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Prentice Michael Moen was born May 31, 1950 in Mayville, North Dakota. His parents, Prentice and Ester (Vigen) Moen, raised a family of six on a farm north of town. Brothers Stewart, Bruce, Gordon and Tom were led up to and through Mayville High School by older sister Paula.
His parents preceded him in death, as did Stewart, who died less than a month earlier. Bruce and wife Darlene reside in Vancouver, WA; Gordon and wife Kathy live in Jefferson, IA; Paula and husband Darrel live in Phoenix, AZ. and Tom and wife Cheryl still live in Mayville.
Moen was active in the military joining the National Guard in November of 1969. However, he spent active duty time in Korea as a Combat Engineer with Co. C 8th Engr. Bn. 1st Cav. Div. FORSCAM.
He married Cyndy Stroble on March 15, 1983. Miss Stroble had a son, Lee, and a daughter, Jennifer, joined the family March 7, 1989. The marriage was dissolved in 1995, but Jennifer gave them two grandchildren, Rosalie and Jasmine. In all, he had two grandchildren, eleven nieces and nephews and numerous cousins.
For other than legal purposes Mr. Moen rarely used the name Prentice. Therefore, he was known as Mike. Yet, he answered best and famously to his nickname “Smokey.” A man with three first names and more lives than a cat.
Smokey lived life precariously, raucously, at times; a truth that will bring a chuckle to his friends. He was notorious for getting into predicaments in which he risked limb and life. More than once he could have been badly injured even killed, but he miraculously survived dangerous situations escaping with scrapes, bruises, some blood, stitches, even a broken bone; hence, the reference to having more lives than a cat. As serious as these episodes were they became humorous “Smokey stories”, as if he were a local folklore character. The telling and retelling of those tales usually brought forth understanding laughter ... and still will.
At times a contrarian, he was more a Norwegian “rounder.” He made no apologies for his lifestyle, dancing to his own drum with a cadence out of step from the beaten path most people choose to safely follow. Not only did he walk through the valley of death fearing no evil, he did so with little forethought of possible consequence.
Although he was harmless, his faults were unfairly magnified by those who did not know him well. True, he mismanaged some of life’s common patterns and couldn’t always juggle responsibilities, but for those who did know him well, he was friendly, honest, intelligent, unassuming, humorous, trustworthy and talented. Outside a gruff demeanor, under a scruffy appearance, there was a good man.
Smokey passed away “normally” on March 15, 2021. He literally lived his life in God’s hands. And may God bless him.
Masks are required.
Visitation: Will be one hour prior to the service at the church.
Funeral Service: Will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, March 27, 2021 at the Bruflat Lutheran Church in Portland, ND.
Burial: Will be in the Mayville Cemetery in Mayville, ND.
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