Michael Wayne Aisenbrey, 67, New Town, died Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in a Minot hospice facility with his wife and family by his side, following a three-and-a-half-year long and courageous battle with Stage IV lung cancer.
Michael was born July 14, 1945, at Stanley, the son of Elmer E. and Virginia M. (Wright) Aisenbrey. He was raised on the family farm south of Van Hook and attended his first years of grade school at the Liberty Township country school. After the farm was flooded by the Garrison Dam, the family moved into New Town, where Mike graduated from New Town High School in 1963. He spent a short time as a city police officer in New Town, working with Russell Clark, but found his life's occupation when he started farming with Joe Gudbranson.
Mike chose to serve his country and enlisted in the Navy on Feb. 18, 1966. He served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Randolph and USS Shangri-La until his honorable discharge on Nov. 1, 1969, as an E-5 Machinist's Mate. He returned to North Dakota and continued farming because his passion for farming never waned and each year he looked forward to the challenge of improving his yields.
On March 1, 1975, Mike was united in marriage to Beth Ann Roggenbuck. They lived in the New Town area and in 1980 he designed and built a unique earth home they happily called home when it was completed in 1981. Mike spent many hours nurturing the yard, garden and trees around their home. He was proud of the home they had established and would often sit in front of the house and gaze at the lake and land and remark on the beauty of it all.
Mike was an avid hunter who spent many happy hours hunting geese and deer with his family and friends. He also spent a great amount of time fishing and snowmobiling with Beth, friends and family. He and Beth especially loved fishing Alaska's Cape Chacon and the Inside Passage, where they made numerous fishing friends. He was an avid fan of rodeo and held season tickets to the National Finals Rodeo, which they would attend each year. He also loved to dance and he and Beth spent many happy hours together on the dance floor.
Mike had a mechanical ability that was unmatched and along with his natural inventive nature had the ability to fix or build almost anything. Starting in 1973 Mike began constructing a fishing boat out of wood and fiberglass which took him two years but resulted in the infamous "Old Blue" that he piloted on Lake Sakakawea for more than 30 years. As a result of his inventive nature, he also held a U.S. patent for a Sled Lift, which is used for lifting, moving and storing snowmobiles.
Following his retirement from farming in July 2011, he worked on several projects around home which kept him busy and helped him through his cancer treatments. In 2012 he and Beth fished the Sea of Cortez off Baja, Mexico, which had been on his "bucket list" for some time.
Mike was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church, the Eagles Aerie 2370, Beck Sherven American Legion Post 290 and a past member of the Minot Elks Lodge. He also belonged to the National Rifle Association, the Ducks Unlimited-Van Hook chapter and the Walleyes Unlimited-Mon Dak chapter.
Mike is survived by: his loving wife, Beth; mother, Virginia "Jennie"; brothers, Jeffrey and David; mother-in-law, Mildred "Milly" Roggenbuck; brothers-in-law, Neil Roggenbuck (Cheryl) and Tom Roggenbuck (Orlea); nephews, Richard (Tamara), Jonathan (Lisa), Jacob, Joshua and Jaret Aisenbrey, and Brian Roggenbuck (Lindsay); nieces, Shanna Aisenbrey Johnson and Rona Roggenbuck; and several great-nephews and great-nieces. He is also survived by our special girl, Ciji Johnson Gherke (Dave), and their daughter, Graci.
He was preceded in death by his father, Elmer; and father-in-law, Bernard "Benny" Roggenbuck.
Mike's Memorial Service: Will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at 11 a.m. in Bethel Lutheran Church, New Town.
There will be no reviewal or visitation but people may sign a memorial register Saturday, one hour prior to the service, in the church.
Online condolences may be shared at (www.langhansfuneralhome.com).
(Langhans Funeral Home, Parshall)