Obituaries » Micheal Alder
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November 21, 1947 - March 9, 2021
Burial Date March 15, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Farmington
Micheal “Mike” Dean Alder
Born: November 21, 1947 at Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT to Reuel and Lillian Alder.
Died: March 9, 2021 10:20AM at home in Ogden, UT surrounded by his wife Valerie Alder and his children.
He lived in the Avenues of Salt Lake City with his family across the street from the Salt Lake City Cemetery until he was 3 years old. During that time, his family (mostly his father and friends) were building their own house in Bountiful on a 2.5+ acre lot of land filled with all the vegetables and fruits to sustain a family of seven. This house didn’t have heat or floors for a few years after they moved into it, but they made do with what they had; even sharing a paper route with 550 papers and delivering them as a family. He was the middle child of five children and each of them equally unique as he was; Reuel (Alder), Vicki (Smith), Patricia (Ellsworth) and Daniel (Alder) have always been amazed at the talent and musical brilliance he brought to their world.
As a child, he started singing when he was about 8 years old, traveling to many LDS church wards with his siblings to sing. He took piano lessons from Mrs. Little during that time. Even as a child, he was a visionary, constantly thinking of what can be created from nothing or created into something more amazing or beautiful; this happened when he stole his brother Daniel’s wool blanket to create a robe for him. After fiddling with it for some time, he came out of the locked room with it in pieces stating, “that didn’t work” and handed it back to him. Micheal was always so tall and could never find shirts that fit the length of his arms, so he taught himself how to sew his 37” sleeves; ultimately becoming a sewing master. He tailored many dresses, costumes and clothing for the people in his life.
In 1961, at the age of 13, he was one of the founding members of The Four/Fifths later being renamed The Grimm. In 2019, they “band got back together” to release a revised record of their album and plan for another album to be released. His fellow band members raved about his talented and gifted singing voice; Micheal was so proud to be a part of the creation with Marv Ellis, Greg Ericksen, Greg Dickman and Lane Ward. Every performance, they would know he was there because Micheal would place a candelabra on the piano. He was so memorably kind to Mike Erickson when he was present for their performances and practices. Daniel Alder (brother) would watch them rehearse in the shipping and packaging warehouse of Orbit Sprinklers as he worked – fondly and proudly watching him be the most amazing singer in the group.
He attended Bolton Elementary School, South Davis Junior High School and later to Viewmont High School – being the second person to ever graduate from Viewmont High School in 1966. He attended the University of Utah, graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in Humanities and German in 1975. Ultimately, he wanted to be an architect because he was amazing a drawing and designing things from construction plans to kitchen cabinetry.
Because of his medical status and being listed as 4F, he was unable to serve in the armed forces during the Vietnam War, but instead was blessed to serve his LDS mission in Northern Germany from 1968-1970. During that time, he was able to see the Berlin Wall and watch the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.
He performed with the University of Utah Men’s Choir, Promusica and the Utah Opera Company and at locations such as Lagoon and the Pioneer Memorial Theater. When he wasn’t involved with the many groups of acting and singing, he was singing on his own or even directing.
He worked at the University of Utah Hospital where he was in the blood draw unit – being the only person in the entire hospital that could draw blood from premature babies. Often being called in to work at various times of the night. His delicate nature was a gift to the hospital while he worked there.
In the late 70’s/early 80’s, he built homes in Farmington and Fruit Heights. Alongside his brother Daniel, they laid foundations for these homes and worked diligently until interest rates for homes were so high that construction had to end. His best friend JR Hildebrandt and business partner created Ski the Other Side where they designed and sewed ski clothing and managed ski equipment in Park City, Snowbird, and Alta Ski Resorts. During that time, he took sewing lessons from Mrs. Morriatsu in Salt Lake City where he was able to really hone his sewing and designing skills which later translated to wedding dress designs and fashion that was years ahead of the times.
April 1978 is when he started dating Valerie. After asking her out five times, she finally cancelled her other date to go out with him after the sixth ask. They dated for a few months and after holding her engagement ring in his pocket for over a month, he proposed on July 29, 1978; while dating they became best friends, talking all hours on the wall next to his apartment in Bountiful, UT, leaving notes and flowers on each other’s cars and just genuinely enjoying each other’s company. They were married on October 25, 1978 at the Salt Lake City Temple. Spending their honeymoon in San Francisco, CA they enjoyed a long walk on the beach together and had one magical moment after another together. Every home they shared together, they enjoyed designing, fixing and making it more beautiful than when they arrived.
They were able to have many children over the years, starting with David Micheal (1979), Sarah Elizabeth (1981), Matthew Scott (1982), Stephen Daniel (1985), Emma Ruth (1988), John Christian (1991) and Samuel Aaron (1995). Moving many times all over the Salt Lake valley and finally settling in Ogden, UT.
Valerie started Intermountain Photography that created so many opportunities to travel all over the western United States. Bringing Micheal and many of their children along with them to experience so many travel experiences together. While Valerie worked, Micheal enjoyed playing caretaker and being “Mr. Mom” with his children, taking them on many memorable adventures all over. Striving for and encouraging every moment to be fun, magical and joyful. He was also an amazing photographer that viewed the world from and through a beautiful lense – seeing the potential and simplicity of the world around him. Sharing his photography was an even bigger joy and pride to him.
Micheal was a multi-faceted, creative, kind, fearless, talented, and spirited man that loved everything he did, willing to try to create anything and everything. That doesn’t mean he always finished it, but he certainly was quite a visionary and saw the potential and beauty in everything. Micheal was a collector – of many things – and no doubt there was a beautiful story or vision associated with each of them; he had quite the affinity for the Peanuts comic and shared those comics as often as possible. Every day, for over 42 years of marriage, Micheal and Valerie challenged each other to grow, connect and give, while overcoming many obstacles. Micheal was a warrior and leader at heart with the passion, compassion, gentleness, kindness and sometimes firmness required to cultivate his many multi-faceted relationships. Quite honestly, he created a magical universe that was sacred to him and each person he connected with. When he looked at you, he always had a smile, and was joyful and excited when he saw you – as if you were his daily surprise. Ending all his phone calls with his children in “I love you daughter/son” or “I’m proud of you” and they knew he meant it. He was magical in all that he created and how he gave to those around him. His spirit was bigger and stronger than his fragile body could handle but he lived life to its fullest never being scared to work hard or play hard. He was a son, brother, husband, father, friend, mentor, and overall an amazing, kind, loving human being that never complained, loved whole-heartedly, and left this world more magical and musical than when he arrived. Which is exactly what his mission was in this existence. He will not only be missed but remembered and revered by many.
- Valerie Alder (Wife)
- David Micheal Alder (Son)/Drew George (Son-in-law)
- Sarah Elizabeth Alder (Daughter)/Joyce McCall (Daughter-in-law) and Lydia Ruth Haney (Granddaughter)
- Matthew Scott Alder (Son)/Jordan Bulkley (Son-in-law)
- Stephen Daniel Alder (Son)/Erin Casey Alder (Daughter-in-law) and Ronan (Grandson), Kiera (Granddaughter), Tristan (Grandson), and Piper (Granddaughter)
- Emma Mauchley (Daughter)/Daniel Mauchley (Son-in-law) and Hannah (Granddaughter), Benjamin (Grandson) and April (Granddaughter)
- John Christian Alder (Son)
- Samuel Aaron Alder (Son)/Matthew Sean Sermersheim (Son-in-law)
- Reuel Alder (Brother)/Mary Jane (Sister-in-law)
- Vicki Smith (Sister)/Dan Smith (Brother-in-law)
- Patricia Ellsworth (Sister)/Sterling Ellsworth (Brother-in-law)
- Daniel Alder (Brother)/Suzanne Alder (Sister-in-law)
Preceded in Death by:
- Reuel Vickers Alder (Father)
- Lillian Soutas Alder (Mother)
- Liam Alder (Grandson)
- Vicki Lynn Alder (Sister-in-law)
Funeral services will be held Monday, March 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the Pleasant Valley 3rd Ward Chapel, 5640 S. 850 E., South Ogden, Utah. Family and friends may visit from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, at the church and also from 9:45-10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment at Washington Heights Cemetery. For those not able to attend there will be a Facebook Live on the Russon Brother Mortuary Facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/russonmortuary.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating for Michael’s Burial Plot here: https://gofund.me/1a0bc4a0