Michael M. McInerny passed away on December 30, 2023; he was 90 years old. Michael, the only child of Merrill A. and Marian I. McInerny, was born on November 22, 1933 in Minneapolis. He grew up in south Minneapolis and attended Minneapolis Roosevelt High School where he participated in football, wrestling, swimming, and track. After graduating in 1951, he then attended Gustavus Adolphus College where he played football and hockey. At the same time, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve reaching the rank of airman apprentice and honorably discharged in 1954. Most importantly while at Gustavus, he met the love of his life, Joan Erickson. They married on September 20, 1953. After graduation from Gustavus in 1955, they moved to Baudette, Minnesota, where he taught general science and biology and coached football, basketball, and track for one school year. In 1956, they moved to Cannon Falls where he taught primarily physical education and health at Cannon Falls High School, and started a lengthy career coaching a variety of sports. He was head coach of the football team for 19 years, he was the first head coach of wrestling, and he also coached boys basketball and boys and girls track. He then served as the Athletic Director at Cannon Falls High School. During summers, he worked several different jobs, but later attended classes at the University of Minnesota and Mankato State College (now Minnesota State Mankato University) where he earned a Master of Science degree in physical education from Mankato. Throughout his teaching and coaching career, he developed great, often lasting, rapport with his students and players, who almost always addressed him as ‘Mac’. Mac retired after teaching at Cannon Falls High School for 37 years. Throughout his career and afterward, he received several honors including Region I Athletic Director of the Year, WCCO 830 Good Neighbor award, and was among the first group of inductees into the Cannon Falls High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mac loved being with family and friends, and loved traveling with Joan and their two children (when they were still at home). With their kids, he and Joan traveled throughout the United States and southern Canada, and after retiring he and Joan traveled to many places in Europe, Mexico, and the US, and went on cruises. He and Joan also enjoyed going to Gopher and Viking football games. He and Joan also remained close to several of his high school friends, friends they met in college (the Gustie bunch), and many fellow teachers and coaches. When not traveling, he regularly played golf but never kept score, started, then mastered wood carving, read many, many books mostly on sports and military history, and relaxed by playing wordsearch puzzles. He loved to laugh, poking fun at family and friends who returned the same, and most often poked fun at himself.
Mac was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife and life partner for the past 70 years, Joan, who passed away just seven weeks before he did. Mac is survived by his son Michael (Kathy), daughter Kim Fordahl, grandchildren Breynne (Sonny) Ratnayake, Zachary Fordahl, and Callie (Phil) Fordahl, step-granddaughter Renèe (Tim) Coffman, and great grandchildren Eli and Isaiah Ratnayake, and Nora and Mila Fordahl.