Mitchell M. ‘Mike’ Stelling

Mitchell Murvin (Mike) Stelling, 53, died March 7, 2014, in Anchorage. He was born Feb. 9, 1961 in Redwood City, Calif. His family said he passed away peacefully.

A memorial service and potluck will take place 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 23, 2014, at Russian Jack Springs Chalet in Anchorage. Guests are invited to visit the Botanical Gardens and aviary near the chalet until 3 p.m.

There will be a service in Valdez this summer to spread his ashes.

The family requests donations to Bean’s Café or Brother Francis Shelter in lieu of flowers, as Mike would have wished.

He hitchhiked to Alaska in 1980 with his good friend, Mike Kaminski of San Diego.

He was a genius at working on anything with a motor. He worked for Dun Rite Trucking in Anchorage, then moved with his wife and son to Valdez where he worked at Harris Sand & Gravel for many years. He lived in Homer in 2007 and 2009.

He was a caring, loving person, who more than once literally gave the coat off his back to a stranger. He was always generous to his friends and family, sharing or giving whatever he had.

He was known to his friends as an honest and outspoken man who was never afraid of offending anyone, and those who knew him enjoy telling many legendary stories of his stunts and adventures.

Mike loved building things for his friends and family, riding dirt bikes, shooting, camping and fishing.

“He was always a very proud father who taught his son many skills from an early age. He never missed a chance to boast about his son’s talents, and always thought of his stepdaughter as his own blood. His family was the most cherished thing in life to him,” his family said.

Mike is survived by his son, Mitchell Stelling Jr., and Mitchell’s sister, Maia West; sisters, Karen Brian, Anna Barker and Sharon Smith; brothers, Lee Stelling and Steve Emma; stepfather Bill Stelling; nieces, Ashley, Leslie, Chris, Joy and Melissa; nephews, James, Jeremy, Flint, Tige, Anthony, Aaron and Dillon, and many dear friends, including Alida Dunning, Jocko Watson, Scott Wilson, and Emil Hampton.