Michael J. Riedinger Profile Photo

Michael J. Riedinger

August 28, 1959 — October 14, 2023

Kalispell, Montana


Michael “Mikey” J Riedinger 64 of Kalispell MT passed away unexpectedly as a result of a motorcycle accident on October 14, 2023.

Michael was born in Kalispell on August 28, 1959, to Jane Riedinger. Being the youngest of six children by nearly 20 years he grew up alongside his 11 nieces and nephews creating a bond the was unmatched. Mike’s older nephew David would get all the boys together and teach them how to race around the Fourmile track in his 49’ Desoto. His eldest brother Richard introduced him and his nephew Jan into the world of racing cars and mechanics at an early age which became a lifelong passion. As young teenagers Mike and Jan built a stockcar and would race it at the local racetrack off Lasalle, the two boys later sold the car when a gentleman made them an offer for the car they couldn’t refuse. Every Saturday night you could find Mike at the local speedway as part of his brother Richard’s pit crew, and it wasn’t long before Mike was behind the wheel racing himself in the bomber class and had a pit crew of his own. Mike later discovered the love of racing the quarter mile in his 69 Chevelle and other muscle cars over the years. If Mike wasn’t racing you could find him dragging main street or showing off his 67 Camero at any car show or in his garage rebuilding hot rods and tinkering on various projects.  

In high school Mike was introduced to his high school sweetheart Sandy Lyon through his nephew Tony. The two were married in 1978 together they welcomed daughters, Destiny in 1979 and Mikelle in 1987 later divorcing in 1989 but remained friends throughout his lifetime. In 1991 Mike married Melanie Lawshe and quickly became part of her family, gaining the love of her parents and her four brothers and sisters.  His late Father in-law Hank welcomed him as one of his own and quickly assigned him as his crew chief for his Bonneville Salt Flats racing team. In 1998 Mike was able to meet his only son Jeremy from a relationship he had had when he was younger, the two of them instantly bonded over their same love for fast cars.  Mike and Melanie welcomed their daughter Aurora in 2001.   

He loved spending time with his family and friends, and anywhere he would go he would always make new friends, which he considered as family. Mike was the family man everyone wanted and enjoyed being with, Mike took great pride and joy in being “Dad” to his own children and all their friends.  In 2004 Mike gained a new title as Grandpa, and he was ecstatic. You could catch him playing match box cars and digging in the dirt with his grand kids and always excited to hear their stories and display their artwork. He has always been so proud of his children and grandchildren and would brag to all he met of how lucky he was to have them.  Mike was always a man of adventure and wild shenanigans, one of his favorite things to do was attend Rockin’ the Rivers with his friends. Over the last couple of years Mike lived his life to the fullest and was the happiest he’d been in a long time; he always made the best of any situation and wore a smile on his face.

Mike always had a strong work ethic and one of his first jobs as a teen was moving irrigation pipe for a local farmer, after high school he took a job at the Aluminum plant in Columbia Falls, later moving on to Les Schwab (Northwestern Tires) and becoming the assistant manager. Over the years he worked other various jobs such as working for S&S campers for 20 years and Bergerson’s RV these jobs allowed him to use his amazing mechanic skills. Mike was a simple man with a heart of gold and was always willing to lend a helping hand to those who needed his assistance.

After the passing of his wife Melanie in 2021 Mike decided it was time to fulfil his dream of moving down south and becoming a snowbird. So, in 2022 Mike and his loyal black lab Hank loaded up in their RV and made the trek to Mesquite Arizona, where the two of them made friends with all instantly.  Quickly Mike became the go to mechanic in the RV park assisting anyone who needed repairs or maintenance.

Mike is survived by his children; Son Jeremy (Shawnel)Turner, Daughters; Destiny (Brad) Townsend, Mikelle (Waylin) Eckley, Aurora Riedinger. Grandchildren Zayden, Abbigail, Arlo, Willow, Parker, Danny, Audrey, Christopher, and Wesley. Siblings Patty Swanberg, Art (Mary) Riedinger, Jed (Kanisa) Lawshe, Hawke (Amanda) Lawshe, Kim Lawshe, and Jodi (Alfred) Marsh as well as several nieces and nephew.  He was preceded in death by his mother Jane Riedinger, brother Richard, sisters Joanne and Bonnie, his wife Melanie, and so many other loved ones taken too soon. A Celebration of Life will be held at Buffalo Hills Funeral Home October 28th, 2023 @ 1:00pm with a reception immediately following at the Eagles in Kalispell.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael J. Riedinger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 28, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Buffalo Hill Funeral Home & Crematory

1890 Hwy 93 North
Kalispell, MT 59901

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