Michial (Mike) Fillman passed away on Sunday, November 17, 2019, at 3 p.m. He was surrounded by love and rock and roll music. He was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma to Forrest and Lona Fillman. They made their way across the country and Mike graduated in 1960 from Anaheim Union High School. He always had a strong connection to Anaheim and Disneyland, perhaps because his grandfather was one of the original carpenters who built it. Mike worked at Disneyland one summer and never forgot meeting Walt Disney in person. Mike enlisted in the United States Navy in 1961 and was trained as an aerographer's mate (meteorologist). He spent 3 years at Fleet Weather Central and was a courier at the Pentagon with top secret clearance. Upon his re-enlistment, Mike was assigned to USN headquarters in London, England, where he prepared the full-color slides for the daily weather briefing for Admiral John S. McCain. Mike was chosen for the honor guard when the American base in France was closed and moved to Germany. His final year in the Navy included time on the aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga. Mike said that being away from his wife and children on board the ship is what made him a civilian. He resigned after serving almost 8 years in the Navy. In the 1970's Mike worked for advertising agencies in the Washington, D.C., area and learned his craft well enough that he opened his own agency. He handled movies for Paramount which meant ad buys, setting up premiers, managing special events and coordinating personal appearances for the many stars who were in town promoting their films. It was an exciting time in his career. In the 1980's Mike relocated to Spokane, Washington and was the Director of Public Relations for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and then Director of Communications for United Way of Spokane County. Mike's creative work for United Way won many awards from the Spokane Adverting Federation and United Way of America. In 1991 Mike was honored as the "Business Communicator of the Year" by the Spokane Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Mike served on the Board for the Better Business Bureau and as President of the Spokane Advertising Federation. In 1992, Mike married Susan Ridenour and they moved to Vancouver, Washington so that Sue could pursue her career. That career took them to Salt Lake City, on to Boise, Idaho, then West Palm Beach, Florida, and finally to Stockton, California. Mike worked for United Way in most of those cities and was the Special Events Manager for the American Cancer Society in Palm Beach, Florida. He managed their first ever "Cattle Baron's Ball" which netted over $300,000 in one evening. In Stockton, California, Mike was Campaign Director for United Way of San Joaquin County. At one point, Mike calculated he had helped raise over $13 million for the charities so close to his heart. Mike and Sue retired in Boise in 2008. Mike was an artist, taught himself graphic design, and was also a musician with a lovely singing voice. In 1964 his folk singing group won first place in the National Championship Country Music Contest in Virginia. Their first place prize was awarded by none other than Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl. Later in life, he joined a group in Spokane, played electric bass and guitar, sang vocals and loved every minute. Mike is survived by his wife of 27 years, Susan Fillman, son Michial David Fillman, daughter Christy Manning, stepchildren Christopher Ridenour and Amy Ridenour Little. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Aidan Ryan, Ethan Ryan, Kaylee Little, Brady Little, and Charley Ridenour. The family would like to thank the amazing staff at the Idaho State Veterans Home where Mike had resided for 15 months. The staff treated Mike with great affection, dignity and respect and has been unbelievably kind to his family during this difficult time.
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