Vannie Hugh (Van) Michael was born Oct. 16, 1938, to parents, Oscar Arthur and Leta Barton Michael, in Sickles, Caddo County, Okla. He passed away in Seton Highland Lakes Hospital after a tragic accident at his home in Burnet (Silver Creek) on Aug. 17, 2015.
His family lived in rural Colorado (near the little community of Kim), where, as a young man, he trained horses for many of the local ranchers. He was baptized into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on June 25, 1950. After his parents were divorced in 1950, he lived with his loving grandparents, Vannie and Ivy Michael, in Pritchett, Colo., until he graduated from high school.
During Van’s life, he was always a cowboy at heart – having started on the rodeo circuit at the age of 13. He went on to pursue his dream and became a professional bronc rider reaching national finals and winning many trophies, saddles and belt buckles throughout the years.
He was a welder and did pipeline work all over the U.S. and Canada from 1967 to 2013. He was also a lowboy driver and hauled heavy equipment cross-country. He owned and operated many drilling companies and bought, refurbished and sold drilling equipment in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He was a member of the Operating Engineers Local 234 Union, Des Moines, Iowa, and a member of Teamsters Local 150, Sacramento, Calif.
Van is survived by his loving wife, Mary Lee Michael, whom he married on Dec. 11, 2009; his son, Derek Van Michael of Burnet; and daughter, Danielle Michael of Kansas; four grandsons, his namesake Van Arthur Michael, Dalton Karr; Gavin Tice and Jarren Lewis; one granddaughter, Jacey Lewis; a stepdaughter, Lisa Tice; a stepson, Ed Lewis; two sisters, Virginia Michael Owens of Burnet, and Debbie Rochester and husband Johnny Rochester of Burnet; and sister-in-law Dolores Michael of Burnet; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of life-long friends and acquaintances.
Van was predeceased by his loving grandparents who raised him; both parents; his son Joe Michael; three brothers, Robert L. Michael Sr., A. J. Michael and William Michael; a sister, Fern Michael Smith; two stepchildren, Tina Lewis and Jason Lewis; a nephew, Dennis Michael; and a niece, Deena Michael.
Funeral services were at the funeral home chapel on Friday, Aug. 21, with burial following at Post Mountain Cemetery in Burnet, Texas.
Funeral arrangements made by Edgar & Jenkins Family Funeral Home, 109 North Main Street, Burnet, Texas 78611 (512) 756-4444.
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