Michael Newton Wardlaw
Michael Newton Wardlaw, BBA ‘77, of Waco, passed away peacefully in his home Aug. 5, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife, Susan, and his daughters, Cari and Lori.
Mike was a kind, selfless and giving man, and his family always came first. He made his love for them known in so many ways, but more than anything he was present. He and Susan frequented sports fields and performing arts centers from Waco to Austin to watch their grandchildren, and they rarely missed a game or a recital. He was present for birthday dinners, First Communions, Church Confirmations and graduations. Regardless the occasion, Pop and MeMaw could be counted on to be there.
Mike was a man’s man in so many ways. He loved the outdoors — hunting, fishing and particularly guns. He was a proud member of the NRA, enjoyed NASCAR, football, baseball, golf and all things Baylor Bears. But he was really in his element as a girl dad. Cari and Lori were his world, and in addition to lessons about responsibility, hard work and perseverance, he taught them empathy and kindness. He was both their stability and their vulnerability.
Mike was born Sept. 12, 1951, in Waco, before his family moved to Marshall, TX, where he lived for 11 years. They moved back to Waco in 1962, and Mike attended St. Mary’s, St. Louis and Reicher Catholic High Schools, graduating in 1969 with a letter in football. While attending Baylor University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he worked full time at Davis Ironworks. After graduation, he worked with the company for 17 years, finishing as one of its top salesmen. In 1986, he left to start his own steel framing and fabrication business called Heart of Texas Steel, which served the Central Texas area for five years. Following his father, Pat Wardlaw’s retirement, Mike joined the family business and helped guide Wardlaw Claims Service to great successes for 27 years before his own retirement in 2018.
In 2000, Mike fell in love with Susan after many years of friendship. They married in 2001 and started a 21-year partnership that was a shining example for their family. When they were not traveling the state to attend their grandchildren’s events, they saw the country together. Mike and Susan were happiest when spending time with family and friends.
Mike was preceded in death by his grandparents, Newton J. and Willie Alice Wardlaw. He is survived by his wife, Susan Tomchesson Wardlaw; his daughter, Cari Wardlaw of Austin, grandson Kyle Keahey and his wife, Donnell, and grandson Clayton Keahey and his wife, Katie; his daughter, Lori Becker, and her husband, Jason, of Austin, and grandchildren Jake, Cole, Ellie and Jillie Becker; his stepdaughter, Stacy Cook and her husband, Stephen, of Waco, and grandchildren Ryan and Reagan Cook; his stepdaughter Michelle Wilson and her husband, Joe, of Waco, and grandchildren Greg, Travis and Abi Wilson; his parents Pat and Vicki Wardlaw of Waco; his sister, Rebecca Meadows and her husband, Ray, of Waco; and his brother, Bill Wardlaw, and his wife, Kathy, of Waco. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
His 11 grandchildren will forever remember and love him as their Pop.