Michael Thomas Dreher, 68, of Topeka, passed away at home on May 15, 2020. He was born February 18, 1952, to Celestine “Joe” and Bernadette Dreher and was a 1970 graduate of Hayden High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Recreation from Washburn University in 1975. Mike went on to hold several positions throughout his life, but his favorite may have been his first out of college, when he was the senior citizens activities director for the Salvation Army in Topeka. He was also employed in multiple capacities by the Menninger Foundation of Topeka.
Mike was a lover of many things, including Hudson automobiles, Disney theme parks, music of multiple genres (especially oldies of the 50’s and 60’s), animals (especially felines of all shapes and sizes), and the local sports franchises (specifically Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhawks). His most enduring appreciation, however, was for his family and the associated traditions that molded him throughout his childhood and early life. Mike would often relate treasured stories of his upbringing with a level of detailed recollection that would amaze the listener. Christmas Eves with close family friends, the Pachosas, beloved memories of pheasant hunting with Uncle Elmer Ubert, his well-earned reputation as class clown in high school, and his lifetime love of collecting (which he came by honestly) were common topics. The maintenance and proliferation of these and other traditions into the present and beyond were very important to him.
In recent years, Mike could be found mounting substantial scrapping/recycling efforts with the help of his cousin, nurturing his love of cats by caring for any and all neighborhood felines lucky enough to cross his path, finding new ways to make his friends and family laugh via his impressive repertoire of puns, displaying his unmatched affection for and knowledge of music (often texting his children YouTube videos and detailed descriptions of some of his favorite songs that they may not have heard) or running up impressive trivia scores at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Mike was married to Karen Saia of Topeka in 1975, divorced in 1997. He is survived by his two children, Dillon (Michelle Albano) Dreher of Kansas City, MO and Lindy (Jeff) Brewer of Topeka and four grandchildren, Jalen Michael Moore, Camden Joseph Wayne Brewer, Nolan Jeffrey Thomas Brewer, and Talia Scarlett Dreher. He is also survived by his sister, Shari (Jim) Staehli, and half sister Gigi (Kalwat) Singh.
Per his wishes, Mike was cremated and his remains will be buried next to those of his loving parents at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka during a private graveside service for immediate family. A celebration of life will be held at some point in the near future as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution can be made in his name to the Topeka Cat Association, 1719 SW Gage Blvd, Topeka, KS, 66604. Contributions can be sent by mail or made on the website, http://www.topekacat.org.