Mike was a family man‚ great friend‚ patriot‚ and humanitarian. He was born in Omaha‚ Nebraska‚ in 1955. His mother‚ Alice‚ was a nurse‚ and he grew up with three sisters‚ Linda‚ Ann‚ and Karen. His father‚ Leonard‚ became an electronics specialist with the US Army DOD‚ thereby blessing his family with living in several states and overseas.
Mike raised two beautiful children‚ and he loved spending time with them and was active in their lives. A Boy Scout growing up‚ he became a Scout leader in Miami while his son Alan was a Scout. His daughter‚ Laura‚ loved to help Dad fix things. Later‚ they both worked with the high school football team‚ Laura as a water girl and Mike as a videographer.
Mike inherited his passion for flying from his dad. He soloed at sixteen and attended aviation mechanics training at Lake City‚ Florida‚ and Ozark‚ Alabama. After working for several major airlines‚ he later became an aviation maintenance consultant and volunteered overseas during both Desert Storm and Desert Shield. When in Miami‚ he even volunteered with the local police department.
Mike married me‚ Ramona‚ in 2000. He was an amazing partner and a second son to my parents‚ Allie Jean and Horace Howell. Our families are very active in family reunions and preserving family ties and history‚ and he worked hard to build a massive history portfolio of family photos and ancestry. Although a quiet man‚ Mike was mischievous‚ a prankster‚ and laughed easily and often. He was a doer more than a talker.
Mike joined the Chattahoochee Volunteer Fire Department in 2005. He loved the men with whom he worked and the opportunity to serve his community. In his time with the fire department he missed only one call for assistance. He was always looking to find ways to improve his service. He worked at the station as often as possible‚ doing whatever needed to be done. You could see his joy every time he talked about the fire department. On April 23‚ 2006‚ at 51 years old‚ Mike passed away in his sleep following a call to work at an automobile accident and fire. His last words to me were‚ ‘I think the driver will be fine. I’ll tell you all about it in the morning. I love you.’
Mike was laid to rest on April 27‚ 2006‚ his 52nd birthday. I will always be grateful for the support and love of our families‚ friends‚ members of the Chattahoochee Fire Department‚ city government officials‚ and members of the community. I know Mike was proud and very happy to be part of our families and the community he called home.