Michael L. Best, 59, of Winthrop/Brasher Falls, passed away Sunday morning (Sept. 4, 2011) at his home, surrounded with the love and support of his family and Hospice. Arrangements are entrusted to the Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop.
Michael was born on October 4, 1951 in Potsdam, son of Lloyd A. and Grace E. Rufa Best. He graduated from St. Lawrence Central in 1969 and then went on to Computer Trade School in Syracuse. Michael came back north, and on August 22, 1970 he married Julia Dow at St. Patrick Church. He was employed at Reynolds Metals in the carbon plant and then became a salesman for Lifetime Stainless Steel. For over a year he worked with his father at Norwood Plumbing. In 1975, Michael began work with Prudential Insurance and in 1980 started Best Insurance with his wife. He retired from Prudential in 2006 and sold Best Insurance on Sept. 1, 2011.
Michael supported his communities; as a member of the Tri Town Chamber of Commerce, he served as the Parade Chairman for the Winter Carnival for many years. He was a member of the Massena Rotary Club, The Breakfast Club, and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Brasher.
He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, whose pride for his family was evident to all who knew him. Music was an important part of his life which he shared with family and friends. He articulated his musical talent playing drums with such groups as the Star Dusters, Dave MacMillan & The Villagers, Kick'n Back, and, at times, as a solo pianist. A communicant of St. Patrick Church, he also served on the Pastoral Council and was an active part of the Family Festival.
Michael is survived by his wife, Julia; four children, Lisa and Pierre St. Pierre of Tupper Lake, Jeremy and Kristen Scharf-Best of Brasher Falls, Matthew and Kristen Wright-Best of Williamsville, and Marcie and John Lawrence of North Lawrence; his parents, Lloyd and Grace Best of Winthrop; his sister, Roseanna and Wayne Felix of Winthrop; six grandchildren, Mason St. Pierre, Pierson St. Pierre, Elizabeth Best, Caitlin Lawrence, Avery Best and Anthony Best; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles cousins and "in-laws".
Friends may call at the Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop, Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Patrick Church in Brasher Falls, Friday at 10 am.
Flowers are gratefully declined, but those wishing to do so, please consider donations in Michael's memory to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, Inc., 6805 U. S. Hwy 11, Potsdam, NY 13676; Juvenile Diabetes Research, Central New York Chapter, 100 Metropolitan Park Drive, Suite 400, Liverpool, NY 13088; or the E. I. Moses Walk/Run for Life, Inc., P. O. Box 87, Colton, NY 13625.
Memories and condolences can be shared with his family at www.hammillfh.com.