Michael James MacDonald, 26, a Chief Mountain Hot Shot Firefighter from Browning, was fatally injured when two helicopters collided near Flagstaff, Ariz.
A wake is in progress at Hazel Hall’s home in Browning where the rosary will be said Friday, July 4, 2008, at 7 p.m. Early viewing will begin at 11 a. m. at the Browning High School followed by the funeral mass at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 5, 2008, with burial to follow in the Willow Creek Cemetery. Michael was born in Browning Sept. 23, 1981, to Raymond and Laurie Hall MacDonald where he grew up and graduated from Browning High School in 2001. He excelled in sports and helped lead the Browning Indians to a State Basketball Championship title his senior year. He was a stand out athlete and loved basketball, football and baseball. Michael also loved horse racing and participating in Indian Relay Racing. He was also a talented artist and enjoyed taking pictures. After high school Michael attended Montana State University-Northern in Havre and later transferred to the University of Montana in Missoula. He recently graduated from the Blackfeet Community College this past spring where he received his associate's degree in elementary health and physical education along with his coaching certification. Michael completed his education field experience at De La Salle Catholic School in Browning. He planned to teach this fall in Missoula. Michael learned the value of hard work at a young age by bagging groceries at Teeple's IGA when he was in fourth and fifth grades. He began firefighting when he was 17 and it has been his passion ever since. Michael was a proud member of the elite Chief Mountain Hot Shots for the past three years. Survivors include his mother, Laurie Dee Hall Belkham; step-father, Larry Belkham of Browning; partner, CeCe Corcoran of Rocky Boy; unborn son, Sean Taylor MacDonald, due in early August; brothers, Raymond (Michelle) MacDonald of Pendleton, Ore., Warren (Samora) Upham of Olympia, Wash., Stephen Upham and John “Tubs” Hall of Browning; grandmother, Hazel Hall of Browning; great aunts, Verda Edwards and Cora Hughes both of Browning; stepgrandfather and grandmother, Jack and Betty Belkham of South Dakota; step-great-grandmother, Annabell Walker of Oklahoma; step-uncles, Joe Belkham of Texas, Jeff and Gary Belkham of South Dakota; in-laws, Bert, Josephine and Lauren Corcoran of Rocky Boy, numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and a host of friends that are all considered family. Michael was very fond of his grandmother, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Raymond MacDonald; infant brother, Craig Allen MacDonald; grandfather, John Hall; grandparents, Waldo and Elma MacDonald; uncles, James MacDonald, Jerry Matt and John Pambrun; aunts, Diane Fields, Kathy “Mousie” Flamand and Susie Hall Spotted Bear. Hi Line Funeral Home of Cut Bank is in charge of arrangements.