Michael Stedman Wyatt was an encouraging, inspiring, and selfless family man and a beaming, bright light to everyone he encountered. He was a titan of Dallas, consummate gentleman, bastion of civic pride, curious adventurer, attentive listener, dot connector, eternal optimist, history buff, crusader of overlooked causes, loyal friend, and a noble mentor to many.
Born in Los Angeles on July 25, 1962, Mike’s lifelong pursuit of knowledge was ignited by the boarding schools he attended — Le Chalet Marie-José in Gstaad, Switzerland, The Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. Mike’s life was grounded by the virtues he developed at Kent — fidelity, honesty, humility, and gratitude — and he embodied the school’s motto: Simplicity of Life, Self-Reliance, Directness of Purpose.
Over the course of his life, he would become a brick wall of integrity with an unshakable moral compass. The school not only taught him the principles that would guide his personal and professional life, but it also served as the perfect backdrop to cultivate Mike’s love of nature and a place where he spent many afternoons fly-fishing on the Housatonic River.
In 1980, Mike enrolled at Washington & Lee University, where an enthusiasm for the arts, the outdoors, American history, sports, and his fascination with music flourished. He pledged Kappa Alpha Order, played competitive tennis, and made lifelong friends. He was intimately connected to the W&L campus and its traditions and treasured his time in Lexington.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in European History, Mike returned to Texas and earned an MBA from The University of Dallas. Soon thereafter, he met the one who would become his daily inspiration, the strength behind his achievements, his greatest encourager, and his confidant of 30 years, Piper Sanders Wyatt. Piper and Mike complimented one another perfectly and made each other better, and by doing so, they made our world a greater place.
The two traveled the globe, traversing underwater caves in Iceland and taking in the majesty of South Africa, immersing themselves in the local culture and feeding Mike’s boundless pursuit of learning and life experiences. Mike had an ambitious bucket list — climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with his twin brother Chris and brother Brady, attending Wimbledon, and ascending the steps of Machu Picchu with Piper — and those triumphs would eventually make their way on to his cherished needlepoint belts.
From Padel courts to charitable endeavors, Piper and Mike were a force of goodness, love, dedication, and generosity. With Piper’s support, Mike achieved unprecedented success over the course of his 35-year career as a commercial real estate broker at Cushman & Wakefield, and he was beloved by his clients, colleagues, and competitors. His list of professional achievements are too many to note, but one of his highest honors was receiving the 2005 Stemmons Service Award, a peer-voted award presented to the person who best exemplifies the highest professional standard of a Dallas commercial real estate broker. He took pride in mentoring young brokers, often testing their mettle with scavenger hunts, book reports on obscure works of literature, and other various litmus tests of character and work ethic.
As a devotee of Dallas, Mike creatively founded and belonged to numerous organizations promoting the history, preservation, and success of our city, including Downtown Dallas Inc., Urban Armadillos, Carpe Diem Fishing Tournament, Team Nuts, The State Fair of Texas, Klyde Warren Park, and many more.
In a storied life filled with achievement and success, if someone were to ask Mike about his proudest accomplishment, he would undoubtedly declare it is the bond he built with his bride, Piper. And although Mike and Piper did not have children of their own, they went to incredible lengths and effort to be immersed in the lives of their nieces, nephews, and godchildren. Mike would challenge them to learn, think, and be able to defend their own ideas as they matured into teens and young adults. His love for them was endless, and he left a positive impression on each one.
Mike found the beauty in everything — from outsider art to lesser-known musicians — and felt that the story behind the artist was just as important as the work itself. With a twinkle in his eye, Mike approached life with limitless curiosity. He was a collector of snow globes and rare bourbon, a backgammon aficionado, a gregarious storyteller, owl advocate, ambitious writer, Ferndale Club bass angler, cancer survivor, marathon runner, and stallion wrangler — a true Renaissance man.
In personal interactions, Mike made you feel like the most important person in the room — he was inquisitive and genuinely interested in everyone he met. Mike passed away on Sunday, September 24, 2023, after a courageous fight with mental illness, and leaves behind a devoted family, adoring friends, and a pair of altruistic shoes way too big to fill.
Mike is preceded in death by his mother Jacqueline Stedman Wyatt; father Brady Thomas Wyatt, Jr.; sister Betsy Wyatt Kennedy; stepfather Bruce Calder; and pups Bo, Zoe, Godiva, Toby, and Newton. He is survived by his wife Piper Wyatt; pooch Minnie Pearl; brother Christopher Wyatt; brother Brady Wyatt III and wife Merry Wyatt; mother-in-law Dixey Thornton; father-in-law, William Sanders, Jr.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Ginger and Britain Auer; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Garrett and Scott Callaway; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Lauren and Bill Sanders; nieces and nephews Brady Wyatt IV, Susie Wyatt, Whitley Wyatt, Jillian Kennedy, Dixey Piper Auer, Wyatt Auer, Sanders Callaway, Brooks Callaway, Anna Ellis Sanders, and William Sanders IV.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Klyde Warren Park, Trinity Park Conservancy, or a charity of your choice, or raise a glass of bourbon and take his signature polar bear plunge on New Year’s Day. A celebration of Mike’s life will be planned for a later date.