ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Michael Vickery, 67 years old, born on January 14, 1953, and passed away on November 9, 2020. We will remember him forever.
Posted by teri vickery on July 8, 2022
I miss you so MUCH Michael! We always spent so time talking with each other and I miss being able to share all my thoughts with you. SO much has happened in the world since you left and I just wish I could talk with you about all sorts of things. I write to you in a journal but in my heart I know you do not read it yet somehow it helps a very tiny bit. You will forever be in my heart & thoughts. I miss you & love you so very very much. We would have been together 41 years this month. I am as always still with YOU!
Posted by Carol Wilkes on January 14, 2022
Thinking of you, with heartfelt love on this your Birthday anniversary dear Mike! Happy Birthday!!!! You're my Big brother always. 
Posted by teri vickery on January 13, 2022
My darling Michael, I cannot express how very much I miss you. Although I am always with family and often a lot of family, I feel so lonely without you at my side. I often even hold my hands together in our "special" handhold trying to imagine you holding my hand. A couple months into the second year since you left this earth, I feel more alone than the first year you were gone. Was I in a constant fog? Was I in denial? I don't really know the answers but it seems the grief is every bit as strong as the first weeks & months were. I stay in constant contact with God for guidance as I feel pretty lost. When ever I get the chance to go back to our property, I am reminded of how difficult it would be to live there alone. So, I feel like I not only lost you but all that was part of our life together except the memories. For now I still have our pets ( Echo,Dub & Buddy) and I think I cling to them more than is healthy as they are all that is left of our life that we all shared together. I hope you somehow know how MUCH I miss you and love you. You are always and forever in my heart.
Posted by teri vickery on December 29, 2021
Michael, as the second Christmas season without you comes to an end, I feel more lost than ever. I miss you so much my best friend, companion and love of my life. I pray daily for direction as to how to move forward in life without you.
Posted by teri vickery on November 9, 2021
With the one year anniversary since Michael's passing I am adding an excerpt from a book my nephew Jeremy Vickery is putting together. It says so much to me.
"On November 9th, 2020, the hills of West Virginia were more silent than usual. The chirp of birds parted, to make way for the labored cry of a widow, so there was nothing to slow down the sound from reaching the ears of God.
   A great man, a complex man - Mike Vickery - had drawn his final breath, and his spirit left his body. I would have said "it left this world" or "ascended to heaven" ... but in the time I have spent reflecting on the event, the more I realize that Uncle Mike's spirit has not left this world. While he may have a presence in the afterlife, I firmly believe he is now among the scarce collection of those that can be in multiple places at-once."
  My Michael is in my heart and thoughts every day. Rest in peace my sweetheart.
Posted by Carol Wilkes on November 9, 2021
Mike,
You're my Big Brother. I love you.
-- From your Little Sister
Posted by teri vickery on August 15, 2021
Mike was a true Renaissance Man. There was nothing he couldn't do if he wanted to. Once he decided he wanted to do something, he did it with perfection and seemingly effortlessly. In fact he may have been one of the last Renaissance Men left - he was certainly among an elite group and I have not known any before or since meeting Mike. 
Posted by teri vickery on August 14, 2021
You are in my thoughts and in my heart every day. You will never be forgotten.
Posted by Dennis Vickery on May 13, 2021
Missing my big brother....not a day goes by that his memory doesn’t pop up in my mind. We had many differences between us, but bottom line was that we both chose our path in life. I am far better person inside than would be had we not been brothers, friends and confidants. I’ll never forget you brother.
Posted by teri vickery on May 2, 2021
Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead, Go Instead Where There Is No Path And Leave A Trail ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
   This is how Mike lived his life.
Posted by Dave and Debbie Vickery on April 26, 2021
So many wonderful memories I can't possibly list them all! One of my favorites that immediately come to mind are his visits to see us in KC, including the time he came out to help us pack up and move home to MD. Mike drove the moving truck with Jeremy by his side, and all was great until we reached that dastardly town Wheeling, WV! We pulled in to the Best Western off the interstate, but the turn came up suddenly and had a small, very tight entrance so Mike went around the corner thinking there would be another entrance on the other side, one big enough for a truck to fit into. Wrong! The road was a small side street that led to a small bridge that didn't have the weight allowance to hold the truck. Mike wasn't going to risk crossing the bridge and have the truck with him, all of our stuff and his nephew inside, to plummet into the river below so he had to think fast. There was no easy way to turn around because it was a narrow street with cars coming the other direction that were backed up along the road and across the bridge. He got out of the truck and managed to get cars to pull ahead and leave a gap so he could do what must have been an 80 point turn to get the truck going back the way it came. Once into the parking lot he parked and got out, just in time to help David sneak our dog Sam into the hotel. We specifically chose Best Western because they allowed pets, at least at the one in Missouri. Not the one in Wheeling! So Mike held one of the larger suitcases along side Sam while David held another and we walked Sam between them, through the lobby, up the elevator and down the hall to our room. Fortunately Sam was a good boy and stayed nice and quiet all night so no one was the wiser. Another time Mike and Teri came out to visit and we all went to Rocky Mountain National Park to see Pike's Peak and the beautiful mountains of Colorado. On the way across Kansas we drove into a strong storm that spawned a tornado (of course! it's Kansas!!) We had to pitch our tent in the strong winds of that storm that night, in the dark, but we did it! So many fun adventures with Mike by our side! We love him and will truly miss him forever!!
Posted by Carol Wilkes on April 23, 2021
Lovely website Teri! Well done and well written story of how you and Mike spent your first date. Precious memories! Love, Carol
Posted by teri vickery on April 23, 2021
the Moody Blues, one of our favorite groups, say it perfectly with:
"Like the sunrise over the mountainside
Like the bird that has to be free
There's a part of you that will always be
Part of me"
from Bless the Wings

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Recent Tributes
Posted by teri vickery on July 8, 2022
I miss you so MUCH Michael! We always spent so time talking with each other and I miss being able to share all my thoughts with you. SO much has happened in the world since you left and I just wish I could talk with you about all sorts of things. I write to you in a journal but in my heart I know you do not read it yet somehow it helps a very tiny bit. You will forever be in my heart & thoughts. I miss you & love you so very very much. We would have been together 41 years this month. I am as always still with YOU!
Posted by Carol Wilkes on January 14, 2022
Thinking of you, with heartfelt love on this your Birthday anniversary dear Mike! Happy Birthday!!!! You're my Big brother always. 
Posted by teri vickery on January 13, 2022
My darling Michael, I cannot express how very much I miss you. Although I am always with family and often a lot of family, I feel so lonely without you at my side. I often even hold my hands together in our "special" handhold trying to imagine you holding my hand. A couple months into the second year since you left this earth, I feel more alone than the first year you were gone. Was I in a constant fog? Was I in denial? I don't really know the answers but it seems the grief is every bit as strong as the first weeks & months were. I stay in constant contact with God for guidance as I feel pretty lost. When ever I get the chance to go back to our property, I am reminded of how difficult it would be to live there alone. So, I feel like I not only lost you but all that was part of our life together except the memories. For now I still have our pets ( Echo,Dub & Buddy) and I think I cling to them more than is healthy as they are all that is left of our life that we all shared together. I hope you somehow know how MUCH I miss you and love you. You are always and forever in my heart.
his Life

Our Beginning

After nearly 40 years together, I feel the best way to hopefully recall all the stories we shared is to start at the beginning of our relationship.
      We both worked at the Frederick MD. Montgomery Ward department store as managers. We knew of each other as co-workers but not personally. As Mike was  separated from his wife and I was  widowed, we would go out to a local dance club with other co-workers after work. It was one of those times in  the spring of 1981 that Mike & I both went along with only 3 others and we hit it off. On June 16, 1981 we were there until closing when a few friends went to the house of  a mutual friend and partied thru the night. Mike & I paired off as neither of us wanted to be "matched up" with anyone else. The host of the party, the primary realtor of Lake Linganore in Frederick MD., had keys to the club pool. We went on a late night golf cart ride to the pool and skinny dipped. We all stayed the night at the realtor's "bachelor pad".  The next time  we all went out dancing, Mike needed a ride home as he didn't have a car. I said I would take him until I found out he lived 20 miles away.  We always joked about my comment "all the way to Brunswick?" .  I told him he could stay at my place and I would take him to to work the next morning. We stayed up until 4 am talking about life in general, our lives and our dreams and values, something we would continue to do throughout our lives together. We had an ongoing dispute regarding the "click" of my bedroom door that night. I had to pull it hard to close it and it clicked when it did, Mike insisted that I locked him out that night when I had no such intentions :) That was the beginning of our life long relationship.

The Concert

I am trying to keep my stories in chronological order but imagine I will overlook some and tell them at a future date when I remember them. 
    In July of 1981, Mike and I went to the Beach Boys free Independence Day concert on the mall in DC. We went with another couple that had only just started dating. We all drove together to what was then National Airport and caught the metro to the Washington monument area. The other girl brought a huge Coleman ice chest that Mike & his friend had to carry thru growing crowds to reach our selected spot to view the concert. We found a good spot and were about 50 yards from the stage. We arrived early as the concert didn't start until late afternoon. It was hot and humid and rained at one point but cleared off just before the concert began. I brought sandwiches and snacks and we all thought the ice chest had drinks in it. It did not have anything to drink. The entire ice chest had a single bag of ice and a huge bowl of salad in it and nothing to eat it with either! Mike & I laughed about this many times over the years when we recalled the concert. Luckily, the beer trucks were close by as were the porta-johns. The concert was spectacular and we had a grand day with about 500,000 "friends"  :) . 
      Later in the summer, Mike's sister Carol came to visit and met us at work ( Montgomery Ward) just before quitting time. We all went dancing at the local club, the Red Horse lounge, where Mike & I had gone as we were getting to know each other. It was the "Disco" era and Carol & I dressed in the latest disco dresses. We went back to Mike's place in Brunswick, MD. It was a small river town on the Potomac and he had entered some art work in a local show. The next morning Carol & I walked into town to see his art work. We didn't have a change of clothes from the night before so we were all decked out in night club clothes. We joked that the townspeople probably thought we were hookers :) .
     There was another time when I made zucchini parmesan and drove to Mike's place hoping he would be there as it was his day off. He didn't have a phone then. He was home and we had a lovely dinner on the steps of the old Victorian house his apartment was in. I spent the night and the next morning his parents and brother Dennis showed up, also unexpected, to take Mike ( and me too since I was there) on picnic in a nearby Boonsboro state park. Mike's parents had a smile when they saw that I was there early in the morning when they arrived. 
    Late the summer of 1981 Mike left Montgomery Ward and started working at Tamko roofing manufacturer in Frederick. Shortly after he started there, he moved in with me in my apartment in Detrick Plaza apartments just outside Ft. Detrick on 7th St. in Frederick. 
    Our first Christmas together was NOT actually together. As we both had strong family ties, we each spent Christmas day with our own families. Mike's sister Linda & husband Mike picked Mike up and and brought him back the next day. After that year, we vowed that we would never spend Christmas apart again and we never did. We worked out spending time before and Christmas Eve with Mike's family and Christmas day with my family.

Halloween and more

Throughout 1982 we started going to auctions and purchased our first project that we worked on together. Mike refinished  a beautiful mahogany Victorian chair and I made a new seat cover for it. We also began collecting old books. This would be the inspiration for us to open a shop in an antique mall 2 years later and continued selling antiques and collectibles throughout our life together.   
    In the fall of 1982 we purchased a house together. Back then it was a little unusual for an unmarried couple to purchase a house together but it proved to be the right thing to do. It was a late Victorian/American Four Square  style across from the Frederick Fairgrounds on East Patrick Street. After looking at several houses, when we walked into this house it just felt like home to both of us. It needed renovation and we worked on it a lot prior to moving in later in the year. Mike built cabinets & completely renovated the kitchen. We both worked at stripping the paint from all the oak woodwork in the house.  
   Mike & I liked to go to Halloween Costume parties. He designed and made a Mr. Potato Head costume for himself. It was quite a hit and he wore at work one day to surprise his coworkers. 
Recent stories

Camping memories

Shared by teri vickery on July 11, 2022
  With it being peak camp season, I am reminded of some of mine & Mike's experiences while camping. We preferred back country camping with all our gear in backpacks but if time didn't allow, we would often throw our gear into the car and head to one of the nearby state parks for a quick escape from the city.  
     One of these state parks was Greenbriar State Park about 20 minutes from our home in Frederick, MD. We often went there as there was a swimming lake there too. We had not gone backpacking yet at the time but we camped in the park campsite and hiked to the section of the Appalachian Trail that passed thru the park. I noticed camp sites along the trail and asked Mike how anyone got back in there  to to camp and he explained backpacking to me and I immediately wanted to try it! It looked so peaceful & inviting.
    Another closer park was Gambrill SP where we were married at the Tea Room on the mountain top. There were campsites at the base of the mountain and although they were often crowded, it was only about 10 minutes from home. We had a family campout their once and it rained much of the time.
     We also had a family campout at Green Ridge state forest about 2 hours away in western MD. It was very primitive & private and that was the first time we experienced Whip-poor-wills all night long! We liked Green Ridge & went back several times.Once was with Mike's sister Linda & husband. It had rained most of the day but cleared off by dark. We had eaten and a campfire going so Mike & I decided to take a walk along the logging road within the forest. As we walked along with our flashlights, we each noticed a filmy vision to our left in the woods, it crossed over the road and into the woods on the other side. It was a transparent filmy rectangle shape that sort of wove in between the trees and disappeared. We never did figure what it was! We certainly had lots of interesting ideas of what it might have been!
       We did our first backpacking trip with a friend in the Shenandoah National Park. I was hooked after that trip. We were introduced by the same friend to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in WV and fell in love with it. We went many times before we decide to buy land in WV. One such time we had packed in about 7 miles and made camp in a designated area. We had finished our dinner & were just chatting & getting ready to turn in when a group of 3 younger(early 20s??) people came traipsing right thru out camp site. Mike stopped them and they said they were looking for some location we were unfamiliar with and suggested they continue on their way. That was the last we saw of them but about 5am some adults with flashlights wandered into our campsite and were looking for the youngsters that never came back to their camp.We told them the direction they had gone and never heard any more as to what happened but I was glad Mike always had a firearm with him because it was all suspicious especially in a remote wilderness.
    We spent a whole week in the Otter Creek Wilderness of WV one spring. It was dense forest and a good creek ran the length of it to meet the south fork of the Potomac. We had a baby deer sleep up next t our tent one night. Mike spotted a bear while getting water from the creek. As we hiked in to our main camp, we followed tracks of a bear tracking a deer - perhaps it found the mother of the fawn? There was a large bear presence in Otter creek  so at our main camp, MIke set up a perimeter "alarm" with twine & utensils attached. We took it down thru the night because deer & raccoons kept triggering it.We never had any bears come into our camp. It was at Otter Creek that we first heard the Wood Thrush's beautiful song. It is still my favorite song bird.
    Spending time in he wilderness areas inspired us to find our own bit of wilderness and we did find it in Roane county WV in 1995. We never regretted living back woods as we did. It was our "forever " home and a dream come true. Mike spent the rest of his life there and his ashes are scattered there.
     

Frank's Thoughts about Mike: A Most Unconventional Guy

Shared by Carol Wilkes on February 4, 2022
(From Frank) Just a thought about Mike……a most unconventional guy:
When Marion took over Dennis Sr.’s house in Floral City, some ears ago, we came up with a plan. As many of the children as we could bring together would converge on the house at the same time.  We all walked into the house at the same time, and just said, "we're the family, and we live here now".  Marion was quite set back, and didn’t know just what to do.  Mike told her she didn’t belong here anyway.  At that point, I thought she must have done this before, and guessed she knew what she was going to be in for.  She said, “I do live here, my mail is delivered to this address”.  Well, while I’m thinking just what our next step might be……Mike walked in with the mail box, pole and all!  He threw it on the floor, and said, "not anymore you don’t”.  Right then and there, I had a brand new respect for Mike.
We worked on her nerves over the next couple of hours, not really making an obvious difference.  Until that is, Mike started going through the collection of Swarovski’s his mother had.  Turns out the boxes she kept, didn’t match the crystals that were left.  He called the police. We got lucky and got a sympathetic officer.  Where he could be heard by Marion, Mike started talking about checking with the local Pawn shops.  Well……what do you know, Marion with her son in tow took off, and didn’t come back.
All in one afternoon, it was a long shot…….but thanks to Mike, she was gone, I think in record time.     --memory from Frank

Ice Walking

Shared by teri vickery on January 30, 2022
As we are currently experiencing an especially frigid & icy winter, I am reminded of how Mike solved a problem for us on such years. Our driveway is scary to many when it is dry but when covered in thick ice it is nothing to be careless about.  The springs that make it damp throughout the year, continue to flow even in the coldest conditions. It becomes glacier like as the top water freezes while more is flowing from under the ground. It builds into a thick icy coating across the width of the drive and most of the length of the hill. In the early stages of this, you can see the water actually flowing beneath the thin layer of ice.  During long frigid periods, we would leave our vehicle at the bottom of our hill. Even 4WD cannot navigate 4 inch thick icy hillsides. So that we could venture out if the cold snap lasted too long, Mike created ice boots for us. He snipped the heads off of screws and backed them into the thicker part of a boot sole. He placed about a dozen on each boot with about 1/4" extending outward. We were actually able to walk at a steep decline on 4 -6 inch thick ice and not slide at all. It was a little "off putting" at first as it seemed like you should be slipping all over the place. We were able to use those for years until we just started waiting out the cold snap in the future and also had a 4 wheeler ATV to take us out the back way & around the property.