Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Michael Don Messinger

Dec. 23, 1947 - Dec. 5, 2021


December 23, 2021

Mike (73) passed away on December 5, 2021, at Deaconess ICU with his wife and daughters by his side. He fought cancer for 4 ½ years and cardiac disease for the last 8 months.

He was born to Helen and Don Messinger of Garfield, WA on December 23, 1947. He attended grade school and high school in Garfield, graduating in 1966. He then attended W.S.U., graduating in 1970 with a degree in animal science.

He worked countless hours alongside his dad on the family homestead on Yellow Dog Road in Potlach, ID. He loved spending time with his grandparents Reid and Hazel, fondly remembering grandma singing “Rock of Ages”, but his rendition of her singing left a lot to be desired.

Mike moved to Spokane and went to work for Les Schwab Tire Co. in 1973, became an assistant manager and the, after 33 years, retired in 2006.

He was a dedicated, hardworking, successful employee and was extremely proud to be mentioned by Les Schwab in the book Les wrote in 1986. He often spoke proudly of the young guys that worked with him, especially the ones that went on to management. Mike’s main focus in life was to raise and provide for his daughters whom he was so proud of and loved very much.

Mike met his wife Donna in 1989 and after a 17 ½ year engagement, they were married in 2006. They enjoyed their retirement years living on their mini ranch outside of Rockford. Mike would tinker in his shop, enjoyed gardening and mowing with his lawn tractor, reminiscing about his years farming with his dad. He often teased that he had to tend the “livestock” which consisted of cats and dogs.

He was a very intelligent quiet man and will be remembered for his sense of humor and wit. He loved old western music by Sons of Pioneers, classical music like Clair de Lume, radio programs, especially Garrison Keillors Prairie Home Companion, old movies, reading westerns and watching Gunsmoke. He also enjoyed his road bike, fishing and G.U. and W.S.U sports.

Mike is survived by his wife Donna; daughters Leslie and Laurel; sister Susan (Mark) Boehne; brother Dan (Lisa) Messinger and their families; step-children Gina (Craig) Roberts, Mark (Tammy) Thompson and their families. He will be missed by many, as for me, his wife, my heart is broken. Rest in peace and “remember to leave the light on for me.”

A special thank you to Dr. Mark Wilson for saving his life on June 17, 2017 and his continuing medical care and to Doctor Corliss Newman and her staff for their expert care and compassion.

No formal funeral will be held but a Celebration of Life will be held and announced in the spring. Online tributes may be made at http://www.holycrossofspokane.org.


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