Mike Kress returned to his heavenly home on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 at the age of 69. Mike died of natural causes due to complications from Alzheimer’s.
Mike was born Sept. 11, 1946 in American Falls. Mike was the third of four sons born to Raymond Virgil and Fawn Ida Bean Kress. Michael was raised in American Falls, where he also attended school. The majority of the Kress family time was spent working on the family farm in Rockland. Michael developed a passion for sports while participating in football and basketball during his high school years. He graduated with the American Falls High School graduating class of 1964.
Mike attended Ricks College for two years followed by an LDS mission in the Gulf States. After a faithful mission, Mike returned home to marry Julia Ann Foshee from Rosepine, LA, on June 14, 1968 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.
After marriage, Michael attended Idaho State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in elementary and physical education. Later he also earned his Master’s degree in educational administration. Mike spent his entire career as an educator for the Firth School District. In 1972, he accepted a position to teach at A.W. Johnson Elementary School. Mike moved up through the district, next teaching at Harding Gibbs Middle School and later became principal of Firth High School. He retired from Firth School District as the high school principal and athletic director in 2006. Michael was appointed to the city council of Firth in 1989 and served in this position for 11 years. While chairman of the city council, he was appointed mayor of Firth in 2000. He served until 2006 as mayor.
Coaching student athletes was an integral part of Michael’s life. He coached boys and girls basketball, football, and track and field. While coaching he always cherished the 1978-79 boys’ basketball team that brought him the closest to a championship by taking second in the Idaho State Tournament. This team was also able to defeat the rival Shelley Russets for the first time in Mike’s coaching career. Another wonderful achievement was when Mike was assistant coach to the 1989 A-3 Idaho State Football champions.
Michael served in many ward and stake callings in the LDS Church, including home teacher, Sunday school teacher, Elder’s quorum counselor, Elder’s quorum president, High Priest group instructor, and High Priest group leader.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Raymond; mother, Fawn; brothers, Ron and Stan.
He is survived by his wife, Julia; children, Lance (Tamra) Kress, Burlington, NC, Shauna Howell, Idaho Falls, Brian (Randa) Kress, Blackfoot, Jamie (Nathan) Messick, Pocatello, and Heather Kress, Idaho Falls; brother, Randy (Shari) Kress, Chubbuck; and 13 grandchildren.
Funeral services are at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Kimball Ward Chapel, 744 N 600 E, in Firth. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Nalder Funeral Home in Shelley and Friday from 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. at the church. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.nalderfuneralhome.com.
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