sign of painless jaundice, Michael on a daily basis practiced embracing his pancreatic cancer, which gave Michael the opportunity to grow personally and deepen friendships. Michael is deeply thankful to his cancer for forcing him to become well rounded and even more loving.
Michael is survived by his immediate family, including many nieces and nephews. He has many extended relatives in Japan. He is loved by countless friends and colleagues, and has been touched by numerous cards and well wishes from his patients. Michael was remembered in a private family service and will also be remembered in a public professional related service in Madison. He encourages those he left living to find balance between work and play, to live life connected with others meaningfully and to live spiritually by giving unexpectedly.
Instead of traditional memorials, Michael and his family would ask that tax deductible donations be sent to St. Mary's Foundation: Restoring Strength and Hope Campaign to fund building a new behavioral unit or to Rainbow Hospice. In Japanese, there are many ways to say goodbye and in this case, best said with dignified formality and finality: Sayonara.
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