Michael Cliff Everman, 72, passed peacefully at his home in Boise surrounded by his wife, Dixie, and his sons, Zane and Cole.
Mike was born to Cliff and Katie Everman in Orange County, Calif., on April 4, 1947. Along with his older sister, Shari, and younger sister, Cindy, Mike had an all-American childhood. The family camped, boated, fished, surfed and played in beautiful Southern California and Nevada. They were taught self-reliance and how to work responsibly to achieve their goals. Mike grew up working on the framing crew of his father’s construction company during the summers. The family moved to Boulder City, Nev., when Mike was a sophomore in high school. He played basketball and football with great success and continued to work summers at Everman Construction. He graduated in 1965 and tried to enter the military but the same knee injury that kept him from playing college football kept him from military service.
Mike moved to Idaho and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow. He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, while still finding time to hunt and become a fishing guide in Ennis, Mont., during the summers. A quote from Dr. Green, his academic advisor, became Mike’s lifetime philosophy: “Excess and deficiency are equally fatal.” Mike stayed in the Moscow school system, teaching one of the first drug/sex education classes in Idaho at Moscow Junior High and coaching football and basketball at Moscow High. He took the lessons learned in his youth and coached his athletes to succeed. You may be beaten by a superior opponent, but if you try diligently and prepare to win, you will never really lose.
In 1978, while on a sabbatical leave to write his doctoral dissertation, Mike met Dixie Quinn in Boise. They fell in love and married in December of that year. During this time, he started helping a friend frame houses and met Bud Fisher and Dick Lierz at a small lumber yard on Franklin Road. He made the decision not to return to the education field, and because he saw a need for an outside salesman, Mike convinced the owners of Franklin Building Supply to give him a chance. So, with an employment contract written on a cocktail napkin in hand, Mike went to work. With determination, preparation and his well-known work ethic, he helped turn an infant lumberyard into an industry giant. When the opportunity for him to buy into the company arrived, he did not hesitate, never once contemplating failure. Failure was not in Mike’s DNA.
He continued to coach throughout his career, but instead of student athletes, he coached his employees at work and his two sons on athletic playing fields, always encouraging them to strive to be and do their best, to prepare for success and to achieve their own goals. Balancing work and play was his continued motto.
Mike retired from Franklin Building Supply at the end of 2006 and spent the rest of his life traveling, playing golf, hitting the craps tables at casinos and enjoying his life with Dixie, Zane and Cole.
Mike was a wonderful husband and dedicated father. He considered his sons his greatest achievement and was not shy about telling anyone about them. He was generous with his time and resources but impatient with anyone who wasted them. He believed in honesty, even when it offended, being a man of his word, and always doing the right thing, especially when it was hard. These are the things he taught his sons. He was a mentor and educator at heart; if anyone truly wanted to learn, Mike was available to teach anything he knew. He had a huge personality, never met a stranger and gathered a crowd around him wherever he went. Mike believed in respect, commitment, self-reliance, laughter and never saying “I quit.” He never did.
Like his mentor, Bud Fisher, who preceded him in death by less than a month, Mike wanted no public service. His family, however, is planning a celebration of life/wake early in 2020, and will be sure to announce the date. In lieu of flowers, a donation to any children’s charity or youth sports program in his name would be greatly appreciated.