Mickey did things his own way, in his own time. When told he had less than a week to live, he defied the doctors and hung around another two years.
At 85 years old, he chose to join his wife Joyce in heaven, just in time for Valentine’s Day. He passed away in his sleep in his own bed at his son Ron’s home. We are thankful for the bonus years with him!
Mickey was born in Juneau, Alaska to Monte Buchanan and Eileen Stanyar. After a divorce and move to Seattle, Eileen married Francis Coughlin when Mickey was 11 years old.
On Dec. 15, 1953, Mickey married the love of his life, Joyce Ethel Anderson. He was on active duty in the Navy from Jan. 28, 1953 to Dec. 15, 1954, during which he spent time in Japan.
After living in several locations in Seattle, they settled in the 1960s on Whidbey Island, where they created an amazing childhood for their children filled with nature, horses, pets, motorcycles, parties and most of all friends and family.
Many memories were made in the Shore Meadows Seahorses 4-H Club, which was founded by Mickey and Joyce. The M-Bar-C Ranch became the meeting place when Ed Milam donated the use of the clubhouse and built an arena for the club. The M-Bar-C was a large part of our family’s lives through the years and continues to be so.
Mickey and Joyce volunteered, supervised, fund-raised and whatever else was needed to provide a fabulous county fair for many 4-Hers. Many will remember Mickey’s unique wit and sense of humor from his announcing of the horse events at the Island County Fair.
A bout with cancer in the 1970s made it necessary to change careers and leave the construction field, so he decided to study photography. He had a natural artistic talent for the field he learned while in the Navy. After starting a photo business, Mickey shot many senior photos, dances, commercial projects, weddings, etc. with Joyce’s support. A favorite custom of many islanders was to have their annual photo taken by Mickey at the Island County Fair.
After their children left the nest, Mickey and Joyce traveled the country and began full-time RV-ing. They visited every state — even Hawaii, but not in the RV! — and parts of Canada.
Oftentimes, they were accompanied by their children and/or grandchildren. They enjoyed winters at Golden Vista in Apache Junction, Ariz., where they made many close friends. One highlight was the annual visit from all four children at the same time. Everyone loved reminiscing and comparing different memories of the same events. This is when the “talking stick” was implemented by Gramps so he was able to get his word in also.
Summers were spent traveling in their motor home dubbed “The Tradewinds Cafe” due to the many meals shared there. By parking in the yards of each of their children, everyone got a chance to spend family time together before they headed back to Arizona with the sun.
Many years were filled with health challenges for Mickey, which he faced with determination and strength, never complaining. He never lost his zest for life or sense of humor. He had a heart of gold and is truly missed!
Mickey is lovingly remembered by his children: Vicki (Steve) Frerichs, Kim McMaster, Rod (Tess) Buchanan and Ron Buchanan; grandchildren: Brandi Frerichs, Kasey (Kate) Frerichs, Mysti (Chris) McMaster Dance, Nichole Buchanan and Shea (Joshua) Bryner; seven great-grandchildren: Taylor and Katelyn Dance, Eilidh Bentz, Avery Buchanan, Elmsley and Viona Bryner and Benjamin Frerichs; half sisters: Sabra McAlpin and Andrea Boulding.
Preceded in death by wife, Joyce, on March 14, 2018, his parents; sister, Jan; and brother, Gary. He is lovingly missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins and many other friends and relatives.
Please join us in a celebration of Mickey’s life at 2 p.m., April 13, 2019 at the M-Bar-C Ranch, 5264 ShoreMeadow Road, Freeland.
Lunch will be provided.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the M-Bar-C Ranch, P.O. Box 1103, Freeland, WA 98249.