Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Michael Rydbom

 

September 5, 2019

Many knew Michael (Mike) Rydbom to be a man of integrity and faith. Mike wanted his life to reflect God's great love to others. He desired to do what God asked of him, like a son would to for a loving father. Mike walked peacefully into his forever home, in heaven, during the early morning of August 26th. His wife and daughters were sitting by his side - just as they had been together countless times.

Mike was born in Portland, Oregon, on May 25th,1953, and grew up in Spokane, Washington. His family spent many summers at Priest Lake where Mike's love for the "The Lake" first formed. He was a natural-born humble and compassionate leader. This was evident through his involvement in Boy Scouts where he achieved Eagle Scout, Scouting's highest rank. He graduated from North Central High School and earned a bachelor degree in Business from Eastern Washington State College. It was there that he met and fell in love with Carol Sayles. As newlyweds, they spent a short time in southern California before making their way back to the Palouse.

Mike started his 40-year insurance career with Sayles Insurance in Pullman. He helped form the Associated Independent Agencies (AIA), later serving as President. He was elected President of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington State, and was honored to receive the "Agent of the Year Lifetime Achievement" award for his leadership as the State National Director to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. Mike's passion for his work came from building relationships that supported the sixteen communities that AIA cared for throughout eastern Washington. Mike served on numerous committees at Concordia Lutheran Church, United Way, Pullman Education Foundation, the Pullman School District, Priest Lake Search and Rescue, and was President of the Pullman Lions Club and the Priest Lake Museum.

Mike was most content when he was with his family. He was often found sitting on bleachers or auditorium seats supporting his daughters or grandchildren, patiently encouraging them in their various activities. His family always knew they were his biggest priority. Mike Rydbom was called many names, but his most beloved name, "Ba," was given by his grandkids. Their most comfortable place to be was in his lap. No one made huckleberry pancakes, built a roaring fire, or held your hand like Mikey, Dad, Ba. We will fondly remember the way he looked at his wife, listened to his daughters, and laughed with his grandkids.

Carol and Mike had a love of traveling and adventuring together. Of all the places they roamed, Priest Lake held a special space in their hearts. To Mike, Priest Lake was a slice of heaven in northern Idaho where he could spend time outdoors, boating, golfing, hiking, and fishing. Mike Rydbom navigated life with the same steadiness he piloted boats on Priest Lake and at the completion of his journey, he "rowed his boat ashore." Hallelujah!

He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Carol Sayles-Rydbom; their daughters, Jamie Smart (Josh), Jenni Warren (Justin); grandchildren, Brendan, Evan, and Kylee Smart, and Adalyn Warren; and sister, Sherrie Rydbom. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Helen Rydbom.

A memorial for Mike will be held Thursday, September 5th, 11:30 a.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Pullman, Washington, reception to follow at the Ensminger Pavilion, WSU.

After the service, we will have a walking procession and invite you to walk a few short blocks together as a community of people who loved Mike. If you are unable to join the "parade," transportation will be available.

Memorial donations may be sent to:

Concordia Lutheran Church, 1015 NE Orchard Dr, Pullman, Wash., 99163

Pullman Regional Hospital - Palliative Care Program, 835 SE Bishop Blvd, Pullman, Wash., 99163

Friends of Hospice - Serenity House: Comfort and Care at End-of-Life, 1125 SE Sandalwood Drive, Pullman, Wash., 99163.

For online condolences go to http://www.kimballfh.com

 
 

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