I note with respect the passing of Michael Joseph Myers, Sioux Falls native, lawyer, law professor, 2014 Independent candidate for Governor, and heck-raiser. Myers died this week in Minneapolis. I met in April 2014, to interview him about his run for Governor, and covered his performance in that year’s DakotaFest debate against Susan Wismer and Governor Dennis Daugaard. I did not vote for Myers, but I respect his commitment to public service.
Following is a full obit from his loved ones.
Michael (Mike) Joseph Myers was a fighter, a rabble rouser, and provocateur, an endless font of restless, creative energy, a force of nature, a husband, and our dad. He had a hard knock life early on but those experiences forged a steely will to succeed, thrive, and prove to the world that he was a man to be reckoned with.
Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1936, our dad, Mike, started out young making a name for himself. He was an altar boy, a golden gloves boxing champion, and a sailor in the Navy, all before the age of 17. Mike spent the end of his teenage years peeling potatoes aboard a battleship all around Asia as the Korean War came to a close.
He attended South Dakota State on the GI bill for his first couple of years, transferring to the Business School and graduating from the University of South Dakota (USD) and began his first career as a photojournalist for the Argus Leader and then the Sioux City Journal. He married the beautiful Mary Ellen Schaefer (of Montrose, South Dakota) on July 14, 1962.
After starting a family, three children by 1965 (Mary Beth, Helen, and Matthew), the family moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, in order to pursue Mike’s law degree at USD. He was working full-time as a journalist, attending grad classes at night, and was basically living out of his red Datsun 240z. Graduating with Honors, Mike became a professor at USD, loving every minute of it, and adding Nicholas and Anne to the growing family.
Mike began his biggest career journey as Legal Counsel for St. Joseph’s
Place of Birth: Sioux Falls, SD Death: April 26, 2017
Place of Death: Minneapolis, MN
Hospital in Sioux City, eventually becoming CEO and overseeing the merger of St. Joseph and St. Vincent hospitals into Marian Health Center (now Mercy Sioux City). During this time, our family were proud members of Blessed Sacrament parish, who supported our family so lovingly when we had a house fire in 1975. While we flourished in Sioux City, we added Michael and Connor to the family, to round out the crew of seven children.
Mike was a high-flier throughout his never-ending career: CEO of Mayo-St. Mary’s Hospital and a Mayo Trustee, Rochester, Minnesota; CEO of Fairview Riverside Medical Center, Minneapolis, and COO, Mercy Medical Center, Sioux City, Iowa, and Board Director of Minnesota Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He authored The Mayo Clinic and Blue Eyes, and Railroaded: Mayo, Imminent Domain and the Unclean Politics of Clean Coal, talk-radio host for The Elder Law Forum, and was a 2015 Candidate for Governor/Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota. As things often do, Mike rounded back to USD as a professor at the USD School of Law teaching Elder Law and Health Law & Policy, his favorite job by far.
Most recently, our dad moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul and was enjoying life to the fullest. He lived in a hipster neighborhood with walking paths and views of Lake Calhoun, he attended weekly spinning classes, ate at great restaurants, practiced yoga and visited local Zen centers, and most importantly, our family spent time with each other.
Mike was the husband to Mary Ellen (Schaefer) Myers, father to Mary Beth Myers, Helen Myers, Matthew Myers, Nicholas Myers, Anne (Myers) Shankula, Michael S. Myers and Connor Myers, grandfather to four beautiful grandchildren, and brother to four sisters: Barbara (Myers) Stich, Patty (Myers) Wuebben, Sally Myers, and Connie (Myers) Marr-Presley.
Our dad was a hard worker, a provider, a friend, a husband, a teacher, an entertainer, a fighter, and the perfect example of living life fully without boundaries. He died peacefully from natural causes, in own his modern apartment, in his sleep. He was 80 years young. R.I.P. dad.
Lastly, Mike’s most current radio show, Adventures in Aging, is airing four more episodes and can be heard on twincitieswellnessradio.com/content/all/adventuresofaging.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please make a donation to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) or a charity of your choice.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at The Cathedral of Saint Joseph (523 N. Duluth Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, 57104) on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 10:00AM. Reception will follow in the lower level of the Cathedral. Interment will be 1:45PM Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Montrose, South Dakota. Rude’s Funeral Home, Brookings, SD is assisting the family with the arrangements.