Michael was born September 23, 1957 to Velva Jewel Hamilton and Horace Leon Persell in Milan, MO. He had fond memories of his grandparents, helping on the farm, learning to fish and hunt. He spoke often of his cousin Jerry and the trouble they got into as kids. He said it was surprising they lived to adulthood. His family moved to the Los Angeles area where he went to Jr and Senior High School. He loved to ride his bike down to the dock and fish. In high school he participated in ROTC and later served for a short time in the United States Marine Corps.
Mike married Debora Nielsen in 1977 they had 2 children. Tracy Evelyn and Travis Burton. They later divorced.
In 1984 Mike married Teresa Marie Taggart and he became dad to her daughter Victoria Linn Mayhew. Together they had two more children, Alicia Erin and Jonathon Robert. Mike and Teresa have been married for 36 years. Together they have lived in Kearns and Sandy, Utah; Smoot Wyoming; San Mateo California, Richardson Texas and just recently returned to Sandy Utah.
Mike was a very determined individual. Whatever he had an interest in he learned all he could about it. He was a hard worker. When Mike and Teresa were first married Mike would take whatever jobs were available and never just sat around waiting for work to come to him. When they moved to Wyoming where jobs were few and far between, he did small engine repair out of the house. It was not unusual to have people knocking on the door at 7 AM to drop off a boat motor. When he discovered computers, he had found his passion. He learned all he could about computers. One day he was giving a demonstration for a user’s group in Salt Lake City and an IBM official in the group offered him a job. From there his computer skills skyrocketed. He co-authored a book and wrote several “White Papers” for IBM. He later moved to Red Hat which was his dream job.
Mike joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 21 years old. Later in life Mike served as a Temple worker in the Dallas LDS Temple. He loved to serve there and was taught so much by others. He also served in the High Priests Quorum, and Elders Quorum. He taught Sunday school to the 14 year old’s, even though it was a big challenge for him he learned to love those kids and they loved him.
He loved teaching adults not just religion, he also taught time management to his co-workers, and was always willing to share his computer knowledge.
Mike wanted more than anything to be remembered for being a good husband, a loving father and a caring grandfather. He coached the high school bowling team when his kids were there. Many of those kids on the team would come to our home to hang around and soon he became “Coach Dad”. Many of the teens said Mike was the Dad they got to choose.
He always treated his family with love and kindness. He loved the church and loved to teach. He touched the lives of hundreds of people.
Mike is preceded in death by his beloved stepfather Maynard Hess. He is survived by his mother Velva, his sister Sam (Brenda), his wife Teresa, his children; Tracy, Vicki (Chris), Travis, Alicia (Jacob), Jon and his 9 grandkids.
A family funeral will be held at 11:00 am on Monday November 16th, 2020 at the Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, Millcreek, Utah, with family visitation from 9:30am to 10:30am prior to the service. For Extended family and friends you may watch the funeral live stream at 11:00am on Monday on the Holbrook Mortuary website on Michael’s obituary page, the funeral service will remain available to watch for 90 days. Interment will be at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Sandy. Online memories and tributes can be posted to the family at www.holbrookmortuary.com