May 7, 1934-April 8, 2019
Mike was born on May 7, 1934 outside of the small town of Dodge, ND to Wendlin and Francis Streifel. After growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, Mike followed his uncle to Montana looking for work in 1956. Shortly after arriving in Anaconda, he started work for the Anaconda Company and met a young Italian girl. The following year, he married JoAnn, and they would be together for the next 61 years.
After serving a stint in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Korea, Mike and JoAnn settled in Butte. They soon started a family and bought a house on Gold Street, where they remained for the rest of their lives. They spent their summers camping in the mountains of southwest Montana with friends and family. Every Saturday afternoon was spent fishing in mountain lakes and streams. But fall was Mike's favorite time of year, because that was big game season. Fall weekends were spent in the mountains with friends and family chasing deer and elk.
While Mike wasn't one of the many larger than life characters Butte is known for, he was a unique character all his own. He seemed to know everyone, and always had a line of bull to leave everyone with a smile. Although Mike wasn't a Butte native, he made it his home and was adamant he would remain there until the end. On April 8 with his son with him, Mike died of complications of old age and a broken heart. With JoAnn having passed a few months earlier, Mike was simply lost without his lifelong companion.
Mike is survived by his son, Michael, daughter-in-law, Laura, and granddaughter, Anastasia. He is also survived by two sisters, Diane Weidner of Halliday, ND, and Geraldine Lewis of Bismarck, ND, as well as numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Monday, April 22, at 10 a.m. A reception will follow at noon at Big Sky Assisted Living on Waterford Way. Please join us in celebrating Mike's life.
Axelson Alternative Cremation is privileged to serve Mike’s family.