POLSON — Michael John Chernikoff, 34 years old, of Polson, was lost to us in a swimming accident on Flathead Lake, Aug. 4, 2019. He was born on April 25, 1985, to Kenneth and Katrina Chernikoff.

“/stōkt/ adjective: stoked. exhilarated, excited, or euphoric. (slang)”. There was one word to describe Michael: stoked!! Since childhood, Michael was an exceptionally kind, funny, original, and loving person whose enthusiasm and gratitude for everything in life was both apparent and contagious. A born entertainer, communicator, and multi-faceted artist, Michael touched countless lives with his sincere interest and natural inclination to engage with others as both a compassionate listener and enthusiastic conversationalist.

Michael was a fearless and extraordinarily gifted artist who invested his creativity, humor, and skill in music, photography, drawing, rapping, filmmaking, drama, cooking, and even as a confessed “closet trombone player” with immeasurable passion. He was also an avid and longtime skier, skateboarder, and all-around athlete.

Michael was a true and loyal friend to an abundance of people from all walks of life, shared a remarkable closeness with his beloved parents, his sister Amy, brother-in-law Cody, his nephew and niece Trey and Harper, and found a recent and special joy in his relationship with Mathina and 3-year-old Jaiden.

Michael worked for several years at Mission Mountain Natural Foods in Polson, a job he truly loved among people he felt the greatest respect and affection for. He was also a much adored member of 12-step groups in the area, where his engagement and unique, funny, and entertaining expressions of gratitude, enthusiasm, and joy in sobriety will be terribly missed.

Please join us for a Celebration of Michael’s Life on Aug. 25 at the Chernikoff residence from 1-5 p.m. Address: 31804 Holmes Creek (turn onto Holmes Creek at 7 Mile Marker, Hwy 35, one mile north of Finley Point, second house on left). There will be barbecue and guests are asked to bring potluck dishes. Please no alcohol or intoxicants out of respect for Michael’s sobriety.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at thelakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.

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