BROPHY, Michael Leroy (1950-2012)

Michael L. Brophy, 62, Minot, ND, died Wednesday, December 19, 2012 in a Minot hospital.

Michael Leroy Brophy was born on September 2, 1950 in Wibaux MT. He grew up in the Wibaux area and graduated from Wibaux high school in 1969. He went on to Missoula, MT and majored in forestry and then completed his college at Minot State with a BA degree in psychology and theology. He worked on the BN Railroad for 20 years in Glendive, MT where he raised his three children Audrae, Michael Ryan, and Jodi with his first wife Christine. He met many friends while being involved as a mentor in the Beginning Experience group that he was active in for 18 years in both MT and ND. He moved to Minot, ND in 1996 where he met the love of his life, Paula. After spending 6 years devoted to each other, he spiritually married Paula in a Native American ceremony on November 28, 2012.

Michael’s pride and joy was spending time with his family and friends. He has 10 grandkids; Erin, Ava, Gael, Alondra, Lawrence, Ayana, Oghenetega, Oghenemine, Michael Connor, and Katie. The grandkids all remember Grandpa Mike as a teacher, mentor, prankster, and a friend. He took pride in each of his grandkids and often played card games, spent time at basketball games and various events, declaring thumb wrestling wars, giving “whoop-ti-doo’s”, fishing, water gun and marshmallow fights. He taught each of them many values in life but the most important one was to always think for yourself, and to whistle while you work. He was a practical joker and enjoyed hanging his grandkids from doorknobs, strapping bungee cords to their belts, telling wild stories, whisker rubs and hair-pulling piggy-back rides. It was most important for him to let each one know just how much he loved them and to spend quality time with each one.

He enjoyed spending a great deal of time outdoors with his family. He tried to teach his life experiences of hunting, fishing, rock collecting, and living off nature to all he knew. He was a carpenter, an artist, mechanic, gardener, a jack of all trades and a student of the world. His finest gift to his family and friends were the Native American flutes that he hand carved from old fence posts off the Brophy farm in Wibaux. He loved to let the flutes that he created play from within him and taught other’s how to “let their emotions play the flute”. He often played his beloved flute at nursing homes, ceremonies, funerals, and for anyone who would take the time to “just listen”. Michael took pride in building his Native American Sweat Lodge and emerged himself in this culture. His given Native name was ‘WoodWalker’ and he burned this into each of his flutes that he gave away and traded with his many friends.

Michael was truly loved by all who knew him. He had a way of making everyone feel comfortable around him and never judged anyone. He always had a joke to tell and was so quick witted that you often didn’t catch the joke until it was too late! He had many people believing his wild stories and was a master at getting people to do goofy things such as buying blinker fluid for the car, touching electric fences, stealing the BE bell at the monastery, humiliating his ultra-cool kids on main street, and the list goes on! If he could leave one message for all his loved ones he would say “Wake Up”! He was passionate about teaching others his beliefs about this world. He will be truly missed as he goes on his journey. He will be met in the next part of life by his mother Frances, father John, and his beloved friend Thad and many other close friends.

Those who shared in his life, Wife, Paula, Minot; children, Jodi Okoro, Minot, Audrae Rivera, Winchester, VA and Michael Ryan Brophy, Glendive, MT; 10 grandchildren; brothers, John, James and Patrick Brophy; sisters, Barbara York and Mary Thomas; several nieces and nephews; his beloved aunt, Katherine Brophy, and many cousins.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents, John and Frances.

Funeral Service in Minot: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot, ND.

Visitation: Wednesday, from 9:00 a.m. to service time at the funeral home.

Funeral Service in Wibaux, MT: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Wibaux, MT.

Visitation in Wibaux: Thursday, from noon to service time at the church.

Burial: Brophy Family Cemetery, Wibaux, MT.

Source: Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot

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