Ketchum resident Michael “Mike” Wirth, age 54, died on Wednesday, May 10th at 1:14 p.m. from a tragic drowning accident related to the recent flooding. Mike was born in Wallingford, CT on Friday, July 13th, 1962. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moved to Ketchum in 1982 to join the “Love of His Life,” Tami Nakaoka. Ketchum was the ideal town for Mike -- a place where he could enjoy the wondrous beauty of the Sawtooths and surrounding mountains, and pursue all of the outdoor activities that he loved.
As young entrepreneurs, Tami and Mike founded the Wirth Company Landscaping. Mike put his heart and soul into building the best life he could for himself and Tami. He was a jack of all trades and used his many talents to grow the Wirth Company into a successful landscaping business that currently employs sixteen people. As all who worked with Mike know, he cared deeply for his employees, whom he considered part of his family.
Mike was a notorious practical jokester and derived immense joy from playfully teasing his nieces and nephews, whom he fondly referred to as “squid monsters.” In his younger years, Mike was an avid sportsman, skier, and mountain biker. His most recent passion was his band, Mike & the Earaches. Their practices in his basement studio were the highlight of his week.
Words simply cannot describe all that Mike brought to the table or the many lives that he touched with his kindness and humor. Generous with everything that he had, and always willing to lend a helping hand, Mike’s infectious smile and booming laugh will be sorely missed.
Mike is survived by his wife and business partner, Tami Nakaoka; his mother, Elaine Dacey Wirth; older brother, Mark; sister, Tammy Greeson; and family members Ron Nakaoka, April Nakaoka, Lori Nakaoka, Scott Montgomery, Adam King, and loving nieces and nephews: Ashley, Cassie, Eric, Tyler, Bryce, Heidi, Elana, Haley, Clyde and Sara.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of the Wood River Valley.
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