Alvin Michael (Mike) Truman was born in Moses Lake, Washington, on Dec. 16, 1959, to Alvin C. York (Dutch) and Betty Arlene (Elam) Truman. Surrounded by loved ones, Mike peacefully joined his heavenly family on Jan. 22, 2020, at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, Montana.
The fifth child of seven siblings, Mike grew up at the family homestead on the West Kootenai. He attended the one-room Tooley Lake School with his two older sisters, two older brothers and two younger brothers, numerous cousins, and close family friends. Eventually, he moved with his family to Old Rexford, and later to new Rexford where he graduated 8th grade. Mike attended Lincoln County High School in Eureka, MT.
As a young teen, Mike enjoyed steer-riding and rodeo with his dad. Despite his small stature, Mike was fearless. After high school, he worked with several of his brothers and cousins for the Rocky Mountain division of G.S.I., a seismic exploration company. Mike was a shooter - detonating charges of dynamite on the portable helicopter crew, and was the lead vibe operator on the vibe crew.
Mike also worked in the logging industry around Eureka as a sawyer and skidder operator. For many years, he ran the delimber for the family company – LT Logging. After retiring from logging, Mike worked as a chef in the family restaurant in Rexford. He was known and appreciated for his precision and attention to detail, and particularly for his signature soups.
Mike, known by his family and friends as ‘Ears’, enjoyed sharing his love of music. He often sang karaoke at the local bars, closing with “The Midnight Special” at midnight. He loved to sit around a campfire and sing the ‘good old songs’ that he taught to all of his kids. He also enjoyed hiking and camping – particularly hiking into the Wolverine cabin where he spent many late nights drinking beer and sharing stories with his buddies. Mike was always outdoors, whether working, camping, hunting, or fishing, and in his later years just sitting on his front porch in Rexford, waving to passersby.
Living life to its fullest, Mike was a fighter with a heart of gold. Always ready to jump in and defend a friend, he found himself in the midst of quite a few bar-room brawls over the years. Even after several heart-attacks, and undergoing numerous heart procedures, Mike continued to fight. He had just celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends at his home in Rexford, and was looking forward to upcoming summer adventures.
In the end, it was his golden heart that finally gave out. On January 22, 2020, he travelled home to his family in heaven, joining his parents, his two older brothers Allen Truman and Ronnie Truman, and a son, Tyrell C. York Truman.
Mike is survived by his dog Cody; his children - Vanessa Herron (Ian) of Seattle, Tiffany Smith Howard of Marion, and Tell Truman (Danielle) of Kila, and their mother Michelle Smith also of Kila; his siblings – Shelley Wells (Ray), Cheryl Evjene, and Terry Truman all of Rexford, and Lyle Truman (Pam) of Eureka; his sisters-in-law - Debbie Truman and Connie Truman both of Eureka, and Deb Harry of Orient, Iowa; his grandchildren – Tristin Smith, Brittiany Smith, Gage Carlson, Wyatt Carlson, Maci Jo Galles, and Ivy Truman; his great-grandchildren – Dean Stacy and Abigail Hale (arriving in June 2020); his aunts – Judy Holien Beecher, Stella Truman, LaVerne Truman, and Joan Elam; numerous nieces and nephews, tons of cousins, and all of Rexford; and his good friends – Deb, Kitten, and Dixie.
Mike was one of the kindest and most generous souls on earth. Even when he had nothing, he was willing to give you the shirt off his back. If you were a friend of Mike’s, you were his best friend. We love you, Ears. ‘til we meet again.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the Church of God in Eureka. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Eureka. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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