-“Anyone who thinks only sunshine is happiness has never danced in the rain.” Unknown
Michele Brown Riding passed away on June 22, 2021, at her Salt Lake City home.
Michele, daughter of Dale W. and Mildred W. Everill, was born October 5, 1952 in Fairbanks Alaska, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She attended Saint Mary’s Catholic High School, where she met and became one of the “Jolly Girls,” creating friendships with her school friends that remained unbreakable throughout her lifetime. In high school, and forever after, she was not only admired for her skill and beauty as a ballerina, but admired and loved for all her kindnesses. Michele graduated from Judge Memorial Catholic High School and was honored with a ballet scholarship to the University of Utah where she later graduated with a psychology degree. Just like her dancing, understanding and caring for others was a constant endeavor for our Michele.
Those college years were an incredibly busy but joyous time for Michele; she married Bill Brown (later divorced) and had two children, Amanda and Justin. When her children started school she began work as a meeting planner at the University of Utah and later the Hurst Group during which time she served as the 1996 Rocky Mountain chapter President of Meeting Planners International.
She never stopped impressing her associates and coworkers, so it was no surprise that she was recruited by the 2002 Olympics and Paralympics to the Doping Control Group which she managed adroitly in the face of adversity. It was here she met Dr. Michael Riding. Her friends could see how impressed Michele was with him; so much so, that after the Olympics, Michele packed up her two cats and moved to Michael’s home town in Nova Scotia. Marriage followed, with two ceremonies – both times in the rain –sealing their true happiness.
Michele and Michael stayed in Nova Scotia until his retirement at which time they moved to a small country farm in Oregon. She loved her home, with its goats and llamas to care for, and the beauty of Applegate Valley. So much so, she insisted her Jolly Girl best friends come stay, which they did. She made such events so memorable that her friends talk about the land, the rivers and the perfect company to this day. However, Michele was not only in the business of entertaining in her retirement. In the City of Jacksonville, Oregon, she became very active in the local community and was recognized in the 2016 FEMA Community Preparedness Awards and as the Jacksonville Fire department Volunteer of the Year. This lifetime of contribution and love to her family, friends and community was her greatest gift.
Michele and Michael moved back to Salt Lake in 2019 where she fought her Illness with courage, insight and spirit.
Michele is survived by her husband Michael Riding, daughter Amanda Marino and husband Dave, son Justin Brown and wife Carolyn, sister Marcie Newson and husband Jim, and her grandchildren Mila and Maximus Marino. The family is most grateful to the staff at Huntsman Cancer Institute, particularly Dr. Mark Dodson, Dr. Theresa Werner and Esther Kannapel, APRN. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Huntsman Cancer Institute or Red Butte Gardens. Her death is a sorrow… her life was a gift of joy for all who loved her.
In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Huntsman Cancer Institute or Red Butte Gardens.
A celebration of her life will be on Thursday, July 1, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City.
Please check back soon to view a video tribute slideshow.