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Obituary for Michael 'Mike' Halstead
Michael James Halstead, 46, of Big Timber and formerly of Harlowton passed away peacefully with his family by his side on February 14th 2014 after a hard fought battle with cancer. He fought with everything he had up until the very end. Michael was born September 24, 1967 in Elmira New York. He moved to Livingston, Montana with his family at an early age. He attended Richland School, a one room schoolhouse in the Paradise Valley until Junior High. He made some very close and special childhood friends while there. He attended Junior High and High School in Livingston and graduated from Park County High School. Immediately after high school he joined the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Belleau Wood. After serving four years, he was honorably discharged and lived in the San Diego area for a while before moving back to Montana. He resided in Missoula where he worked as a Contractor, building everything from pole barns, commercial buildings to multi- million dollar homes. Michael was very talented and could build anything he was asked to build. He once built a museum to look like an old ghost town without any blueprints. He built it out of his head. He was very respected by his co-workers and his guys that worked for him. He took pride in his work and gave a 110% all the time. He had an eye for detail and was very creative making each thing he built unique. In 2001, just four months after they met, Michael married the love of his life and best friend Raeann Vernia. He said, "You just know when you meet the right one." They were married until the time of his death, almost 13 years. When he asked Raeann to marry him, he also asked her children if he could marry them and make them all a family. From the very first time they met him Kendra and Kacee Vernia loved him and knew he was their dad. The family was made and have had a special and very strong bond ever since. In 2002 they had a daughter Makinze Sheyanne and in 2005 they had a son Kade Michael. The family was complete. Michael worked as a Superintendent for the next several years in the Missoula, Bozeman and Livingston area. After the bottom fell out of the construction industry Michael and his family moved to Harlowton to be closer to family. While in Harlowton Michael became a Reserve Sheriff's Deputy for the Wheatland County Sheriff's office. This was one of his proudest accomplishments. He volunteered his time every chance he got. He had hopes of some day becoming a full time deputy. In 2012 Michael's cancer returned and his new battle began. He went through chemo and treatment for the next year. In October they moved to Big Timber at Michaels request because he knew that his wife and family would have a tremendous support system if something was to happen to him. Michael was right once again. Michael and his family were embraced by the community and found love and support until the time of his passing. Michael fought with more courage and determination then any one knew was possible. He suffered several fractured bones due to the cancer and was in severe pain constantly. But he fought as hard as he could and cherished every day he had with his family. Michael was loved by everyone that ever met him. He was respected and admired by the guys he considered "his crew". He unofficially adopted many of his children's friends and treated them as if they were his own. Giving advice, love and a stern kick in the butt when needed. Michael was known for his sense of humor, jokes, the looks he would give and having a heart of gold. Michael enjoyed fishing especially fly fishing, camping, hunting and riding horses into the mountains and working on his truck. He was a huge NASCAR fan. Michael was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Ray Vernia and is survived by his wife, Raeann Vernia Halstead, children Kendra Vernia, Kacee Vernia, Makinze Halstead and Kade Halstead. Grandson Strahn Cooper Halstead, mother- in-law Susan Vernia, sister-in-law Karol Hattok, Grandmother Blanche Nilsen, Sister Kim Halstead and her family, Cousin Shane Halstead and family. Nieces Jessica and Jamee and Nephew Jeff. Special friend Shane Baker and Eric Cauble and his best friend, his dog Tuff. Adopted children Dale Mattila, Travis Dirette, Zane Jesson and Holly Burke. Cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held 3:00 P.M. Saturday March 1, 2014 at the Boulder Valley Baptist Church, (corner of 5th and Busha in Big Timber). A reception for sharing of memories and stories will immediately follow at the Ag Pavilion at the Sweet Grass County Fairgrounds.
SERVICE DAY AND TIME
4:00 P.M. Saturday March 8, 2014
Boulder Valley Baptist Church
Sweet Grass County Fair Grounds
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