MICHAEL LEO POTTER
July 1, 1950 – January 30, 2019
Michael L. Potter began his life beating the odds. He was an Rh-factor baby requiring a full blood transfusion immediately upon his birth. For months, he battled one serious infection after another, fevers, croup, anemia, pneumonia and convulsions.His mother, Mary, called him “My miracle baby!” In less than a year as an infant living in a rural old farm, our family became homeless and, by the loving generosity of a loving Catholic priest, paid for a single room apartment for us and fed us. That priest was Father Leo Hardesty who had converted to our family some years earlier. Upon graduation from high school in 1970, Michael entered a Jesuit seminary, took vows for the priesthood and immersed himself in undergraduate studies at Spring Hills College in Mobile, Alabama. With strong convictions towards social justice and fighting segregation and poverty, he became involved in civil rights issues and political activism in Alabama and Mississippi. He eventually left the seminary to further pursue social causes, including work as campaign manager for a local Black mayor. In 1975, he followed his older brothers into military service and enlisted in the Navy, completing ‘boot camp’ at Naval Training Center-San Diego where his father had also completed boot camp before WWII in 1940. Michael served aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific and shore duty for an F-18 fighter squadron at Miramar NAS. He was selected for Officer Training and commissioned by his older brother Major Joe Potter and witnessed by his mother at NTC-Newport, RI in 1978. During his years as an officer on active duty, he served again in the Pacific aboard a guided missile destroyer and on shore duty at Misawa AB, Japan. Michael switched to the Naval Reserve HQ’d in San Diego and served in multiple command positions, earned two masters degrees and a law degree, passing the CA bar on his first attempt. As a practicing attorney, he established and partnered in a thriving legal firm, hosted a legal radio show and handled all cases dealing with trusts and protecting personal wealth for numerous clients. Later, he and his family moved to Las Vegas where he became a corporate attorney, passed the NV bar and served clients in both CA and NV. He continued his Navy Reserve career, finally retiring aboard the USS Midway in San Diego at the rank of Captain, after 28-years of military service. Besides continuing legal work, he was active as an adult leader in the Boy Scouts as a commissioner and on several committees. He enjoyed teaching Concealed Weapons Safety courses, traveling all over the U.S and overseas, camping extensively and was involved with numerous Navy friends, reunions and family activities. Michael lived a very full, dedicated, patriotic and fruitful life, always looking on the positive side and encouraging others in their times of need. Michael is survived by his beloved wife Theresa, son Christopher, step-daughter Leah and 3 brothers Chuck, Joe and Tim. We will always remember, respect and love Michael and know that he is now in the gentle and loving hands of God.