Michael Joseph Friel, age 75, of Pocatello, Idaho passed away on January 31, 2016 at his home battling cancer. Born in Los Angeles, California on March 9, 1940 to January 31, 2016, Pocatello, Idaho.
He was raised in Southern and Central California. He spent his late teens in Calaveras County-Mukulemne Hill hunting and enjoying wildlife. He spent his 20s hitchhiking, rebuilding trucks, repairing radios and TVs, tending a beer garden between South Lake Tahoe, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Although he entered his first semester at San Francisco State University, he postponed his education to serve in the military and joined the U.S. Marine Corps from 1963 to 1978. He retired as Captain in 1978 with a medical disability retirement. He completed, Boot Camp, Flight training and instructing, served two tours in Vietnam, living in Pensacola, FL, Subic Bay, Philippines, and Cherry Point, NC. He piloted Sea Knight and Cobra helicopters. His military decorations include Bronze Star with Valor, Air Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Metal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Pistol Expert Badge. In 1980 to present, 35 years, he lived with his wife in Pocatello, Idaho. In 1993 he returned to school completing his bachelor of science in Mathematics from Idaho State University.
Michael’s hobbies and interests included electronics, and he was an avid builder of QRP Radios, cars, guns, love of dogs, liked birds and disliked cats! He traveled most of the United States, Canada, Philippines, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy.
He was twice president and long time member of Pocatello Amateur Radio Club-KB7WYI, Pocatello Astronomy Club, and St. Anthony Catholic Community.
Michael met his Filipino wife, Melicia G. “Mimi” Friel while serving in the military in Subic Bay, Philippines. They had a civil marriage and accompanied by their three kids: Mary, Matthew and Bojo, moved to the United States in 1974. His wife and him reunited their vows and remarried again at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Pocatello, Idaho in 1982.
Michael was preceded in death by his oldest brother, Edward Friel, his older sister Rosemary Friel, and youngest brother, Patrick Friel. He is survived by his immediate family members: Melicia “Mimi” Friel, oldest daughter Mary Jane “Gigi” Collins-Wolstenhome, middle son Matthew James Friel, and youngest son Marvin Joel “Bojo” Friel and grandchildren Colby Edward Collins, Madison Jane Collins, Benjamin James Friel, and Samuel Carter Friel.
Funeral services will be held Thursday 4 Feb 2016 with the Funeral Rosary at 6 pm led by Deacon Scott Pearhill, St Anthony Catholic Church. Saturday 6 Feb 2016 Formal Funeral Mass at 10 AM, 6 Feb 2016 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Pocatello, Idaho, led by Father Reggie and Father Henry. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Downard Funeral Home. Friends who wish may send online condolences and memories to Michael’s family by completing the online condolences tabs.