RONAN – Michael N. Pablo joined the ancestors Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. He was born Jan. 8, 1962, in Polson to Thomas M. and Vida Pablo.
Mike grew up in Ronan playing baseball, a game he carried a passion for throughout his life. He also played football at Ronan, where he excelled as a center and a feared linebacker. After graduation, he spent a short time in Southern California but returned “home” shortly thereafter. Mike worked construction for many years in various capacities, many in the PatCor program with the tribes.
Mike continued his education to answer his calling to help others and graduated from Salish Kootenai College. After working in various programs with the tribes and Kicking Horse Job Corps, he eventually went to work for the Tribal Health Department as a mental health/addiction treatment counselor, where he worked until his passing.
Mike had many passions; he played softball as a way to continue his passion and love of baseball. He played many seasons with the Gators and later with the Mission Valley Bats. A pure hitter, he was known to drive the ball up the middle. Some claim his lifetime batting average was .625.
Mike was a die-hard Cincinnati Reds fan and a proud member of Raider Nation.
Another passion was his Harley. Few things made Mike happier than the open road, where he found peace in the hum of the rubber on the road. Constant customization led many to recognize Mike on his Harley by seeing him behind some of the highest ape hangers in the valley.
A proud Native, Mike was a very spiritual and cultural man. He had many sweat brothers he held as close as blood. He lived the cultural way, enjoying numerous ventures out in nature, digging bitterroot, picking berries, hunting, digging xasxqs and cutting sweat wood among many other traditions.
Mike was a “slave to the steel” and enjoyed pumping iron in his private, custom weight room. Lifting sessions routinely turned into max-out sessions, throwing on plate after plate until personal bests were broken. All it took was a call or text and Mike was ready to work out.
Mike’s greatest joy came Aug. 8, 1995, when his son and best friend Ryan was born. Mike was as dedicated of a father as anyone. He was especially proud of Ryan and the rest of the Mission Valley Mariners for capturing the Northwest Regional Legion baseball title in 2012. He was recently elected vice president of the Mariners club, something he was very proud of and excited to begin working to help the club continue on its tradition of excellence.
Mike touched countless lives and his untimely passing will prove difficult for many.
Mike was preceded in death by his dad, Thomas M. Pablo; sister, Janice; nephew, B.J. Gardipe; and infant nephew, Terje Pablo.
Mike is survived by his mother, Vida Pablo of Pablo; his son, Ryan and Ryan’s mom Lorma Sloan of Ronan; sister, Mildred (Tom) Pierce of Pablo; sister, Alma Pablo (Leonard “Booger” Grenier) of Ronan; sister, Donna Pablo (Nancy Glass) of St. Ignatius; brother, Butch Pablo of Moseley, Va.; brother, Craig Pablo (Shirley) of Ronan; uncle, Lloyd (Arlene) Austin of Polson; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins; special lady friend, Kim; and a spoiled bassett hound, Rex.
Services are planned for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Condolences may be left at fosterfhandcrematory.com.