Cover photo for Michael J. Retchless's Obituary
Michael J. Retchless Profile Photo
1946 Michael 2023

Michael J. Retchless

July 17, 1946 — November 16, 2023


Olean- Michael J. Retchless “Loving husband, Father and Papa”

Michael J. Retchless, 77, of Prospect Avenue, Olean passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, November 16th surrounded by his loving family.

Born on July 17, 1946, in Buffalo, New York, he was the son of Justin and Frances Retchless. On November 7, 1975, he married Susan D. Eisert of Olean.

Michael was raised in Gasport, New York and was a 1964 graduate of Desales Catholic High school in Lockport, where he was a standout baseball and basketball player. He continued his baseball career at St. Bonaventure University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics in 1968. He went on to earn a Masters degree in secondary teacher education at Bonaventure in 1972.  His teaching career, spanning four decades, began in Salamanca NY where he taught 8th grade math and coached varsity baseball. In 1985, Mike continued his career at Olean Junior High School and retired in 2013. While in the Olean system, he coached freshman basketball and junior varsity baseball. He was also instrumental in coordinating the Buffalo News high school basketball and baseball coaches polls for several years. In addition, he was also responsible for launching the Exceptional Senior baseball all-star game. His dedication to his students extended beyond the classroom and athletic fields, as he aided several student-athletes with their college placements. Mike was a dedicated educator who was greatly admired by his students.

Mike was a loving husband, father and papa who loved watching sports and rooting for his favorite teams with his family. He was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns as well as a season ticket holder for St. Bonaventure basketball for more than 25 years. He also was greatly involved with Olean Little League baseball for over a decade. He coached each of his sons and made a strong impact on dozens of others while involved in the organization.

He is survived by his loving wife, three sons Michael (Bridget), Timothy (Lindsay) and Matthew (Megan), five grandchildren, Sarah (Steven) Gerhard, Justin Retchless (Hannah Wilber), Trent Retchless, Paxton Retchless and Jack Retchless as well as two great grandchildren, Colt and Raylan Gerhard and several nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his best friend since college and continued friend of the family, Joseph Hurley, of Southampton, NY.

Mike was predeceased by his parents as well as several aunts and uncles

The family would like to acknowledge Mike’s compassionate caregivers, Ashley, Barbara and Kim and all the wonderful people at Hospice who together made it possible to stay in his home during his illness.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Olean Little League, HomeCare and Hospice of Olean and the Bonnies Athletic Fund.

Friends will be received at the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 E. State St., Olean on Friday, November 24, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 25, 2023, at 10:00am at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.  Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael J. Retchless, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 24, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. - Olean

646 E State St, Olean, NY 14760

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, November 25, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels

202 S Union St, Olean, NY 14760

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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