Michael Craig Lepel - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

May 15, 1958 - January 14, 2022

Michael Craig Lepel

Age 63, formerly of Brainerd, MN and Gillette, WY passed away peacefully January 14th, 2022. Son of Alton and Catherine (Vickers) Lepel of Minneapolis, MN, he was the second of three boys.

He graduated from Richfield High School in 1977. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army reserves and served for nine years. Michael married the love of his life, Sharon Christiansen, in 1983. They had two children together and raised them in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Michael was the owner and operator of Mike’s (fishing) Guide Service for eighteen years. An avid outdoorsman, he lived to hunt and fish with family and friends. He was also the head coach of the Brainerd traveling baseball team, the Bushwhackers, for five years. Once his children were grown, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to a ranch in Wyoming, where he worked as a coal miner for ten years. He had recently enjoyed a newfound love of horses.

Michael was preceded in death by his wife Sharon, father Alton, and brother Elwood.

He is survived by his son Daniel Lepel and daughter Catherine (Gregory) Pivarunas, two grandchildren, his mother, Catherine (died April 29), brother Kevin (Pamela), many nieces, nephews, and beloved cousins.


  1. Linda Hurst says:

    Mike was a dear friend and I will miss him. I first met Mike while working at Edina Realty – where I was Office Admin and he was an agent. We both had red Ford F150’s – so of course, we were the Edina Realty vehicles in the annual St . Paddy’s day parade. One year, I snuck out of the office to go on a medallion hunt – and managed to get my truck stuck in deep snow in the park. Mike was the only person I trusted to call to come bail me out of a pickle! He gave me so much crap as he hooked up his truck to mine to pull me out. He was just like that – always there to help, and a big soft teddy bear underneath a gruff exterior. He and I stayed in touch, even after he moved west. It was fun to see him enjoy a renewed love of life and follow along on his adventures. Mike was a true friend and a great guy. He will be missed.

  2. Chuck Bergquist says:

    Dear Kal and Dan,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I also feel the loss and will miss him greatly. I always looked forward to the summers coming from Illinois and shooting trap with him and having many conversations. We had many great times together at the club and when they moved to Wyoming I really missed him, as things just weren’t the same. But, I knew it was his lifelong dream to be out there. We did have some nice phone chats periodically which were always fun catching up, and he would always tell me how you guys were doing. I still have the earplugs Sharon ordered for me and think of all of you every time I use them. Mike was a great guy and a wonderful friend. My best wishes to all of you.
    Chuck Bergquist

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