Michael Thomas Whitler of Nashville, Tennessee who brought beauty to our city and to the lives of others, passed away on August 11, 2016. A Nashville native, he was predeceased by parents Tom and Lorraine Whitler. Mike is survived by daughter Heather Whitler Braswell (Tim), grandchildren Brooks (9), John Thomas (6), and Harper (4). He is also survived by his brother Mark Whitler and nephews Scott (Megan) Whitler and Kevin Whitler.
Mike graduated from University of Tennessee where he was President of Beta Theta Pi. Mike Whitler was devoted to giving joy to others, most often by transforming events into unforgettable occasions. Along with business partner Mark Weber, he founded Branches: Event Design and Florals, in 1987. While Mike was a florist by trade, he excelled as an event planner and enjoyed nothing more than this, from setting the tone with the invitation to presenting a dramatic dessert. Working with top planners and committees, Branches elevated untold weddings, galas, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs throughout the southeast.
Mike aspired for every occasion to inspire. He achieved this by pushing for an unexpected vision while caring about each tiny detail. Mike’s tireless approach to excellence, coupled with his creativity, elevated countless major events in Nashville including Frist Gala, Seton Celebration, Ballet Ball, Symphony Ball and Swan Ball, as well as many celebrity weddings. Deeply committed to Nashville and its quality of life, Centennial Park and its Conservancy Gala were very special to Mike Whitler. He served as the floral designer and as consultant and production director for this annual fundraiser. Most recently, in 2015, Mike co-chaired The Conservancy Gala and then joined The Conservancy Board in June of 2016.
Mike was loved immensely by many in our community. Friends and family are invited to gather and celebrate Mike’s spirited life at the Parthenon on Monday, August 22nd from 4 to 7 PM. This time is for all who knew, loved and respected Mike to honor him, share stories and hold close his enduring beauty.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park. P.O. Box 196340, Nashville 37219 or a charity of your choice.