Michael J. Mariani, 85, of Havre, passed away on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at his residence, of natural causes.
Cremation has taken place, and memorial Mass will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014, at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church with Father Daniel Wathen officiating. Interment will be in Highland Cemetery. The family has suggested that memorials be made in Mike's name to the St. Jude Education Trust Fund or a charity of the donor's choice.
Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements, and you can leave your memories and condolences at http://www.hollandbonine.com.
Mike was born on June 19, 1928, in Havre to Adello and Gina (Lencioni) Mariani. He was raised in Havre, attending St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic School and graduating from Havre High School in 1946. Following high school graduation, Mike entered the U.S. Army Air Corp, and served for two years, receiving his honorable discharge in 1948. He returned to Havre, and attended Northern Montana College for two years, before marrying Betty Rodewald in 1950. Mike worked for the Great Northern Railroad for two years before moving on to become an assistant City Clerk. He remained at the City Clerk's office for the next 38 years, working up to serve as the Havre City Clerk for many years before his retirement in 1990. Mike and Betty enjoyed spending time at their cabin in the Bear Paws, fishing and gardening, and they loved watching their grandchildren play sports. Betty passed away in 2005, and Mike began volunteering his time with AARP, preparing taxes for senior citizens, and in the last five years, he also worked part-time during tax season for Scharfe Kato.
Mike was a wise and kind man who loved his family dearly. He loved to be at home, unless he was pursuing his lifelong love of fly fishing. His grandchildren remember his as the "wisest, wittiest, cribbage playing fisherman."
Mike was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Betty Mariani; his great-grandson Kellen Lund; his parents Adello and Gina Mariani; his sister Ann Unruh; and his brother Ned Mariani.
He is survived by his sons, Michael "Minnow" (Norma) and Steve (Julie) Mariani, all of Havre, and Tony (Suzanne Medley) Mariani of Boise, Idaho; his daughter Michelle "Micki" (Stan) Lund of Havre; his 11 grandchildren; his 12 great-grandchildren; his brothers- and sisters-in-law, Gordon (Eve) Rodewald of Whitefish, Mont ., Mavis Loegering of Poplar, Mont ., and Marge (Jim) Shanks of Brockton, Mont .; his cousins, Mary Lou (Dale) Haugen of Havre, Mont ., Josie (Richard) Don Tigny of Belgrade, Mont ., and Rita Taylor of Vancouver, Wash .; and his many nieces and nephews, especially nieces Jeanne Unruh of Las Vegas, Nev ., and Cathy Chapman of Carbon, Alberta, Canada.