April 26, 1949 - March 9, 2017
Michael Thomas Ireland, 67, passed away Thursday, March 9, 2017 in the arms of his wife and two daughters at his residence in Medford, Oregon. Mike was born April 26, 1949 in Grants Pass, Ore. and adopted by the late Sye and Kay Ireland.
Mike’s adolescent years took him from Grants Pass to Crescent City, California; Arizona; and eventually Medford. He discovered a passion for art, music, learned how to ride motorcycles, regrettably attended Catholic school, and found his first racetrack. As an only child, Mike developed close bonds to his cousin and closest pal, Steve Short; his grandparents, Floyd and Margaret Ireland; and his very dear Uncle Bob and Auntie Eileen Purkett.
In the 1960s, Mike moved to Haight-Ashbury during its heyday. He diligently tried to pursue his PHD in LSD but left San Francisco with only a suitcase full of strange but true stories.
On January 17, 1977 Mike met his sweetheart, Theresa and began a relationship that spanned four decades and gave him two daughters. Mike was a devoted husband and father but he often joked, "When I asked for three blondes - this was NOT quite what I had in mind."
Mike was a multi-talented hobby enthusiast with abilities that were seemingly endless. He raced quarter midgets and dirt bikes as a kid, and go-karts as an adult. He won two state championships, and broke several track records. Mike was a tattoo artist, sign/motorsport painter, a fly fisherman, the 21st president of the Rogue Fly Fishing Club, a master fly tyer who specialized in Spey, and fully dressed Atlantic salmon flies. Mike taught fly-tying classes for Medford Parks and Recreation, and guided saltwater fishing trips to the East Cape of Baja, Campeche, Christmas Island, Belize, and more, but most of all, Mike was a people person who went out of his way to help others. He had an amazing ability to make people laugh.
In the last few years of his life he enjoyed time with friends and family, Sundays at Touvelle Tavern (his version of church), playing poker, watching Bill Maher (and enjoying his like-minded view of our president), Sturgis, blues music, meeting the one-and-only Paul McCartney, witnessing the legalization of marijuana, playing guitar, and above all else - riding motorcycles.
Mike Ireland was a legend, and a one-of-a-kind entertainer. This world will be a lesser place without him and he will be missed beyond words.
Mike is survived by his wife, Theresa; his daughters, Melissa and Michelle; two sons-in-law, Casey and Ryan; two grandsons, Liam and Thomas; adored nephew, Jesse; biological mother, Lila; and a much older sister, Karla. He was preceded in death by his best friend, Robert Quigley; and his little brother, Buzz.
A service will be held at 2:00 p.m. April 29, 2017 at the Jackson County Expo, Padgham Pavilion, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point, Ore. All are welcome and encouraged to come.