Michael E. McNamara, 66, of Red Lodge, made his final turns on July 28. He was preceded at the final Apres Ski party by his parents Ed and Jean. An avid s k i e r, f l y - f i s h e r m a n , Grandfather, “road-tripper” and woodworker, Michael called Red Lodge, Red Lodge Mountain, and the Beartooths home for the past 13 years. He was always counting the days until ski season or the number of days skied in the current ski season, and was happiest while searching for secret powder stashes at the many mountains he visited.
Still skiing and carrying on in his name are his skiing partner, for better or worse, Anne, of Red Lodge; his children; Ted and wife Erin of Sandpoint, Idaho, and grandchildren Tristian and Addison; Charlie and wife Lauren of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and granddaughter Rita; and Becca and fiancé Jake of Bozeman. Also still playing cards and games in his honor are his siblings Jeanie, Becky (Ted), Pat (Brenda) and Kathy (Doug) and their families.
Mike was introduced to skiing after moving with his family to Fairplay, Colo., from Lansing, Mich., in his early teens and found himself drawn to the mountains from that time forward. After being Valedictorian of his class at South Park High School in Fairplay, he attended the Colorado School of Mines in Golden where he bonded with his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers. After college graduation he began a career as a Petroleum Engineer. His career took him across the American West with stops in Huntington Beach, Calif., the Front Range of Colorado, and eventually Billings and Red Lodge. At each of his stops he always found a ski area to call his home hill.
During his ski seasons he spent many days shuttling his boys to ski races and training, making sure Becca could stay in his tracks, trying to beat the rush on a powder day, looking for the shortest lift lines and skiing from first chair to last. Out of ski season weekends were spent fly-fishing, playing softball, camping, golfing and traveling to Pewaukee Lake in Wisconsin to sail the Butterfly. In his later years he loved making sawdust in his workshop at all hours of the day or driving “old Red” on adventures.
All of Mike’s friends and relatives will miss him dearly and hope the snow is perfect on his final road trip. May it snow 3 to 5 inches every night and be bluebird every day. We’ll miss you Pa. Last chair!
In lieu of flowers, Michael would appreciate that donations be made to the Red Lodge Mountain Ski Patrol Memorial Fund; P.O. Box 750, Red Lodge, MT 59068, or the non-profit of your choice. No formal services are planned. Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel of Red Lodge assisted with cremation arrangements.