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1956 Mike 2024

Michael Lyons

July 4, 1956 — May 3, 2024


Michael (“Mike, Mikey”) Lawrence Lyons, 67, slipped peacefully into the great fishin’ hole on Friday, May 3, 2024, after a short illness.  He was at home surrounded by his family.

Mike was born on July 4, 1956 (yes, the fireworks were always for him) in Missoula to Armeda and Lawrence Lyons.  Being an all-American boy he always had to have steak and apple pie to celebrate his birthday.

As a small child, he lived in Missoula, Kalispell and Havre.  At 10, his family moved back to Missoula.  He attended Franklin grade school, played Little Grizzly football, and then went on to be a Spartan on the Sentinel High School football team.  He graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in English and a master’s degree from Lesley College.

On July 30, 1982, Mike married his best friend and soulmate Cheryl Burgmaier in Missoula.  The couple lived there throughout their marriage and together lovingly raised two children.

After graduation from UM, Mike began teaching Language Arts. He started at Rattlesnake Elementary School and then went on to teach at his alma mater, Sentinel High School.  Mike would coach anything that moved!  He coached track, basketball, softball and football.  His real love was the pigskin though.  He coached the Loyola Rams and then the Sentinel Spartans. He spent many hours armchair quarterbacking the Chicago Bears.

In addition to football, one of his other passions was fishing.   After retirement he bought his “dream boat” and would fish any chance he got.  He spent summers at Flathead Lake fishing and building his tiny house, the “Tiny Castle”, which he filled with tonka truck collectibles and ocean treasures.

He received the gardening gene from his father and planted beautiful petunia flower boxes along with gladiolas and dahlias.  He would spend many spring hours looking through flower catalogs and planning his next order.  When the local greenhouses opened for the season, he would be the first one at the door.

A loving husband, father, grandfather and brother, he took special care of his family and friends.  He was a wonderful storyteller and would give great impressions of Chris Farley and other funny characters.  He decorated for every holiday, especially Christmas.  He was Santa Claus on many occasions and some of his Halloween costumes were the best.

Survivors include his wife, Cheryl, daughter Danielle Sampson and grandson Reece, son Jace, sister Debbie Fillmore and husband John, father and mother-in-law Marvin and Vivian Pastian, brothers-in-law Ted Burgmaier, Scott Pastian and wife Jill, sisters-in-law Michelle Weber and husband John, Nikki Stevenson and husband Richard and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.   He also leaves behind his beloved dogs, Bob, Snigs and Molly.

We are so heartbroken. We will forever miss your smile, your humor, your love of life and family.  Your friends will spend hours telling Mikey stories and we all will look for you every holiday to walk through the door in some sort of costume.   We love you Mikey. Have fun fishing with your dad and late brother-in-law Pete.  Thank you for bringing so much joy to our lives.

As per the family’s request no funeral or memorial service will be conducted at this time. 

“To all of those that think of me, be happy as I go out to sea. If others wonder why I’m missin’ just tell ‘em I’ve gone fishin’.” ~ David Ritter

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Lyons, please visit our flower store.


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