Michael John McAvoy


December 21, 2023

Michael John McAvoy was many things in his full and unique life: son, big-brother, student, track star (self-proclaimed), veteran, dedicated worker, devoted husband, father, uncle, teacher, voracious reader, fly-fisherman, grandfather, author, shepherd, story-teller and world-class curmudgeon.

Quick witted with an inclination towards Irish blessings, Robert Service poems, sad Willie Nelson songs, and hunting dogs, Dad could sit a spell and spin a yarn with the best of them. He liked his coffee hot, his whiskey Irish and neat, his weather drizzly and his politics revolutionary. Loyal to a fault, his support for family and friends knew no bounds, but he didn't suffer bullies, fools or arseholes and he let them know it.

Raised in Berlin, Wisconsin, his childhood was filled with hunting and fishing, family and a love of literature, especially Westerns. As a youngster he tailed his stoic grandfather, from whom he developed pride of his working class Irish roots, support of the underdog, and a healthy distrust of Englishmen.

He married the love of his life, Karen Williquette in November 1965 and together had three children.

They moved to Oregon in the mid 1970's falling in love with the natural beauty of the Northwest.

Karen passed in 1981, leaving Dad to figure out how to raise three children by himself.

Retiring after more than 30 years in the ball and roller bearing industry, Dad bought a 40 acre plot of land on Puget Island in the Columbia River of southwest Washington. Through hard work and pure stubbornness, he built a barn and house, and turned that hunk of marsh and "god-damn thistles" into The Faded Rose ranch, raising Irish Dexter cattle, Katahdin and Dorset sheep, and world-class eye-brows. On the farm he toiled in the pastures amid the clover and the mist and perfected the art of becoming a hermit.

It was the knees that finally slowed the SOB down. Spending his winters in Sun City, Arizona, Dad discovered the joys of early morning swimming, lawn bowling and incessantly emailing his children.

This second retirement allowed Dad time to travel, build close relationships with his six grandchildren and to do the thing he loved best, read a good book in a cozy chair and have a little nap. Blessed with the gift of gab and an innate ability to embolden everyday life with flourish, zest and a healthy dose of BS, Dad's stories and letters have entered into lore and are cherished by friends and family.

Dad passed away peacefully on November 18, 2023, with his children at his side. He was a completely one-of-a-kind individual who lived life fully on his terms. He will be missed.

- Paid Obituary -


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