Michael Allen Stedham
November 9, 1935 – January 28, 2021
Michael A. Stedham November 9, 1935 - January 28, 2021
After a long, active and rich life, Mike died peacefully , January 28, 2021 at home with his family. He was born in Chehalis, WA. In the old St. Helen’s Hospital, on November 9, 1935, to Virginia Pinney Stedham and John Isaac Stedham. Mike and his sisters Virginia and MaryAnn had a lot of fun and stories to tell of growing up on Kennicott Road on a small farm. He was very involved in FFA. Mike attended Cascade, R.E. Bennett and W.F. West and remembered sheltering in the boys bathroom in R.E. Bennett during the earthquake of 1949. He graduated in 1953 in a class of 89 who stayed very close through the years. He attended Washington State Univ. and graduated in 1959 as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a member of Alpha Gamma Rho. He worked for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for 10 months and then joined the U.S. Army Veterinary Corp in 1960. 1961 the Army sent him to La Rochelle, France, to the 73rd Medical Detachment, where he worked in Veterinary Food Inspection. He took advantage of the chance to travel and explored Europe including ordering and picking up a Porche from the factory! He had many adventures, including the running of the bulls in Pamplona and exploring towns and cathedrals with his buddies. In 1964, now Captain Michel Stedham, was sent by the Army to Kansas State Univ. to get his Masters in Public Health Service, Parasitology and Pathology. 1968 now Dr. Of Veterinary Medicine and Pathology he was promoted to Major and his next assignment was Fitzsimmons General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, working at the Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory. Keeping up his frugal ways he bought a small house and rented rooms to other GI’s to pay the mortgage. He made life long friends with these roomies. Colorado was also were he learned to ski, enjoying it so much that he bought a 3 bedroom apartment at the bottom of the ‘Little Nell’ ski run in the center of Aspen. 1970 he was posted to Vietnam with the Ninth Medical Lab in Long Binh where he got to use his education in Parasitology (Guard Dogs). 1971 the Army sent him to the U.S. Army Biological Defense Research Center, Ft. Detrick, Md. and the next year 1972 he was assigned to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed Army Base, in Washington D.C. the very center of research in the Army and by 1974 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. By 1979 he had met and married his wife Anne who was from England. Their children Elizabeth and Victoria were born in Bethesda Naval Hospital. He retired from the Army and joined a small up and coming firm Pathology Associates as one of the share holders and Chief Pathologist. Due to his work ethic and sterling reputation he helped to make them very successful and they were eventually bought out by Charles River Laboratories. Small town boy makes good. In an amazing cross country trip Anne and Mike moved back to Chehalis in 1995. Mike drove the truck pulling the pop-up camper. Elizabeth was his side kick and Angel the Poodle, Max the Collie, Princess the Shepard mix and OJ the Corgi as well as two parakeets in a cage, were their cargo. Anne followed close behind in the Geo Prism with Victoria and 4 cats. They became the center of attention every time they stopped at a campsite and unloaded and walked their menagerie. This was the first and last camping trip Mike every wanted to go on, though he loved telling stories about it. Once they had built their dream house and Mike had fully retired from reading slides he joined his brother-in-law John Kostick in the Chehalis Lions. He also became a Master Gardener. He loved it, was Trainee of the Year 1996 and Master Gardener of the Year in 2013. He took on the project of researching and planting an ‘Heirloom Garden’ of vegetables to match the age of the Borst House they were next to. He became very enthused, reading voraciously, collecting and trialing seeds, giving talks to groups large and small. He and his 2 buddies Ed Schroder and Gayland Wilmovsky made a happy and educational place for volunteers to get their hours. Even after he retired from MG’s due to physical limitations he still wrote articles for their newsletter “Real Dirt” and gave talks to garden clubs. The large vegetable garden at home continued with the help of his wonderful garden helper and handyman Joel Denton. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Pinney Stedham and John Isaac Stedham, his brother John (Red) Stedham, his sister Virginia Borgen and brother in law Don Borgen and brother in law John Kostick. His nephews John Stedham, Steve Stedham, Ross Stedham, and Doug Borgen. He is survived and will be greatly missed by his wife Anne Stedham, Daughters, Elizabeth Stedham, Victoria Stedham and Daughter in Law Sarah Haenke, Sister MaryAnn Kostick, Nephews and Nieces Karen Parks, Sandy Grady, Alan Borgen, Cindy Kinney , Ben Kostick. Cousins Sam and Tom Woods, Ray and Dale Pinney and Susan Schmoll plus numerous great nieces and nephews and other family members. Also Bethany, Ben, Jasmine and Jerry Butcher. As well as Abby and Murphy who loved Mike very much and miss his lap. On Saturday, January 20th between 1-5pm a viewing will be held at Sticklin Funeral Home, 1437 S. Gold Str. Centralia. (360) 736-1388. A potluck gathering (his favorite kind) to share memories and all the jokes we can remember, for Mike will be held in the COVID-safe times ahead, in the garden he loved.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Michael Allen Stedham
February 18, 2021
Dr. Stedham, I worked with twice. First at Tracor on the big NIH contract, then at PAI. I thought very highly of Mike, as did many. His positive attitude, entrepreneurial thinking, and strong work ethic, were great role model examples for a young man like I was. A life well lived, much achieved, helpful to others, lifelong learner, family man. I will never forget him.