Michal Stotler, 44, passed away on April 8 in Indian Hills, Colorado. Michal was born on March 2, 1979 in Chelm, Poland, to his loving mother Joanna Zawadiak. Michal lived a life marked by an insatiable curiosity to understand the world in which he lived, as illustrated by his captivation of literature, science, and language. Inspired by his mother’s career as a doctor, his adventurous spirit led him to Chicago where he furthered his studies to eventually become a physician at Porter Hospital in Denver, Colorado.
Michal cherished the majesty of Earth’s natural beauty and its abundance of life. He sought to experience as much of it as possible, through photography and exploration of diverse countries and cultures.
Two generations removed from the devastation of his homeland in World War II, Michal was a lifelong advocate for elevating the civility of humanity. During his impressionable childhood years, Poland was well into the process of rebuilding from the destruction of World War II. During his final years, Michal was tormented by the travesty occurring in Ukraine–the country just 15 miles from his boyhood home. Michal and his wife, Jaylin, visited eastern Poland twice during the prolonged war, witnessed the humanitarian crisis and did what they could to help. They planned to return in June.
Michal sought peace to offset conflict. He found it in a six pack of special fur-bearing friends. A dog in need of a home could not find a greater blessing than to cross paths with Michal and Jaylin. Their rescue pack, including three pups with disabilities, found sanctuary in the arms of loving parents providing routine, personalized care to meet their medical needs, fresh mountain air walks, home-cooked meals, travel, and views from the deck of deer, elk, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and native birds. Michal cultivated an environment where wildlife could find refuge and nourishment. From thoughtful plantings and the creation of water access points to animal rescues, he was their protector.
Michal was uniquely talented. From engineering and design to applying finishing touches, Michal transformed a fixer-upper into Jaylin and his dream home. To implement his creative planning, he admirably developed self-taught skills as a carpenter, electrician, plumber and landscaper, impressing seasoned professionals.
Fixing things—making things better—was part of his nature. His home, hospital patients, his surroundings, even himself. An introspective introvert in a foreign country, Michal contemplated ways to develop meaningful connections. He held few but significant friendships that were treasured. Those who experienced Michal’s love knew it to be pure and profound. He looked outward at the beauty of his surroundings. He looked inward to understand his role—his place—to find his peace and to make peace for others.
Michal is survived by his wife, Jaylin, of Indian Hills, his mother, Joanna of Chelm, Poland, his brothers Jacek (Ania) Wac of Amsterdam and Pawel (Ania) Wac of Warsaw, several nieces and nephews- Karolina, Natalia, Thomas, Carter and those he never had the opportunity to meet, and his dogs, Butters, Pierogi, Benji, Missy and Samba. Michal is spiritually reunited with the family’s pack-leader—Pepperoni, the Pekinese who passed on Thanksgiving Day, 2022.
Michal loved the mountains of Colorado and traveled extensively, but his internal compass never stopped pointing homeward as he and Jaylin planned to spend their retirement years in Poland. While his life ended prematurely, Michal will indeed return to Poland where his ashes will eternally rest close to family and ancestors. Private services of remembrance will be held both locally and in Poland among family members from Colorado, Europe and beyond. In lieu of flowers the family requests you share your favorite memory of Michal in the guest book. Contribution through Paypal or Venmo for the memorial and international travel for the family are being accepted.