Obituary: Cowboy Poet Mike Puhallo

Michial ‘Mike’ Puhallo April 6, 1953 – June 24, 2011

Mike passed away on Friday, June 24, 2011, at the age of 58, after a short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by love as he wrapped his legs around Pegasus and cut a trail for God’s Arena.
Mike was born and raised in Kamloops. He was the fourth of five children for Kay and Steve Puhallo. He married the love of his life, Linda, in 1976 and the couple raised two children, Paul and Sharlene. He was predeceased by his mother Kay and his brother-in-law, Terry Hand. Mike is survived by his father, Steve, and his siblings: Sue (Jim), Pete (June), Patti (Gerd) and Gord (Diana), and many loved nieces and nephews.
Over the years, Mike has meant so much, to so many people. Above all, Mike was a man of integrity and a chaser of dreams. He was a rodeo cowboy, a cattle rancher, an artist, a cowboy poet, a horse trainer, a truck driver, a pilot, a historian, a philosopher, husband, father, son, brother and friend who was there when you needed a hand and lifted you to be your best.
Mike was a founding member and the President of the BC Cowboy Heritage Society. The preservation of western heritage and culture was one of Mike’s greatest passions, second only to working with his horses. He always said he’d rather ride than drive. Mike will always be remembered as a Cowboy Poet. Mike is Canada’s most published cowboy poet. Two of his books received the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Excellence in Cowboy Poetry. All three of his CDs were nominated for Cowboy Poetry Album of the Year and in 2009 he was named the Academy of Western Artist’s Cowboy Poet of the Year. Mike received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medallion in 2003 and in 2006 was one of the nominees for Canadian Parliamentary Poet laureate.
Mike’s legacy as a Cowboy Poet is a testament to his courage to take his own advice in life, that you can be whatever you choose to be. Those who achieve success are those who take a dream and make it come true.
The family would like to thank the amazing staff at the Marjorie Willowby Snowden Hospice for their gentle care. There will be a Celebration of Life for Mike at the Calvary Community Church on Thursday, June 30, at 1:00 pm. Arrangements have been entrusted to Kamloops Funeral Home.
Mike believed in education and sought to support others in realising their dreams. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the BC Cowboy Heritage Society scholarship fund.
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