Obituary: Mike Westervelt

Posted at 1:25 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 15:25:05-04

Mike Westervelt, 71, of Manhattan, MT headed out on his last long-haul trip on Oct. 30th after a long, hard battle with Covid 19.

Mike was born on July 9, 1950, in Livingston, MT to Paul & Florence (Webber) Westervelt. When Paul and Florence divorced, Mike moved to Butte, MT to live with his mother. At a very young age, Mike’s love of the outdoors began to take root after catching his first fish in a small stream that ran along the interstate in Butte. Mike’s children were reminded on each and every trip through Butte where that first fish was caught. After many years of him pointing out the location, his children would often beat him to the punch and say, “I know dad! That is where you caught your first fish.” To this day, they can still point out the location of where that fish was caught.

Mike moved to Helena, MT where he spent most of his youth and adolescence. Mike developed a lifelong passion for motorcycles while growing up in Helena that he would nurture all his life. His love of motorcycles would evolve into a stint of flat track racing that didn’t take him to victory lane but would earn him the recognition of winning the Wheelie Walk competition. Mike wheelied all the way around a 3/8-mile oval track, wheelied off the track and into the sunset to win the competition.

Mike married the love of his life, Vickie Louquet (Woozie), of Helena, MT on June 20, 1970. Mike and Vickie would go on to have three children—Jon, Travis, and Amy. Mike would share his love of music, history, the outdoors, motorcycles, big trucks, and his pride of hard work throughout his life with his family. He was always so proud of how all three of his children inherited his work ethic and his aptitude to handle adversity.

He had a particular interest in British motorcycles and was well versed in the history and restoration of these bikes. Throughout his life, he would own and restore many British motorcycles. Mike’s obsession with British motorcycles grew to be an expensive endeavor that resulted in interventions that the voice of reason would have to mediate. A much cheaper compromise to British motorcycles was the introduction of the Honda 90 trail bike. He quickly became an expert mechanic and restorer of these bikes. Ultimately, the Honda 90 collecting and restoring was on the way to needing yet another family intervention.

Arguably, the second love of his life was driving truck. Mike started off his driving career by transporting mobile homes throughout Montana and the western United States. Mike would transition back and forth into numerous types of trucking, but always seemed to gravitate back to mobile homes where he would eventually groom his boys to take over his legacy, Westervelt Transport & Set-up Inc. Westervelt trucks can still be seen today all over the western United States. His most enjoyable driving experience was for Charlie Hoekema and Rod and Debbie Moran, delivering Murdoch trailers all over Montana and Colorado. Mike would later reflect that he wished he would have started driving for Charlie 20 years sooner. A good number of Mike’s trucks were black in color and always had an ample supply of shiny chrome accessories. He would often say, “If It Doesn’t Shine, It’s Not Mine.” Mike’s boys still carry on this tradition.

Mike had an insatiable love for music. He had to know everything about each song—its origin, the group, and the year. He would take his knowledge of music and continually quiz his family with, “Who sang that song?” This question would echo in every trip taken with Mike. Because of this, his kids became passionate about the various genres of music he listened to, from the Beach Boys to Marty Robbins. Travis and Amy adopted the ability from their dad to name a song within the first couple of notes.

Mike lived an adventurous life and loved to tell stories from his mischievous youth. He will always be loved and missed, but never forgotten.

Mike is preceded in death by his father, Paul; mother, Florence; brother, Johnnie; and half-brother, Joe.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Vickie; dog, Doozie; sons, Jon (Lisa) Westervelt and Travis (Kelsey) Westervelt; daughter, Amy (Shayne) McElwee; sisters, Paula and Mela; brothers, Patrick, Nick, and Kelly; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, 1549 E Cameron Bridge Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718.

A Memorial Service will be held at Dokken-Nelson at 11 A.M. on Saturday, November 13.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []