ST. IGNATIUS – Michael Thomas Albright, 68, passed into eternal peace on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at Hilda’s
Room in Community Medical Center in Missoula, after a 30-year struggle with diabetes and its many complications. He was born on May 5, 1945, to Paul L. and Eleanor Albright in Oakland, Calif.
Michael was a graduate of Seattle University and the Ron Bailey School of Broadcasting. He was an FM disc jockey in Boulder, Colo., for several years, he also worked for Celestial Seasonings herb tea company in Boulder where he met and married his wife of 35 years, Vicki Lynn Conklin.
Michael was a Vietnam-era veteran. He loved music, especially classical, which he knew very well and played every day. He said the best thing about his time in the military, spent in Germany, was being able to attend famous operas and symphonies.
Michael was devoted to his spouse, children and grandchildren. They meant the world to him and his face would light up at any encounter or even the mention of one of their names. He spent hours planning family vacations that always included camping, fishing and visiting every hot springs he could find along the way. He was good at playing horseshoes and cribbage. For many years he played cribbage weekly with his friend Terry Simpkins, whom he cherished. Most recently he enjoyed reading and watching cartoons with his “little boys,” Davian and Devin, and he frequently could be seen enjoying the same cartoons to remind himself of them when they were absent. He looked forward to the annual gathering of our children, grandchildren and close friends on the Fourth of July. Michael took pride in the straight lines he mowed in the lawn, the canopy of the pear tree he had meticulously trimmed, and the appearance of the hedge after he had trimmed it. When his children were small he went to the woods and cut poles to build more white wooden fence to keep them contained. Michael was an excellent cook and could make any left overs into a gourmet meal. He was famous among the family friends for his popcorn-making technique, so much so that one wrote a poem about him entitled “The Popcorn Wizard.” He was a die-hard fan of the Seattle Seahawks and Supersonics and enjoyed discussing the game with his sister, Barbara, and anyone else who would listen. His interests were many and diverse and his intellect and perfectionism carried through whatever he applied himself to. There is no replacing the unique individual that Michael was and he will be in our hearts forever. There is great consolation in knowing that he is at rest, his body will be restored to perfection, and that we will be together again in the Celestial Kingdom.
Michael’s wish was to be cremated, and his remains to be joined with his wife’s when she passes from this world.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Eleanor and Paul; brother Tommy and sister Barbara.
He is survived by his wife, Vicki of St. Ignatius; his son Jacob and grandsons Devin and Davian at the family home; daughter Sidra Buchi (Andy) and their children Zion and Zada of Great Falls; daughter Sasha Leena Smith (Tim) and baby Jenny of Lolo; two brothers, David (Bridgett) Flourissant of Missouri and Dennis (Sue) of Arlington, Wash.; sisters, Kathy Hamm (Larry) of Renton, Wash., and Jeanne McConnell (Dave) of Las Vegas, Nev., and multiple nieces and nephews.
A memorial reception will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2825 Stockyard Road No. F4, Missoula. Andrew Laue, L.C.S.W will be officiating.
The family extends their sincere thanks to the staff at Community Medical Center, the Village and St. Luke’s Community Health Care Network, for their exemplary care. Special thanks to Linda Hansen for the loving care and wisdom she provided to Michael in his last years.
Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.