Funeral services for Michael Thomas Waters, "Mike," age 45, of Pima, Ariz., were conducted Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at the Mt. Graham LDS Chapel by Bishop Clay Richardson of the Safford 7th Ward. Concluding services, with military honors, followed in the Cliff Gila Mesa Cemetery, Gila, New Mexico. Mike entered into eternal life Thursday afternoon, January 2, 2014, at his residence. Mike was born May 13, 1968, in Flagstaff, Arizona, to James "Jim" Alexander and Sandra Ross Waters. He attended the Cibola High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and later graduated from the University of New Mexico. Mike served his country honorably in the United States Navy. He followed his father's footsteps who served honorably in the United States Army. Mike was employed by the Freeport McMoRan Copper Mine in Morenci, Arizona. He was a shovel operator and was referred to as "Big Mike" by his friends and co-workers. While working for Freeport, Mike would meet the love of his life, DeVonna Gatlin. Mike and DeVonna were married on April 25, 2009. To this union were born two beautiful daughters, Dusty Annalise and Peyton Renea. Mike is survived by: his loving wife, DeVonna; his two beautiful daughters, Dusty and Peyton; his mother, Sandra Waters; his sister, Helen Waters; his two brothers, Larry and David (Marti) Waters; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cole and Daneen Gatlin; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Mike was preceded in death by: his loving father, Jim. Mike will forever be remembered as a loving, devoted husband and father. Mike was a large and gentle man with a big smile and an even bigger heart. Mike will be sorely missed. Online condolences may be offered at viningfuneralhome.com Arrangements were entrusted to Vining Funeral Home and Bright Funeral Home.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 8, 2014