Michael Raymond Monnier
January 9, 1959 – February 14, 2021
MICHAEL RAYMOND MONNIER “Mike” “Mikey” “Chopper” The party got started on January 9, 1959 when the love of Barbara Dawson and Frederick Kleopper created Michael Raymond Monnier. Mike fought with all his strength to overcome complications resulting from a stroke, but on Sunday, February 14, 2021 this world got a little more quiet and a lot less fun as the roar of a ’48 panhead could be heard rolling through the gates of the hereafter.
Mike and his family hailed from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was no match for the nuns in Catholic schools and completed his education while serving in the military stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord (previously known as Fort Lewis Army Base). He married his high school sweetheart, Renee Jacobs, and they completed their family with his beloved daughter, Tammy.
Mike’s employment history ranged from mechanic, janitorial, bike restoration, home construction, sawmills, tree service and foundation work. In September 2012 he became a part of the Setina Manufacturing family as a back shop sheering operator – the best job he ever had. His cut-off work gloves now hang in tribute high above his machine.
Mike’s need for speed began as a youth when he was a member of a competitive roller-skating team. Fast forward through years of bicycles, cars, and trucks, he met the perfect match in his love for motorcycles. He liked nothing better on a hot summer’s day than to roar off on one of his Harleys. He was a devoted fan of all things racing with a particular fondness for NASCAR, motor cross and monster trucks. Grandpa Mike was especially proud of his grandson’s achievements in super dirt late model racing. He enjoyed time spent with friends at the Tenino Speedway and NHRA drag races. Mikey was one of the choreographers with the Tenino Drill Team and performed in parades and festivals throughout the northwest. During his active years he and the team organized the annual Do-Wa-Diddy Motorcycle Rally held in Maytown.
When Mike was ready to lay claim, he traded in his purple Harley and combined his household and legendary storage unit. Despite the reservations of his realtor, he bought his deserted diamond-in-the-rough hide away in East Olympia. The years that followed were spent logging the yard, purging dead chickens and continually fashioning storage for his ever-growing collections of bikes and toys. Secluded life was the perfect setting to wrench, practice shooting, have barbeques and marvel at all the wildlife. Time spent at the bordering Spurgeon Creek meant bath time for the dog, treating Edith to gondola rides in a leaky rowboat and trying to outsmart the industrious beavers. And how could we forget midnight dinners on top of the container counting stars and late-night bon fire parties that lit up the woods for the peanut people.
Topping the list of Mike’s favorite things were his family, friends, his dogs, riding his bad motor scooters, treasure hunting at the Good Will or swap meets, pizza, hot dogs, collecting bikes, motorcycle toys and anything Harley Davidson. He spared no words when it came to his dislikes: clothes tags, country music, glove cuffs, phone solicitors, trespassers, straws and waiting: waiting in traffic; waiting for a train; waiting in line; waiting on the little woman; just plain waiting for anything.
Mike was a storyteller. His booming voice and unfiltered, often irreverent, sense of humor always captured an audience. Whether it was antics of his childhood growing up in a large family, road trips with John Burgin of Northwest Vintage Motorcycles, or simply a run to Safeway - everything somehow turned into an adventure. To be sure, he never forgot a phone number or a birthday and he was vain to the bone. Never leave the house “lookin’ ugly”. Armed with his swag and signature laugh he always managed to show up early wherever he went. And now he has gone and left us way too soon. We want one more story, one more laugh, one more hug and kiss, simply just more time together. Chopper lived life large and by his own creed. He worked hard and played hard and now he can ride free.
Those whose lives are now a little less bright are his mother Barbara Dawson, daughter Tammy Monnier, grandsons Brandon Sheppard and Kace Donaldson and two great grandchildren; siblings Patrick, Frances, Rhonda, Steve, George and Ann, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; long-time friends/family Janet and Paul Muller and their daughters; all the guys in his Setina Manufacturing day family; trusted neighbors the Tucker’s and Stancil’s; his afternoon drinking buddies; and the janitor’s girl little Edith Ann.
Waiting to toast him on the other side were his maternal grandparents, sister Yvette, “mother-in-law” Ada Young and his faithful devoted dogs “Dad’s Good Buddies” Moose and Junior.
We wish to thank the response team of the East Olympia Fire Department for their quick action. We are especially grateful to both Doctors Nguyen and all the staff in Care 1 ICU at Providence St. Peter Hospital for their compassionate medical assistance during the week before his passing.
Final arrangements are by Mills and Mills Funeral Home, Tumwater, Washington.
Save your favorite tales to share at a celebration of Mikey’s great adventure. The date will be announced when it is safe for us to gather.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Michael Raymond Monnier
February 24, 2021
I'm sorry to hear of Mikes passing. He is a great guy. Always enjoyed talking with him about motorcycles and work he has done on them. He will truly be missed.
February 21, 2021
Edith and family,
So sorry to hear of Chopper’s passing. I remember when he worked at the school. He was so friendly and seemed like a happy person. I’m glad that you were able to find each other and then spend 20 years together.