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MICHAEL "MIKE" DEAN STRICKLAND
July 9, 1954 ~ March 1, 2017
Michael "Mike" Dean Strickland, 62, passed away in Portland, OR on March 1, 2017, from a heart attack. He was born in Colfax, WA on July 9, 1954, and in 1965 the family moved to Ridgefield, WA. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1972, and WSU in 1977 with a degree in Pharmacy.
Mike managed the Ridgefield Pharmacy, owned by the Strickland family, when his father, Les, suddenly passed away. The store was later sold, and he worked for Battle Ground Pharmacy and PayLess Drug Stores. In 1983, he went to work for Hi-School Pharmacy in Scappoose, then the Battle Ground store and finally the Main Street store in Vancouver until 2003. When the store was sold, Mike worked for Walgreens and then Fred Meyer. He had recently returned to Hi-School Pharmacy as a relief pharmacist.
Mike was an avid volunteer, helping out in the classroom when his kids were in grade school. He became involved in the Boy Scouts with Troop 14, where he was an Adult Leader and Eagle mentor.
Mike's biggest passion was the Free Clinic of SW Washington, where he volunteered for over 25 years. In April 2000, he was the recipient of the JC Penney Golden Rule Award, and in January 2016, he received the Marcia Howery Service Award for his dedication to the clinic.
"I've always enjoyed volunteering. It just kinda
gets in your blood. If you could make a living
out of working for nothing, I'm there."
Mike loved to follow sports and his favorite teams, the Trailblazers, Seahawks, Winterhawks and WSU Cougars, but most of all, he was a true blue Yankees fan. He liked to make friendly wagers with co-workers and friends. He was also an avid reader, and loved to listen to music and talk about bands with his kids and friends. He enjoyed spending time with his kids and their friends, his family, and his loving partner, Ruth. Together they enjoyed music, hiking and wine tasting.
Mike is survived by his brothers, William Scott (Carolyn), Jon, Kurt (Tina); his sister, Kathy; his children, Nick, Tom and Megan, and their mother, Geni Fontyn; partner, Ruth Lorente and her children, Ryan (Tara) and Christine, and grandsons, Liam and Mason; several nieces and nephews that also meant the world to him; his former in-laws, Corn and Marie Fontyn; and his dogs, Indie and Mickey.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Helen Strickland; his brother, Lee; and nephew, Travis Stallings.
A memorial service will be held Sat., March 18 at Ridgefield High School Auditorium at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Mike's family is asking for donations to be made to the Free Clinic of SW Washington, 4100 Plomondon St., Vancouver, WA 98661.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Mar. 12, 2017