Michael J. (Mike) Fayette, 57, of Columbia died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, after battling a long fight with a rare disease.
Luckily for Mike, he didn’t battle alone. He had his beautiful and loving wife, Libby, and his smart and successful children, Zach (Brittany), Kala (Josh), Katie and Harrison, who had his back and were by his side. And for that, he was truly lucky and truly grateful. Mike (Poppy) also had Beau, Luci and Brody, who made his life truly complete. He loved them all so very much!
Born in 1962 in Paris, Tennessee, Mike was the last of several children born to Albert (Arky) and June and was definitely his dad’s favorite. Yes. Yes, he was. Was, too … .
Mike spent over 30 years in service to our country as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, participating in many leadership roles both in the U.S. and abroad and multiple combat deployments overseas and witnessing the best and the worst of humanity. Mike led a full and well-lived life and would bug the crap out of anyone who would listen to him talk about it.
Mike had many friends, mostly Type A comedian-wannabes like himself, and he enjoyed dry humor, over-tipping in restaurants, a good rare steak and any movie featuring Bill Murray. Mike’s passion was for fellow veterans, and he was proud of the fact that he was able to know many “no-shit heroes.” Mike had immense respect for the men and women who were willing to serve something greater than themselves. Mike used to say that it’s the soldier’s job to fight the wars the politicians and bureaucrats are too afraid to fight. And he was right. Yes. Yes, he was. Was, too … .
He was preceded in death by some family members, those related by blood and those related by shared experiences, as well as his beloved Max, Chloe, Ranger and Lucy. There were some others who died before him, but Mike’s memory was shot, and if you asked him, he couldn’t tell you about them.
After the military, Mike served on a national board of directors for a large veterans service organization, served as a mentor with Veterans Treatment Courts, helped write national legislation supporting veteran offenders, founded a veterans nonprofit charity, started a global defense and space contracting company, and wrote some things. Also, Mike reminds everyone to stop emailing him now and put down the phone and read a book, why don’t you?
Upon his request, he will be cremated, and a memorial service may happen in the future. Whether it does or not, Mike would want you to reflect upon a quote attributed to Job, a man widely written about in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” (Now try and get that image out of your head!)
In the future, for those of you who wish to visit his headstone, you’ll immediately recognize it by his last words, “See, I told you I was sick!”
By his own admission Mike leaves this world with only one regret — that he only found true love in the latter part of his life. In lieu of flowers, save your money.
Burial with full military honors will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019, at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery Jacksonville.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service & Crematory, 12 E. Ash Street. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.ParkerMillard.com