Richard Michael

Richard Lee Michael

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021
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Richard Lee Michael
1956 - 2021

Richard Lee Michael was a real life “G.I. Joe” and was defeated by his arch nemeses “Cancer” on Jan 3 at Eglin Hospital with his family by his side. He fought valiantly but alas the evil “Cancer Command” prevailed. Richard did not let the diagnosis slow him down. He continued his daily life saying, “people got to work, and bills have to get paid.” So that is what he did. From start to finish during this epic battle with Cancer he proved to be a great warrior. He never let it hold him down or destroy his moral. He held on to hope the entire time in hopes to continue life with his family and possibly try out his idea of retirement.
Richard’s given name in the Ojibewe language was Nah Weeh Geeshigoh Eh Neh Neh, which meant Floating Down Sky Man First Man of Time. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan on Friday the 13th in April of 1956. Some would call that date spooky, but he called it lucky and it made him special. He was born to Jean Aquash and Robert E. Lee Michael. Rick spent his days exploring on his motorbike. He earned the nickname “Yellow Jacket” from his grandmother since birth for his relentless fury once he was provoked. Shooting BB guns and using slingshots throughout his childhood would later prepare him for his future in the military, earning him the conveyed expert marksman badge. He regretted is not getting his eyes checked sooner and remedying his need for glasses. Those poor squirrels would not of had a chance and maybe he would have enjoyed school more. Working on cars with his dad created a spark and a love for mechanisms. He found joy by using his hands to take apart engines and putting them back together. Richard was one of four siblings, that is his brothers Mark Aquash, Mickey Aquash, and sister Pam Michael.
Richard was also known as Michael or even Mike. He joined the military as a Crew Chief for the MH-53 Pavelow and Huey helicopters that took him around the world. It even afforded him the means to meet the love of his life Loyda R. Michael. Mike and Loyda met while he was stationed in Panama enjoying the cheap libations and beautiful ocean side maybe a little too much. She proved to be his match spawning three children to carry on their DNA and spread their agenda. Their love for one another would prove to last 40 years on this planet and possibly continue through to the afterlife. His luck continued and his career in a SOF unit moved him and his family to other dream locations such as the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, California, and Florida. He was also sent to other countries in all Central and South America, Thailand, Korea, Cuba, Kuwait, just to name a few. Richard protected his family and aided others during the Mt Pinatubo volcanic eruption, after a devastating earthquake, and typhoon in the Philippines. He provided humanitarian relief/ aid and put his own life on the line to assist with the evacuations of civilians and military personnel along with their families. These are only a few examples of the humanitarian efforts Michael was involved in. He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important- the simplicity of living a life with those you love. Although he had a successful career that was only continuing to rise, he would trade it all to just be with his family in Florida.
True Leader, Outstanding, Vast Knowledge, Invaluable, Tireless and Dedicated Efforts, Solid Plan of Action, Successful Execution- are descriptive words and phrases that you will find written continuously throughout Michael’s numerous awards and medals earned during his deployments. His involvements in Operation Just Cause, Uphold Democracy, and Guantanamo Bay are just a few missions that he earned these medals. He would work tirelessly to find solutions to every problem that would arise to make every deployment/mission a success. He was a talented mechanism savant and could repair almost anything electrical, mechanical, and structural. Richard was a true role model and leader to Airmen and other NCO’s. He always chose doing the right thing although it could pose more difficult.
Richard Michael begrudgingly loved cooking and baking for his family. He would always just say, “If I don’t do it, we’ll starve.” He spent countless hours making all holidays magical with his delicious dishes and treats. All of us learned to hit the gym and participate in sports because of how amazing he was in the kitchen. He was a master saboteur of diets and spoiler of his granddaughter Nina Michael. Nina soon became his Sous Chef, and they would bake and decorate cakes together.
He will be sorely missed and survived by his wife Loyda R. Michael, daughters Anny and Jessica Michael, son Richard L. Michael Jr. and granddaughter Nina Michael. His Mom Jean Aquash, Sister Pam Michael, Brother Mark Aquash, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends, further survive Rick
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