Michael “Mick” Wilhelm was born Sept. 29, 1957, in Dickinson, N.D., to Les and Lil Wilhelm.
If he had written his life story, there are those who might have filed it under “fiction” next to The Saga of Pecos Bill. He loved the West, and he lived the West, wild and woolly every day.
During his life he was a lover, a fighter and a wild bull rider, rodeo clown, bull fighter, wilderness hunting guide in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, horse trainer and cutting horse rider, farrier, carpenter and oil field hand.
Mick was an artist, creating leatherwork through the years and fashioning furniture made of wood and antlers. He never met a stranger and he never shirked a task. He wasn’t a man to frequent church on Sundays, but he lived by the Golden Rule. He put his family and his friends first and always took care of his elders, filling their freezers with meat.
He loved to bake cookies and send them in the mail to his loved ones. He was always sending little care packages to everyone; most recently tiny glass animals to 4-year-old Tristyn. He was the quintessential generous uncle to all his nieces and nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and countless extras who knew “Uncle Mick.”
He loved to hunt, fish and trap, skills he learned from his Grandpa Micky Transtrom, his twin uncles Bob and Bill Transtrom and older brother Rick Wilhelm. He loved good horses and good women, and at the age of 51 married the love of his life, Pam. Having celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary, they were looking forward to a retirement of doing the things they enjoyed in the wilds of Idaho that they both loved. The two lived in Custer, S.D., from 2009 until 2018. Mick was happiest in the mountains, surrounded by nature and forever.
Mick died Feb. 21, 2019 in Lewiston, Idaho. He was 61.
He was proceeded in death by his parents and two brothers, Rick and Jim Wilhelm.
Mick is survived by his wife, Pam Wilhelm of Lewiston; Pam’s daughter, Heidi Tamm of Moscow, Idaho; three sisters, Rita (Larry) Burr of Halliday, N.D., Roz (Bill) Ammerman of Forman, N.D., Leslie (Ross) Keltner of Cody, Wyo.; and a brother, Robert (Sallie) Wilhelm of Orofino, Idaho. He also leaves behind a large family connected by blood and an even larger chosen family, many of whom called him their best friend.
Life celebrations are scheduled for both Idaho and North Dakota. The Idaho celebration will be April 20 at 1 p.m. at 1838 Burrell Avenue in Lewiston. The gathering in North Dakota will be held on June 8 in Halliday, N.D.