Michael Hall
Michael Hall
Michael Hall

Obituary of Michael Jay Hall

Captain Michael (Mike) Jay Hall (Ret.), 79, of Poulsbo, Washington, passed away on Tues., July 11, 2023, at 8:02 pm in Tucson, Arizona in the arms of the love of his life and wife of 50 years, Kathy, and his three children and a grandson at his side.

Mike, the second eldest of seven children, was born on March  30, 1944, in Libby, Montana. He spent most of his rambunctious young life in Montana and Washington states. A member of the Blackfeet tribe, Mike was proud of his American Indian heritage. He was raised Catholic, attended private school, served as an altar boy, played football and baseball (he lettered in both), and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. In his teens, he spent summers as a swim instructor and lifeguard at Boy Scout camp.

After graduation from West Valley High School in Spokane, Washington, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, and served as a radioman on the the USCGC Wachusett. After his enlistment, he served six years on the Washington State Patrol, where he was distinguished as a Young Law Enforcement Officer of the Year while earning his undergraduate degree.

He reentered the military as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, and served an additional 26 years in a variety of roles in marine safety, environmental protection, disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Before retiring as a Captain, notable posts included: Director in the Office of Quality and Management Effectiveness; Commanding Officer for the Marine Safety Office and Group Portland; Executive Officer Marine Safety Unit Duluth; aide to the Vice Commandant; and Chief of Officer Assignments; in addition to responding to the New Carissa shipwreck and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. During his time in military service, he earned numerous decorations including two Legion of Merit Medals, the Meritorious Service medal, eight Commendation medals, the Southwest Asia Service medal, the Kuwait Liberation medal, and more. While in the Coast Guard, he earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College.

After retiring from the Coast Guard, he served as Director of Response Services for Patriot Maritime Compliance, and team leader for the Columbia River Regional Maritime Security Coalition, before joining the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) where he led and helped lead the Federal response and recovery efforts for FEMA during more than a dozen Presidential Disaster Declarations. Some of the events he worked include: flooding and mudslides in Washington, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Vermont; wildfires in California and Arizona; tornadoes in Kansas; ice storms in Ohio; earthquake in Haiti, typhoon in Guam, tropical storm Henri; hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Isabel, Issac, Ivan, and Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey. He also served as Director of FEMA’s Human Capital Division for three years.

An avid runner most of his adult life, Mike completed more than 60 races of marathon length or longer and four Ironman Canada Penticton triathlons. In 1991, he was named the U.S. Coast Guard’s Elite Male Athlete of the Year.

After retiring from FEMA in 2015, Mike and Kathy traveled the U.S. in their 43-foot RV visiting many of the places they lived, exploring new areas, and visiting with friends and family across the U.S.

Mike prioritized providing for his family and sharing his love of country and the outdoors with his children well into their adult lives. He had a powerful presence. If you were privileged to know him, you would know how much “trouble” he caused, his good nature, and zest for life. Mike was strong willed, and stubborn at times, yet extremely energetic, enthusiastic, charismatic, and fun to be around. A dynamic individual, he enjoyed “stirring the pot,” big projects, staying busy, as well as challenging himself and those around him. He could fix and build almost anything, a trait both his sons have inherited. A jokester, he had an enormous heart, and supported others. He will be profoundly missed.

Mike was predeceased by father John Patrick Kelly, mother Mariam (Fuller) Hall, step-father Howard Hall, brother John Hall, and brother-in-law Richard Crichton.

Mike is survived by his wife Katherine (Beauchene) Hall, daughter Heidi Hall (Lee Bautista), son Ben Hall (Heather), son Ryan Hall (Josie Ball), and grandsons Atlas and Wilder.

Mike is one of seven children and he leaves his brothers Patrick Hall (Evie) and Jeff Hall (Linda) as well as sisters Judith Crichton, Jill Gallagher (Joe), Marianne Kennedy, and many nieces and nephews who dearly loved Uncle Mike.

In typical fashion, Mike, came on the scene, contributed mightily, and went without ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Boy Scouts of America (go to https://www.scouting.org/ and click on 'GIVE') or the De La Salle Blackfeet School (http://www.dlsb.org) - two organizations Mike supported.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Michael
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Brings Broadway Chapel
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