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Michael T. Cordle

Michael Thomas Cordle, age 63, of Denver, Colorado, passed away on May 29, 2024 in Phuket, Thailand. After much thought, meditation and soul-searching, Michael decided to end his life on this earth and move on to the next. Michael was very connected with nature and with the beauty of Thailand, and his wishes were to be put to rest there according to Buddhist rites.

Michael T. Cordle
Michael T. Cordle

Michael was born on Feb. 23, 1961 at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, Iowa to Dennis E. Cordle and Marjorie A. Strike Cordle. He came into the world screaming and trying to find his thumb. His parents knew right then that they had a feisty one on their hands. Throughout childhood, he lived up to his status as the independent middle sibling to his quiet older sister, Julie, and his younger sister Jane.

The family moved to Nashua, Iowa in 1965 when his parents divorced.  Michael grew up in Nashua with his Grandpa & Grandma Strike close by. There were lots of kids in the neighborhood and all the mothers were called on to referee the fights in their yard.  The kids rode their bikes to the Nashua Town and Country Club almost every day in the summer, where Michael golfed and swam. Michael also went with his Grandpa frequently to trout fish in Decorah, Iowa. While a Boy Scout, he canoed the Upper Iowa River. Later, while living in Colorado, Michael spent time hiking, camping and fly fishing. He loved being outside and in tune with nature.

Michael attended Nashua Schools and played football in junior high and was on the golf team in high school. He graduated from Nashua High School in 1979. He attended college at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls in 1985.

Michael’s first job was in Charles City, Iowa at Farner-Bocken Co. He went on to work and live in Boston and Chicago; ending up in Denver, Colorado, where he spent the next thirty-some years. His career in real estate started in mortgage financing, and advanced to selling real estate as an agent. Michael had a very out-going personality and loved working with and helping people in his business. He had a keen understanding and knowledge of the housing market and real estate and did his best for his many satisfied clients.

Michael made friends readily and had many in the Denver area and around the world. He loved to have good old-fashioned conversations while sharing food and drinking craft beer at one of his favorite breweries. He was knowledge-seeking and had much to say, with great conviction, on a myriad of topics. Michael was also a traveler and an adventurer. While in Colorado, he and other family members including his young nephews, rafted the rapids of the Colorado River. In 1993, he did a 1,300 mile self-supported bicycle ride from Washington state to Colorado. He loved road trips and visited many places throughout the United States. Michael visited Thailand several times, with each visit becoming more in tune with the Thai way of life and feeling at peace there.  He loved the beaches, scenery and the weather and absolutely fell in love with Thai food. While in Phuket, he met a lovely Thai woman, Paertong (nicknamed Panda). They traveled together, fished in the sea, cooked together and enjoyed each other’s company.

Michael is survived by his parents Dennis Cordle of Iowa City, Iowa and Marjorie Strike Bullen of New Hampton, Iowa; sister Jane (Neal) Henderson of Boulder, Colorado; half-sister Angie (Craig Albright) Cordle; and half-brother Rob Cordle, both of Iowa City, Iowa; Aunt Mary Parsons, Fairhope, Alabama; Uncles Stan (Kay) Strike of Cody, Wyoming and Stuart Strike, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; nephews Curtis, Rochester, Minnesota and Christopher Ohm of Flagstaff, Arizona; nieces Renee Marino (Justin Forthuber) of Tampa, Florida; Abigail Henderson of Boulder, Colorado; and Gracie Albright of Iowa City, Iowa. (All knew him as Uncle Mike)

Michael was preceded in death by his grandparents V.L. and Gladys Strike of Nashua, Iowa; Ruth (Mimi) Cordle of Iowa City, Iowa; sister Julie Cordle Cravath; Uncle Tom Cordle and Aunt Susan Cordle Parker; step-mother Lorie Cordle and step-father Jerry Bullen.

Michael’s cremation and committal took place on June 5th, at Choeng Thale Temple in Phuket, Thailand. Michael’s ashes were returned to nature, scattered in the Andaman Sea by his dear companion Panda. Some ashes will be sent to the United States for his family to lay him to rest in favorite fishing streams in Iowa and Colorado.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Nashua, Iowa on Sunday, June 30, 2024 at the Nashua Town and Country Club, 2898 Asherton Ave., from 12:30-3 p.m.

All are invited to attend to celebrate Michael’s life.

June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, dedicated to shedding light on the issues that men face uniquely; and encouraging men to talk openly about their feelings and experiences.

Upon his death, Michael shared in a letter to his family his thoughts on some of the choices he made in his life – some of which he said “created quite a bit of hardship” and some “led to the greatest experiences during my time on earth”. We are certain he is not the only one.

We must remember that both our burdens and our joys are what connect us as humans. Rather than going it alone, reach out.

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