Mike Bodle (1956-2018)
Michael Joseph Bodle, 62, died August 26, 2018 in West Palm Beach, FL.
He was born on July 6, 1956, in Lafayette to the late John F. Bodle and Mary Kayser Bodle.
Mike graduated from West Lafayette High School in 1974 and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. He went to graduate studies in Aquatic Botany at the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL.
He began his professional career as a Biologist at the Florida Department of Natural Resources in 1982, later working at the South Florida Water Management District, where he served as a Senior Environmental Scientist, retiring in 2017. A lifelong public servant, Mike made important contributions to the invasive species field, drafting Florida’s first “Melaleuca Management Plan” in 1989. This document became a model for many other invasive species plans across the country. He loved scouring used bookstores for old botanical works and his charismatic and approachable style made learning about invasive plants fun.
He served as President for the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society in 2010 and as editor of the society ’s Aquatic magazine for many years. He enjoyed writing and his frequent contributions to the magazine always offered interesting botanical information with at least one joke hidden in each article. He was an active board member of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council and the Florida Native Plant Society. He also served on the Editorial Board for Wildland Weeds magazine.
He will be remembered affectionately by invasive species managers all over the world.
Mike treasured his time spent on the shores of Lake Michigan and loved attending Notre Dame football games with beloved friends. He loved great music – with tastes ranging from Elvis Costello and the Violent Femmes to the opera, was an avid reader, and served as the winning secret weapon at Trivia Nights. Mike also spent many years working with young Special Olympics athletes. He never ordered French fries in a restaurant but was famous for swiping them from lunch mates with an unapologetic “Oops.”
He is survived by his siblings: David (wife: Mary), of Indianapolis, Thomas, of San Francisco, CA, Kathy Bodle-Perez (husband: Augustine), of Bloomington, IN, Steve (wife: Michelle), of Stow, OH, and Caroline Mooney (husband: Mike), of Lafayette; nieces and nephews: Jeff Bodle, Elizabeth Karow, Christopher Bodle, Matthew Downs, Nicholas Bodle, Jacqueline Mooney, Megan Mooney and Grace Mooney.
A Celebration of Life is to be held September 22, 2018 at Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on October 6, 2018 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, West Lafayette with a luncheon to follow. Burial will be at St. Boniface Cemetery, Lafayette.