CENTER — Mike Rierson, 60, of Center, passed away July 18, 2019. He was born Nov. 10, 1958 in Evanston, Ill., to Bob and Mardy Rierson.
Mike grew up in Paradise Valley, Ariz., graduating from Arcadia High School in 1976 as a state ranked tennis star. He attended the University of Southern California and Arizona State University and was a Sigma Nu fraternity brother. Mike studied business and economics before trying his hand on the family farm and finding his passion. While making his home in the San Luis Valley for 40 years, he would always refer to himself as “just an Arizona boy.”
An active member in the community, Mike was past president and member of the Center Kiwanis Club, and past president and board member of the Creede Repertory Theatre. While president of CRT he shepherded the theatre through its 1995 renovation, bringing the project in on time and on budget. Mike also served as past president and was an active board member of the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Co-op for 20 years. He created a Community Meal service that provided free evening meals every Saturday for anyone in need of simple sustenance or fellowship that ran for several successful years in Monte Vista. Mike was a proud member of the United Methodist Church in Monte Vista.
Besides farming, Mike enjoyed traveling, especially home to Phoenix, and as often as possible to Kauai and Las Vegas. Classic cars, cards and cigars were just a few of his passions. He was always up for a game of pool, trying the latest restaurant, or just hanging at the tiki bar and shooting the breeze. Mike’s generosity of spirit, keen sense of humor and quiet strength were an inspiration to all who knew him. A friend to all, Mike never met a stranger.
Cherished husband of Sarah for 31 years, adored father of Zoe (Tim Carden) and Sgt. Ross Rierson U.S.M.C., he is also survived by his much-loved brother, Bob (Peg) Rierson, darling niece Betsy (Chase) Granberry, amazing nephew Rob Rierson, favorite cousins Chris (Patti) Ising and Kristel (Jay) Payne, and precious grandnephews Teddy and Cameron.
Please join the family for a celebration of Mike’s life at the United Methodist Church in Monte Vista, Saturday, Aug. 3, at 4 p.m. with reception to follow up at the farm. Island attire encouraged! If so inclined, donations to the United Methodist Church of Monte Vista or the Center Kiwanis Club would be greatly appreciated. Private funeral arrangements provided by Strohmayers Funeral Home, Monte Vista.