Craig resident Michael "Mick" Francis Havrilla died July 19, 2007, at Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital in Denver. He was 59.
He was born May 4, 1948, and lived his childhood years in Portage, Penn.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as a first lieutenant and an airborne ranger in the 101st Airborne Division. He received an associate's degree in mining engineering from Penn State University and worked in the coal industry for more than 30 years.
In 2005, he was forced to retire from his job as an MSHA federal mine inspector due to his illness.
In August 2004, Mick was diagnosed with both Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis, which attacked various organs and destroyed his kidneys, forcing him to do dialysis for a year and a half. On Oct. 31, 2006, a very special friend donated a kidney to Mick, which freed him from the burdens of dialysis for the last months of his life.
Mick married Kathy, his wife of 31 years, on May 8, 1976, and they moved from Pennsylvania to Rock Springs, Wyo. Approximately one year later, they moved to Craig, where they have resided for the past 30 years.
During that time, he became the proud father of three children, Aimee, Jennifer and Eric.
Mick enjoyed spending his free time with his family. Every weekend presented him with the opportunity to take his family on a new adventure.
He particularly loved sharing his passion for the outdoors by teaching his family how to find the magic in nature through camping, fishing, skiing and hiking. Mick's love for nature overflowed into every aspect of his life, and he never passed up an opportunity to share his knowledge and passion with the community. He was a man who lived life to its fullest in everything he did.
As his children grew older, Mick acquired a passion for soccer. He loved to both play and coach the sport. Throughout the years, he coached children from every age, including high school. In 2002, he was voted the Western Slope High School Coach of the Year.
Mick is survived by his loving wife Kathy of 31 years; his three children, Aimee and her husband, Ben Arroyo, Jennifer and Eric; granddaughter, Adelynn Arroyo - who adored her PaPa; and sister, Phyllis Gresky.
Mick was preceded in death by his parents, Mike and Cleoda Havrilla.
Mick was a man of true character and compassion. He had a zest for life that was unmatched by anyone. He is dearly loved by his family and all who knew him and will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial was on July 26, 2007, at St. Michael Catholic Church with concelebrants Father James Fox and Father Ernest Bayer officiating. Interment of his cremains will take place at a later date.