Michael Gary Rifner, 51, passed away Jan. 16, 2013, at his home in Mammoth. He was born March 4, 1961, in Indianapolis, IN.
After graduating high school, Michael attended Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, and Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. Prior to moving to Arizona, Michael resided in Morehead, KY, and in San Diego, CA. He enjoyed relating fond memories of his time spent in each. Michael’s favorite job was working as a farm hand. It satisfied his love both of the outdoors and of animals.
Michael relished playing his unique, seven-string guitar and composing his own songs. He leaves a voluminous body of original music and sketches about his life experiences, lessons, and observations.
Michael happily shared his life with Chris Montierth and was accepted as and called “Dad” and “Grandpa” by her children and grandchildren. He found special delight in being a grandpa. Michael had an engaging sense of humor, a warm and caring heart, and an endearing smile. He will be sadly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tobias and Lyda Marie (nee Hogge) Cox, of Morehead, KY, and by his nephew, Ryan Cox Schwartz, of Belleville, IL.
Surviving are his sister, Ragina (Rudy) Schwartz of Belleville, IL; his nephew, Garrett (Justine) Schwartz of Jackson, MO; his beloved fiancée, Chris Montierth, of Mammoth; her children and grandchildren; and many friends.
Per his request, Michael’s remains were cremated. Bulman-Griffith Mortuary of Kearny handled the arrangements. A celebration of Michael’s life will be held March 4, 2013, in Mammoth. For details or memorial donations, please contact Chris Montierth, 520-487-2291.
March 4, 1961 – Jan. 16, 2013