Michael Edward Halverson (1953 - 2017)

  • "My thoughts and prayers are with you. May the arms of our..."
    - Peggy James
  • "I am so sorry for the loss. May God be with the family..."
  • "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
    - Norene Otnes
  • "I will forever miss you Mike... your dry wit and sharp..."
    - Don Shattuck

Long time Juneau resident, Mike Halverson, 63, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes in his home on September 14, 2017. Mike was born in Tacoma, WA on October 14, 1953 to Betty and Edmond Halverson. Mike was an exceptionally bright and tenacious child. His mother tells the story that one of his favorite shows at age two was Popeye; Mike gagged down a whole can of spinach while watching the cartoon so he could be strong like Popeye. At age three, a favorite show was Brakeman Bill; when riding in the car and seeing a sign with similar spelling, Mike was excited that he'd spotted Brakeman Bill's house.
Mike grew up in Edmonds and Tacoma, WA. He graduated from Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma in 1971. He was a natural athlete and lettered in swimming and tennis. He excelled in academics, was awarded a merit scholarship, and was listed in the national Who's Who of American High School Students registry, an honor given to the top 5% of America's graduating students. While in high school, he was a Legislative Aide to two Washington State Senators. Mike attended the University of Puget Sound and helped his professor solve a four-chalkboard calculus problem.
Mike joined the United States Coast Guard in 1972. He served as a Quartermaster in Juneau on the USCGC Sweetbrier and also as a Search and Rescue Controller out of Coos Bay, OR. Mike and his family were proud of his service to his country.
Mike loved classic rock and shared that love with his younger siblings. His sister cherishes a memory from 1975 when Mike piled her and their brother, Doug, into his tiny Porsche and took them to her first concert, Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon. Unforgettable to a kid sister!
Mike's employment included working in lead accounting positions for the State of Alaska, the University of Alaska, Greens Creek Mine, and the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
Mike was a prominent member of Alcoholics Anonymous beginning with his sobriety birthdate of September 9, 1985, culminating in a 32-year daily struggle and achievement. AA was an integral part of Mike's life and he was grateful to his sponsors Phil and Joe. Mike, in turn, sponsored close to 200 members, some of whom credit Mike with saving their lives. Mike enjoyed the deep friendships, acceptance, and love he gained from the Fellowship, for which he showed great humility and profound gratitude. His family wishes to thank the many friends who have come forward from AA to offer their assistance in his passing and offer messages of peace, comfort, and much-needed humor.
One of Mike's passions was hiking. He enjoyed the peace and solitude of hiking solo, the camaraderie of hiking with his friends, especially Sharon and Lisa who would venture with him where others in the group would turn back, and taking his oldest nephew, Brandon, further than his parents would have approved. His daughter, Jessica, shares: He had an irrepressible spirit and a strong love for the mountains of Southeast, was an avid hiker and enjoyed venturing where no one else would with his hiking-partner pups (Buffy of the North, Zeke, and lastly Strider). One of his early adventures brought him deep down into the Perseverance Mine before it was blocked off, down ladders and many tunnels, with just a flashlight and ribbons tied along the route, to find his way back. While down there, he discovered a cavern with lots of machinery and an actual payroll ledger with names on it. He left it all as he found it. He also loved his fast cars; in the 70's, his Porsche, and in the late 80's he was very proud of his bright red Ford Probe. He always loved just listening to music and driving the roads of Juneau and the coast and mountain roads of the Lower 48.
Mike enjoyed many pastimes. He loved reading, especially international espionage, legal and courtroom drama, history, and high fantasy. His sister and daughter credit him with inspiring them to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy which instilled in them their love of the genre. He was also an avid bowler and was a member of the Tuesday Night Men's League for years. He played softball for many years. He enjoyed the challenge of assassin-type video games, and he loved riding his Harley on warm, sunny days.
Mike and his sister, Sandy, became close friends, allies, and confidantes in recent years. Although Mike preferred socializing in small increments, he always showed up to Halverson/Burgess family dinners, birthdays, holidays, and Sunday dinner at Keith and Sandy's saying, "I'll be there!" to every invitation. He was a character, dearly loved, and his spirit will continue to live in the hearts of his family and friends including Greg, Cindy, and Ken.
Mike is preceded in death by his father, and his brother, Loren Halverson. He is survived by his daughter, Jessica Gray; his son, Brian Halverson; his mother; his sister, Sandy (Keith) Burgess; brother, Doug Halverson; nephews, Brandon and Kevin Burgess; many cousins; many friends; and dog Strider, who now lives with Sandy and Keith.
A service will be held at St. Paul's Hall in the valley in Juneau at noon on Saturday, October 14, 2017. A private scattering of ashes will take place in the spring in the mountains of Juneau. Another will take place next summer on Mt. Rainier, a favorite destination of Mike's. Condolences to his family may be sent to 15445 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801.
Religious Service Information
St Paul's Catholic Church
9055 Atlin Dr
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 789-5529
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Published in The Juneau Empire from Oct. 9 to Nov. 8, 2017
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