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Michael Robert Wickstrom

November 11, 1944 March 9, 2020
Michael Robert Wickstrom
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Obituary for Michael Robert Wickstrom

Michael Robert Wickstrom, age 75, passed away on March 9, 2020 in Salem.

Michael was born on November 11, 1944 in Lyons, Nebraska. He was the son of a WWII Soldier, Eugene August Rooth, who died in combat before Michael’s birth. His mother, Dorothy Darlene Euling- Rooth later remarried Marvin Wickstrom, who became his stepfather and legally adopted him at age 19. Although he grew up with a father figure, the death of his biological father (whom he never met) stayed with him throughout his life and the longing to know him.

Michael attended Oakland High School in Nebraska. Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Airforce. He was first stationed in Bitburg, Germany for three years and then in Libya for six months, before he was honorably discharged in 1968. While he was in the service, he met his future wife, Janice Kay Peterson. They wed in Kokomo Indiana in May 25, 1968. From Kokomo, the couple relocated to Columbia Falls, Montana where daughter Barbara (Bobbi) Ann joined them. The family resided in Montana until 1975 when they relocated to Salem, Oregon spending the remainder of his life with his spouse of 51 years.

Michael was a hardworking man, often adding his own style with each transition in his life.  Over the years he worked in an aluminum plant, the cannery, as a bus driver, a vending machine owner, as a clerk at 7-11 and lastly as a custodian at Salem Hospital. He worked very hard to provide for his family, even when it was difficult. While working at the cannery, he was in an accident that resulted in the loss of the function of his right arm (and he was right-handed)! He didn’t let that stop him though, and he learned how to do everything with his left hand. Family and work were the two most important things in his life.

Michael had many hobbies. He was a “sports encyclopedia”. He knew random facts about all sports, and his favorite teams were the Braves, Browns, Cornhuskers, Beavers and North Salem High Vikings. This love for sports took him to several sporting events which included seeing the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, Nebraska Cornhuskers verses University of Washington Huskies, Blazers home games, Seattle Seahawks and many more.

He also loved music and dancing in his unique style to this music, especially the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. He loved to sing along with the lyrics despite lack of ability to sing. This love for music was not contained with him, it was shared with every family member.  He was able to attend many concerts over the span of his life and each one was very special to him.  He was a great storyteller, sharing his experiences and knowledge of music and sports. He had a wonderful sense of humor and is described by his family as having a unique sense of humor, being very animated and passionate with each story.Michael was quite a character, often finding unique adventures. His family recalls after Mt. Saint Helens erupted, he and his brother-in-law went up and collected the ash because they were sure it would be worth a great deal of money. They drove to Reno to sell it, but that didn’t work as expected, finding them collecting pop cans to get enough gas money to get back home! They also remembered the trip to the Redwood Forest, where the car was almost too big to get through the tree, but the kids got on top of the roof and had pictures taken while going through the tree. It was a very memorable experience! His family will cherish these hilarious memories of Michael and his adventures.

Michael was preceded in death by his father, Eugene August Rooth; his mother, Dorothy Darlene Wickstrom; his adoptive father, Marvin Wickstrom; his older brother, Richard Rooth; his father-in-law Leslie LeRoy Peterson and his mother-in-law Alice Cora Peterson (who become like his own parents).  He is survived by his beloved wife, Janice Kay Wickstrom; his daughter, Bobbi Provance; his grandchildren, Hillary Provance-Wheeler, Morgan Provance and Bailey Provance; his great-grandchildren, Peighton, Heidi and Luke Wheeler; his brother, Marvin Wickstrom and his sister, Glenda Rae Wickstrom-Stillwell; as well as many nieces and nephews who he loved dearly.

A Memorial Service with Military Honors will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020, 2:00 pm at Weddle Funeral Service in Stayton. He will be laid to rest at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his honor can be made to the local VFW.

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Memorial Service




2:00 PM 3/15/2020 2:00:00 PM
Weddle Funeral Service - Stayton

1777 N. Third Avenue
Stayton, OR 97383

Weddle Funeral Service - Stayton
1777 N. Third Avenue Stayton 97383 OR
United States

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