Cover photo for Michael Hanke's Obituary
Michael Hanke Profile Photo
1937 Michael 2024

Michael Hanke

May 29, 1937 — June 18, 2024

Watch the Live-Stream of the Funeral HERE.

Michael Peter Hanke “Mike”, age 87, of Hyde Park, Utah (former resident of the Uintah Basin), passed away on June 18, 2024 surrounded by many close family members. 

 Mike was born May 29, 1937 in his parents home, near Buffalo Lake, Sibley County, Minnesota to Alvin August “Oscar” Hanke and Marion Ann Merrill. Mike was the second oldest of siblings Judy, Charlie, and Ray. The family moved several times throughout rural Minnesota before settling in the small community of Villard. 

 Humble beginnings as a farm boy led to a humble life dedicated to providing for his own family and those in his community. He had a great passion for all sports and played with passion and a competitive spirit into his adult life. His dream was to play 2nd Base for the Twins and coach when playing was no longer possible. After graduating from Villard High School, he joined the United States Army Reserves and served the country he loved for six years as a reservist.

 Not wanting to plant his feet as a farmer, Mike sought his life’s adventures elsewhere. He traveled by train westward to Glendive, Montana. Adventurous and odd jobs kept him in eastern Montana; a cowboy on a 100,000 acre ranch, baking 500 loaves of bread before the 6:00 am delivery to the train, and finally oilfield construction. 

 While settling in on his life’s direction, Mike met the love of his life, Yvonne Marie Jones. After a courtship, Grandpa Jones approved, and they were married August 3, 1958 at the Zion’s Lutheran Church in Glendive, Montana. Mike began his greatest accomplishment with his wife Yvonne when three children completed their family. Mike’s children became his all as he would work to provide every opportunity for them. He also taught the love for nature through numerous hunting and fishing adventures throughout the vast open spaces of Montana.

 In 1971, the family made the move to Utah, as employment opportunities became available with the newly developing oil industry in the Uintah Basin. Starting in Duchesne, the family would soon move to a 60 acre farm in remote and rural Talmage. Mike had discovered (through his own upbringing) that raising a family on a farm gave them opportunities to learn to work, be self-sufficient, and provide unlimited opportunities for their own futures. Mike continued to work in the oilfield and construction fields which ultimately led to establishing his own company, Hanke’s Oilfield Service. He took great pride in the company and provided opportunities for young men to gain employment and experiences for future endeavors. As busy as his life was, he found time to get involved in the community. His love for baseball persisted, and he soon engaged in coaching Little League baseball. Spring and summer months were filled with practice and games. Fall and winter found him involved as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Boys Baseball Association (WBBA). He loved to work and associate with those who encouraged boys living in rural areas of Utah, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming to play baseball. One of his proudest moments occurred when his grandson was able to play in the WBBA World Series tournament.

 Mike followed his children in every adventure they became involved in. All played high school sports and were involved in clubs and many community functions. Life on the farm became contagious when Mike brought home horses for the kids to ride and perform with, cattle to manage (many fences to repair), and finally a small flock of sheep for the boys. Raising purebred Suffolk sheep became a passion for the family. After the kids left the farm, Yvonne changed the breed to the most uniform and beautiful flock of Columbia sheep in the area.

 The farm had served its purpose. Once the kids had grown up, the next adventure awaited. Selling the farm and buying a motel in Challis, Idaho was the next phase of life. Nearly a decade was spent in Idaho. Mike had a unique way of starting a conversation with anyone, and there was no such thing as a stranger. He built many friendships with the locals and the many out-of-towners who would come to hunt, fish and recreate in the beautiful mountains of the Salmon River region. Mike’s philosophy of “everything I’ve got is always for sale, how much are you offering” ended the motel business when an offer came that he couldn’t refuse.

 Soon he and mom would end up back in Utah when they bought a home in Vernal. It was now time to chase grandchildren! Ball games, dance recitals, music concerts, drama performances, branding calves, Book Cliffs’ hunting adventures, fishing trips, and making room for the many “can we stay at Grandma/grandpa’s house” tonight kept both he and grandma busy. 

 Age and health eventually caught up with Mike, and the final move would be to Hyde Park, Utah. Proximity to family and medical facilities provided for a comfortable life. Distant family members would make frequent phone calls just to check in with him, and any visit was just an opportunity to have a “garage” barbeque and picnic. The Hanke family breakfasts and annual campout will not be the same without him. We will always cherish laughing with him about his frugal wardrobe (holes in the elbows) and the comical mis-communications due to his loss of hearing.

 Michael’s surviving family include wife, Yvonne Hanke, three children, Barbara (Matt) Christensen of Talmage, UT; Steve (Nova) Hanke of Smithfield, UT;, Jeff (Diana) Hanke of Neola, UT; grandchildren, Josh, Melanie, Dallon, Kyndra, Garrett, Kyle, Krista, Kynlee, Katelyn, and Konner; great-grandchildren, Preston, Tyler, Colt, Holden, Will, Maylee, and Booker. 

 He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Charlie; sisters-in-law, Carol & Bonnie Hanke; brother-in-law, Gene Stueve; nephew, Calvin Stueve, and great-granddaughter, Lyla Leah Christensen. 

 The family would like to thank all those who shared in the memories with dad. Thank you to the dedicated medical professionals who provided expert care and patience in treating dad with the difficulties associated with his hearing loss.

A viewing will be held at the Hullinger Mortuary, 457 E 300 N from 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.  A funeral service will follow at 3:30  burial will be in the Altamont Cemetery following the service  



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