Mike was born in Rogue River, Oregon, to John and Jeannie Branam March 24, 1953. He and his younger brother, Brad, grew up on West Evans Creek Road and went to Rogue River High School. Mike started racing motorcycles in 1968, becoming the local champion, known as “The Rogue River Kid.” He got his pro license in 1972 and had a successful career.
Mike turned his focus to home construction, graduating from the Mackie School of Log Building in 1985. He later formed his own company, Mountain Timber Construction. Mike was a master craftsman, working on many impressive homes in Montana’s Flathead Valley. Mike married Elizabeth Nunley and was the proud father of three wonderful kids, Linsey, Easton and Ryland. He was an unconditionally loving father who climbed mountains with his daughters and skied the backcountry with his son.
In 2007, Mike met the partner who would walk beside him for the rest of his life, Judy Davis Palmer. They had many adventures together before and after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer in 2009. For nine years Mike underwent constant treatment with ferocious resolution, never giving up hope.
Mike valued his many friendships and treasured his children, including Judy’s sons Nick and Jack, and his grandkids, Elam, Johnny and Emerson. He and Judy found comfort and happiness together despite all his health concerns.
Mike was surrounded with love when he recently lost his long battle with cancer on Aug. 22, 2018.
There will be an open house to celebrate Mike’s life from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at Mike and Judy’s home at 12575 Kelley Drive, Bigfork.
In lieu of cards or flowers, please consider a donation to Wings Regional Cancer Support (406 257-WING) or Flathead Cancer Aid Services (406 212-7340).
To send a note of condolence to the family, visit www.bhfuneralhome.com. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home is caring for the family.