Saturday, September 17, 2016

Keeping It Going

Lots of things have kept me from keeping up with this blog/journal through the years.  It's hard sometimes to just make up my mind and take the time to do it.  I hate that if Graysen and Katherine read this one day, there will be gaps in our lives.  I write down simply the things that happen in our day-by-day lives, as boring as they might be at the time.

But there is nothing harder than starting back today.  I feel like only family and a few close friends read this blog and already know the details, but there are people who visit from other blogs so I need to say what I'm able to.  Because this is life unfortunately, and we are in the middle of it.

After being with him during his 2-year bout with cancer and 1-month stay in ICU, we lost our husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.  Mike.  It is still not real to me.

We are kind of immersed in our grieving period right now, but I want to post the obituary and vow to come back and spend at least one day a week writing things about Mike and our life together and his full and interesting life so his little granddaughters will know and remember him.

Mike did not care for Facebook at all but loved being on the blog.  When I would write something, he would always tell me what a good "web log" I had posted.

I've already received by email and on FB so many stories, funny things he's said and done, and just statements of love and friendship.  As I get these, I will post some of them here too over time.


On September 12, 2016, Michael Gordon Windham ended his life's journey at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle WA, at the age of 70.  Mike, also known as El Tigre to his international friends, was born August 19, 1946, in Andalusia, Alabama, to the late Eleanor Stone Windham and Roy M. Windham.  He graduated from Andalusia High School and went on to attend Auburn University where he graduated in 1968 with a degree in textile management.  His 43-year career in textiles began at Riegel Textile Company in Trion, GA, and ended when he retired from American Cotton Growers in Littlefield, TX, in 2011.  He also worked at Thomaston Mills, Burlington Industries, and Denim North America.   Over the course of his employment, Mike enjoyed his job, especially the creative aspects and travel and embraced his time in Central America where he made lifelong friends and copious amounts of "pretty good denim."           

Everything he did, he did with integrity, intelligence, creativity, and diligence.  He believed in doing things the right way, which afforded brilliant and meaningful results, from his work in denim to his art and photography, and he downplayed them all.  He was the most dependable person most of us will ever meet.  He loved his family and friends above all else and managed to find goodness in everyone he met.  He truly enjoyed people, connecting with them, and sharing experiences.  If you were lucky enough to be adopted into his ever-growing family to become an "honorary Windham," you would find yourself the recipient of all sorts of treasures, from Priester's pecans to his very own ginger cookies to complimentary Delta blankets.

Mike was a baker, collector, photographer, teacher, manager, father, husband, and adoring grandfather.  He loved Sunday New York Times crossword puzzles, salt-water fishing, music and literature, and was a fierce Jeopardy contender.  He had a wicked sense of humor and loved to make others laugh. His grandchildren were a constant source of wonder and amazement to him.  His was a life well-lived, and he was a model of selflessness and sacrifice to those he loved.

Those left behind to cherish his memory include his best friend and wife of 49 years, Becky Ray Windham of Snoqualmie, WA; son and daughter-in-law Gray and Stephanie Windham of Griffin, GA; daughter Elise Windham of Lubbock, TX, daughter and son-in-law Emily Windham and Ryan Bindert of Snoqualmie, WA; granddaughters Graysen and Katherine Bindert of Snoqualmie, WA; brother and sister-in-law Alan and Kathy Windham of Andalusia, AL; mother-in-law Charlotte Ray of Andalusia, AL.  He also leaves behind other aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service will be planned for family and friends at a later date. 

Any donations may be made to the Andalusia Public Library, your hometown library, or the charity of your choice.


  1. What a wonderful obituary. It describes Mike perfectly. We all knew and loved him and his many talents, passions and his great sense of humor. Sometimes I couldn't tell if he was joking which was his intent, I'm sure. On one of your visits here we were all in my quilting studio and as I looked over there was Mike pocketing my Sew Line quilt marking pencil in his shirt pocket--just to see if I would notice. And the numerous times he threatened to "steal out cats". Ha-ha. What a character. You just can't think about Mike without a smile on your face.

  2. Mike was who my mother would have described as "a fine man." He treated everyone with dignity and respect, he was both kind and charming, and he had a moral compass set at due north. His wit was quick, but his humor warm. Most important of all, he put his family at the center of everything. His love will live on in the joy he brought to each of them.

  3. Mike Windham was an amazing man who loved to make others smile. He first introduced me to music. He whistled all the time and I wasn't able to. When I came home from sleepovers, I would spend days trying to carry a tune like Mr. Mike. Still today when I hear Peter, Paul, and Mary "leaving on a jet plane" or "where have all the flowers gone" - I think of him. I have very fond memories of him and the entire family has a special place in my heart. Sending all my love...

  4. Thank you for those lovely words, all of you. It helps so much to hear the ways Mike touched all your lives. It's harder than I thought to come back and write any memories myself, but I'll share them one day along with all the ones folks have sent me.