In Memory of




Obituary for Michael George Poseley

Michael George Poseley

September 17, 1941 – April 8, 2022

A cowboy, a dad, a grandpa, a poet and one tough sonofabitch with all the catchphrases to go along with that: my personal favorite “life’s tough, butt it’s tougher if you’re stupid”. Well, he sure wasn’t stupid. Full of confidence and common sense that he passed on to his daughters and then on to his grandchildren, Mike made the most of his 80 years. His confidence came with and was earned as an older brother, star athlete, and later on dogged cowboy, hunter, and mountain man; however, it was as a husband and father that Mike was able to most profoundly impact those around and grow into the quintessential wise old man that he was in his later years.

Mike met Kathy the summer before their senior year of high school and began what would be a 64-year adventure; showing each other, themselves, their children, and all their loved ones what “for better or for worse” truly means. A significant step in this adventure: packing up their four young daughters and moving far from their ranch, families, and lives in Minnesota to Colorado to fulfill dreams of ranching, roping, and riding horses through the mountains. Mike thrived in and loved the mountains and Colorado. In Gunnison, Mike and Kathy established themselves and their family as ranchers and realtors: allowing them to meet just about every family in town and enshrine a small-town celebrity status that still lingers to this day.

Mike and Kathy raised their four girls to be tough, hardworking, star athletes that assuaged any thoughts that Mike might need a son  whom to pass these traits down. Sunday family horseback rides along mountain trails, weekends spent skiing, cheering on their two youngest at swim meets, hunting and camping trips, and hard work around the ranch, Mike was able to raise his daughters to be strong, independent, and principled women and to become amazing parents in their own rights. As Mike and Kathy’s family continued to grow, Mike took on his new role as a grandfather – and as the family was rocked by successive losses, Mike took on the role of a father figure to those of his grandchildren who were suddenly in need of one.

Through his later years in Hood River, Oregon, and as his tough edges softened, Mike continued to be a supportive husband, father, grandfather and friend. Mike wrote often of his life, thoughts, and experiences, and took joy in sharing these writings with his friends and grandchildren alike. Mike was also eager to share his tapes of the Colorado Mountain wildlife that he faithfully tracked, filmed, and portrayed, specifically the mountain goats and big horned sheep that migrate through the Rocky Mountains.

Through his wise words, enduring demeanor and attitude towards life, Mike has left a lasting impact on all who knew him and given his family the example of fortitude needed to navigate this life. Another favorite phrase of his, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and he lived up to that right to the end.

Samantha Clay Smith

Mike's family plans a private farewell alongside his parents at the Gunnison Cemetery (Colorado) July 9, 2022, followed by a picnic gathering for family and friends from 4-7 at the West Tomichi Riverway Park.

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