Mike was born on June 15, 1954, in Spokane Washington, to Harold and Marion Broz. As a young boy growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mike would sit at the street corner near the local fire department and wait for the engines to rev and the sirens to blare as the firefighters raced off to a call. He knew he wanted to serve as a firefighter one day.
After completing high school, Mike joined the U.S. Air Force. He served as a tech sergeant, a loadmaster, and a U.S. Air Force military police officer. On February 3, 1982, Mike had the distinct honor of being part of the flight crew who flew Brigadier General James Lee Dozier across the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. The general was held captive for 42 days in Italy by Italian Red Brigades. General Dozier wrote and signed a personal note to Mike’s youngest daughter, Sherri, which she treasures to this day. Mike received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in 1985.
While stationed at the Charleston Air Force Base, Mike met the love of his life, Dixie Felder. They married in 1981 and resided in Ridgeville, South Carolina. Feeling the need to fulfill his dream of becoming a firefighter and first responder, Mike joined the Ridgeville Volunteer Fire Department in 1982, where he served as assistant fire chief for many years. He then joined the Dorchester Rural Volunteer Fire Department in 2001.
While serving as a volunteer firefighter over the years, Mike worked various jobs, many as a safety director. He received an associate degree in occupational safety and health from Belford University and certificates from the following: SC Fire Academy for Interior Structural Firefighter and Hazardous Materials First Responder, National Fire Academy for Fire Arson Detection, SC State Fire Marshal for Hazardous Materials, Arson, and Fire Department Safety, Trident Technical College for Confined Space Rescue, Medical University of SC for Meducare Flight Support Team Member, and U.S. Department of Justice for FBI Community Relations Training.
Second to being a firefighter, Mike truly loved his family first and foremost. He enjoyed staying in touch with his mom and his brothers, Steve and Bob, and their families, all from Ohio. Mike was a loving husband to his wife, Dixie, and a devoted father to children, Debbie, Glenda, Fel, and Sherri. He was a doting grandfather to grandchildren, Michelle, Mary, Taylor, Hillary, Madison, and Andrew. Mike’s family says that from heaven he has given them the most precious gift of all—life, in the form of his great grandson, Baby Wyatt.