Michael Fotheringill

Obituary of Michael Hugh Fotheringill

The Story of Mike Fotheringill

Mike Fotheringill was born in Tacoma Washington 85 years ago. His parents, Hugh and Carolyn Smith Fotheringill welcomed their first son on August 29, 1939. His younger sister Lynn completed the family.

Mike graduated from Clover Park High School as part of the class of 1954. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business at Washington State University. Before graduating, he spent a year abroad in Europe, traveling with no money… and a broken leg.

Mike was always very active. He loved to ski—both on the water and on snow—and he enjoyed playing tennis and walking on the beach. Getting physical exercise every day was high on his list of priorities.

Mike had a successful career in banking and finance at National Bank of Tukwila, holding the title bank president for his last ten years of employment. Though he was a fastidious “bean counter,” Mike was also generous, and he appreciated quality products and fine food.

Mike and Holly Anderson were married in 1965. They raised their two boys, Jeff and Tyler, on Mercer Island. Mike instilled a strong work ethic in his sons, both by example and by instruction. Mike and Holly purchased a 27-foot Thunderbird sailboat with their good friends Diana Haslund, her husband and their two daughters. The two families shared many adventures together, racing and sailing in Puget Sound and on Lake Washington.

After retirement, Mike used his financial skills to serve the God he loved and to bless people. Mike was the CFO for Mercy Ships, first on board the M/S Anastasis in Western Africa, and then at Mercy Ships International Operations Center in Texas. After retiring for a second time, Mike served as the treasurer for Anderson Island Christian Fellowship Church, making sure the books balanced and the funds were used wisely. His knowledge and wisdom were a good resource for friends who looked to Mike for advice in financial matters.

In 2012, Mike and Holly purchased their dream home on Anderson Island, the southernmost island in Puget Sound. Soon after moving to the island, Holly began and then lost her battle with cancer. God filled the void in Mike’s heart by bringing Diana Haslund back into his life. The two renewed their friendship, fell in love, and were married for 7 very happy years. Mike readily embraced Diana’s girls, Robin and Shannon and their families.

Mike loved his home on Anderson Island, the sunset view, and his large yard. The beautiful surroundings fueled his penchant for photography. He often stood at the large picture window in their home and “surveyed his kingdom.” The meticulous landscaping and

careful upkeep brought him great satisfaction and joy. Together with Diana, they did most of the yardwork themselves. They even designed and built a gorgeous stone firepit and patio together. They called it their “pandemic patio.” It is perfect, with every stone level and in exactly the right place.

Mike was passionate about studying scripture. He spent hours every day reading the Bible, pouring over commentaries, and taking copious notes. He loved Bible Study Fellowship both for the in-depth teaching and the relationships he formed with other men. This past year they delved into the book of John. Mike just recently studied Jesus’ promise in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” None of us expected Mike to experience the reality of that promise so soon. On April 5, 2024, he went directly from his elliptical exercise machine into the arms of Jesus.

We miss Mike and his remarkable smile. We had all of Mike until we didn’t have him. He was a very special friend, neighbor, husband, father, and grandfather. His ten grandchildren range in ages from 17 to 30; his three great grandchildren are 4, 5, and 12 years old. Mike dearly loved each one of his children and grandchildren and was intensely interested in their pursuits and accomplishments, their victories and defeats, their joys and their sorrows. He relished spending time with them, and he looked for opportunities to help them.

Son, Tyler Fotheringill is married to Jennifer. They gave Mike five grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Mike was very proud of Tyler’s military career in the United States Marine Corps.

Son, Jeff Fotheringill, and his wife Theresa own First Pick, a design and build business on Mercer Island. Mike often bragged about Jeff’s creativity and quality workmanship. They have two children, Baily and Brandon. Bailey is quick to note she was Mike’s favorite. Indeed, Mike loved each one of his grandchildren best.

Shannon and Dave Bassett live in Bend, Oregon, but travel extensively. Mike understood that wanderlust and relished hearing about their adventures.

Robin and Jim Tarte live in Seattle. Jim is a bean counter like Mike. Their three daughters, Lucy, Stella, and Rose, rounded out Mike and Diana’s family.

Mike’s sister Lynn Cuff lives in Portland.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM, on May 11, 2024, at the Anderson Island Christian Fellowship Church on Anderson Island, Washington. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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