We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Kramer Funeral Home - Palouse
When you look upon a gravestone, you see the year of birth, a dash and the year of death. It is the dash where the magic happens in a person’s life. Mike Dial brought magic to many people and he will be sorely missed.
Mike passed away June 16, 2022 from a long list of health challenges. All of his health challenges stemmed from living for over 30 years with kidney failure.
He was well known in the medical community for his “resilience”. Living on dialysis for over 30 years is a giant accomplishment and it took dedication to follow the protocol set out in front of him by medical personnel. The only time Mike missed a dialysis treatment was when medical personnel scheduled a needed procedure.
Mike was born Michael Joseph Dial on March 17, 1951 to Eileen “Ike” Deerkop
Dial and Donald Dial. Like most of Mike’s life events, there was an interesting story associated with his birth. According to Mike’s mother, her doctor had a vacation planned to Hawaii and decided Mike should make his appearance before he left on his trip. The doctor asked Eileen when she would like Mike to be born and she looked at the calendar and said “let’s make it St. Patrick’s Day”. It wasn’t God or Mike who decided when he should arrive, but a country doctor and his mother scheduling his birth around a Hawaii vacation.
Mike was the oldest of his siblings Tom, Kevin and Barbie. In many pictures, Mike and his siblings were always cuddling cats. He loved his cats and dogs. Mike always had an entourage of pets following him around the yard. They all loved him dearly and were often protective of his person.
The summer of 2021, Mike had a medical emergency and the EMT’s were called. JR, his yellow tabby, sat on the arm of Mike’s chair and growled at the EMT’s. Lexi, Mike’s caregiver, had to put JR in another room. After Mike left in the ambulance, JR sat in Mike’s chair and began howling. He could not be consoled. The love his pets showed him over the years was amazing.
Children often found Mike to be extremely interesting. He rarely disappointed them and typically entertained them with something that left many a grownup scratching their head.
At his boss’ BBQ’s he took the kids into the garden, whipped out his pocketknife and cut them all Zucchini horns from the stalks of the Zucchini plants. Needless to say, Mike’s boss was a tad miffed at having his Zucchini plants trimmed and told the kids they were NOT to harvest Zucchini horns in the future.
Mike loved to fish and hunt. He successfully brought home fish from the Pacific Ocean, local lakes and rivers. He particularly enjoyed Halibut fishing. Before losing his eyesight, Mike also brought home deer, elk, moose and wild boar from his hunting trips.
Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from Washington State University. His dorm roommate, Jerry Snyder, became a lifelong friend. Jerry’s family lived in
Washtucna, WA and they took Mike in as if he was their own. Jerry’s parents, Les and Marie, welcomed Mike with open arms. Every year, Mike would travel to Washtucna to go hunting with Jerry and Les and in later years, Jerry’s son.
Mike also had a brother/sister relationship with Jerry’s sister Janet. They too had a lifelong friendship and he was named godfather of her daughter Amy. Mike was devastated when Janet died from cancer in 2021.
Mike earned his master’s degree in Plant Breeding from the University of Idaho. In similar fashion, he became lifelong friends with his major professor Dick Auld. They fished and hunted around the state of Idaho. When Dick moved to Texas, Mike visited Dick and got him to go on a local wild boar hunt. Dick said that would be his first and last wild boar hunt as it reminded him of his tour in Vietnam.
It was during the pursuit of his Master’s degree, Mike met and married Jessica “Hannah” Smith. They moved to Montana shortly after they were married. They were married a short time and divorced within two years.
Although Mike loved Montana, he returned to Moscow, Idaho after the divorce. He went to work for the University of Idaho as a Research Associate in the College of Agriculture. He first worked for Ron Ensign and finished his career as a Research Associate working for Don Thill in Weed Science.
During this time he met and married Karin “K.D.” Hatheway. At the time of his death, they had been married for almost 34 years. Soon after Mike and K.D. were married, Mike was diagnosed with kidney failure. They worked together to build a rich life beyond that diagnosis.
After Mike received his first kidney transplant, he went to work for McGregor Company. The McGregor Company stood by Mike through his illness and related health challenges. In the mid 1990’s, Mike suffered from pancreatitis. He spent almost three months in the hospital and the McGregor Company never dropped a paycheck even after he had run through his annual vacation and sick leave. K.D. was forever grateful for their generosity.
The day after Mike returned home from his three month ordeal, his cousins Ted and Dale picked him up and drove him to see his McGregor Company colleagues. The man who left that morning was not the man who returned. He left weak and frail and returned a new man. Mike excitedly returned to work the next day.
Before the pancreatitis episode, Mike had already lost his first transplant to the disease that had taken his own kidneys. The McGregor Company stood by Mike as he went to dialysis three times per week and then to work. Most employers would have required Mike to take disability, but the McGregor Company supported him in his healthcare and respected that he wanted to work despite his condition. During the busy spring and fall season, it is all hands on deck, seven days a week. Mike would go to dialysis at 5:00 a.m., get his treatment and then go onto work until 9:00 p.m., three times a week. It was truly remarkable that he could work such long hours after having a dialysis treatment. Most people need at least a nap after the treatment.
Mike loved his job, particularly weed identification and field treatment for those weeds. He found it very rewarding to show people various parts of any plant – weed or crop. Even after he retired, he would be driving by a former farmer clients field, see a problem and immediately, upon returning home, call the farmer to give them advice on how to take care of the problem.
Mike is survived by his wife K.D., his goddaughter Amy Anderson, Brother Kevin, Sister Barbie and nephews Andy, Wade, Brady, David and Nicholas. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Tom and nephew Rick. Mike’s life will be celebrated on July 9 with a 2:30 service at Kramer Funeral Home immediately followed by a Wake at Steve Wolheter’s shop (1028 Kennedy Ford Road, Potlatch, ID. 83855.
Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse, Washington is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at www.kramercares.com