Michael Lee Berlet passed away on September 24th, 2018 after suffering a massive heart attack. He had been suffering from severe asthma and COPD for the last few years leading up to his death, and his heart finally gave out from the strain. He was born to Travis Montgomery Berlet, Jr. and Patsy Jean Berlet on October 11th, 1960, in Corpus Christi, on a shrimp boat and later moved to San Antonio where he grew up and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, Class of 1979.
Michael was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, father to anyone who needed one, friend to everyone, and a master entertainer. His love of the stage started at a very early age when he traveled throughout Europe as a soloist with the Alamo Boys Choir. In his career, he has toured Europe, Mexico, performed in New York, and across our great U.S.A. In San Antonio, he has performed at The Josephine Theatre, the San Antonio Little Theater, San Pedro Playhouse, Fiesta Texas, Harlequin Dinner Theatre, Chaparral, PASA, Majestic Theatre, and the Colonies North Theatre. He also spent many years working as an industrial actor for many local and national entertainment agencies, including: Sturchio Entertainment, Capers, and The R.K. Group. He is the recipient of 6 ATAC Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Musical and the winner of multiple national accolades from the FORSCOM Army Festival of The Arts.
Growing up, Michael especially loved going on camping trips with his family, participating in Y Indian guides with his father, and working alongside his mother with the Girl Scouts of the USA at Camp La Jita, where he spent many summers as a counselor and lifeguard. He was caretaker for Camp Mira Sol for several years as well. Michael was a Boy Scout, member of the Order of the Arrow, Eagle Scout, and later became an Eagle Scout mentor.
Michael had a degree in Horticulture, and his many years working in the field allowed him to live in several different places including Hawaii, Florida, and Midland.
Michael “loved his wife and he loved his life”. In addition to his performing and his work in horticulture, Michael worked alongside his wife Missy for the past 22 years writing and co-directing hundreds of productions, starring in hundreds of productions, building sets, designing lights, and being her rock for absolutely anything and everything she ever needed in her life. They worked together managing the Harlequin Dinner Theatre from 2008 to 2012, and Michael built and managed 2 additional theatres for Missy, The Carmack Performing Arts Complex (formerly Wonder Bowl), and The Missy Miller Presents Theatre at the Village Plaza. In 2015, Michael and Missy happily returned home to The Josephine Theatre to, once again, work with the family and to restore the Showstoppers Academy program.
One of the things that was most important to Michael was the work he did with The Showstoppers Academy. Teaching children to believe in themselves and have confidence was one of his biggest passions. He taught them “if you mess it up, dress it up", “if you can talk you can sing, if you can walk you can dance”, “people hear what they see”, “the eyes are the windows to your soul”, and, most importantly, the question he asked of every student, “who owns the stage?”
He is preceded in death by his father, Travis Montgomery Berlet Jr., his mother, Patsy Jean Berlet, and his brother, James Keith Berlet. He is survived by his wife, Missy Berlet, his sister, LuAnn Berlet, his “sister”, Patty Vorheier, his mother-in-law, Marjorie Miller, his brothers-in-law, Thomas Miller and wife, Andrea Bustos Miller, Tim Miller, Terry Miller and wife Karen Miller, sister-in-law, Becky King Balter and husband, Jason Balter, and many beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and fur babies.
Of all the work that Michael did in his life, one of the shows he was most proud of was, “Music For The Soul”. It is entirely too fitting that, as fate would have it, the revival of “Music For The Soul” as part of the Tri-Centennial celebration of San Antonio, would be his final performance in this life. He was so honored and proud to work with each and every person involved in the production and to share the stage with so many members of his family and extended theatre family one last time.
A “Celebration of Life” service will be held on Sunday, October 7th at 3:00 PM at The Josephine Theatre, 339 W. Josephine Street, San Antonio, Texas 78212. A reception will follow in the Josephine Theatre lounge. As a horticulturist, Michael did not like cut flower arrangements. To honor Michael, in lieu of flowers, the Michael Lee Berlet Scholarship Fund for students of The Showstoppers Academy at The Josephine Theatre has been created. Michael loved the Showstopper kids like they were his own, and he would be extremely proud to know that these talented children were being supported in his name by his friends and family. Your tax-deductible donations should be made payable to The Josephine Theatrical Company, Inc. in care of the Michael Lee Berlet Scholarship Fund. You may also visit the theatre Facebook page or website and click on the donate button. If you would like more information, please contact us at www.josephinetheatre.org, www.missymillerpresents.com, (210)734-4646 or (210) 284-7869.
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