In memory of

Paul Michael “Mike” Reber, age 69, of Helena

March 22, 1950 – July 7, 2019

Paul Michael Reber, age 69, died peacefully at Rosetta Assisted Living on July 7th, 2019 from complications of a dastardly criminal named Parkinson’s Disease, which continues to plague our society relentlessly.

His friends and peers knew him best as a positive and spiritual light that will be never be extinguished, even long after his Sun has set. His family knew him only as a kind, funny and mild-mannered Father, Big Brother and oldest Son and protector of his mom, Velma Reber.

Mike was known for his dogged determination, positive energy, wicked sense of humor and dashing good looks.  Mike vanquished many foes throughout his life including Melanoma, Glossophobia, and Prostate Cancer.  He always knew the right things to say when crises arose, mainly, dispel all negative thoughts, remain positive and maintain that things will always work out.

Mike was a successful Real Estate entrepreneur, having excelled in selling property and also developing several Helena sub-divisions, including the crown Jewel of Mount Helena, West Ridge.   He was a member of the Exchange Club, Toastmasters and coffee club with his buddies.

Mike, a true kid of the 60’s, graduated from Helena’s Cathedral High School in 1968. He was in the band, Wheatstone Bridge Company, where he played the keyboards and mastered many of the then popular songs, including the keyboard solo, “Light my Fire” by the Doors, which reached critical acclaim from his younger sisters and their friends.

He reached adulthood and his generation grew up amid the strife and unrest of tumultuous times; the Vietnam war and the draft, (he lucked out with a high number) to the assassination of great leaders, political unrest and a landing on the moon.  His sense of self was developed by those years, and he chose to be a kind, genial and gentle soul.  He attended the University of Montana and graduated from Carroll College. He then dabbled in a few businesses until his love of real estate won the day.

His true pride and joy, was his son, Shane Michael, aka “Big Red.”   The two had many laughs and adventures together.  Shane loyally looked after him and visited him weekly throughout his illness from his home in Bozeman.  Their unique father and son bond will forever remain.

Besides his son Shane, Mike is survived by his mother Velma Reber, sisters Deborah (Debbie) Carter (Downey, CA) and Rebecca (Becky) Reber-Burness (Mill Valley, CA) and brother David W. Reber (Austin, Texas), 3 nephews, 3 nieces and a grandnephew.

He is preceded in death by his revered father, Paul William Reber (1985), and infant brother, Kevin Joseph Reber, (1956).

The family would like to acknowledge and profusely thank his caregivers including his nurse Marie Lavinder, the loving staff of angels at Rosetta and the kind souls of St. Peter’s Health Hospice.  Also, a thank you to Robert Meyer, our loyal friend and frequent visitor of Mike in his final days, supplying him with endless chocolate bars.

A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation in his name to St. Peter’s Health Hospice.  Mike’s wish would be that you send him off to his next stop with your loving positive thoughts and to keep him in your hearts and prayers always. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Mike.

Memories

Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Tom Naegele says

    Dear Shane, Velma & Reber Family,
    Prayers of caring support during this difficult time.
    So saddened to read of Mike’s passing. Mike’s joyful smile and nature when we would occasionally see each other over the years was always a high of that day. I know life throws us some curves but Mike seemingly hit his out of the park. I know he and Shane celebrated a great Father & Son bond which will never end. Rest In Peace Mike. Until we meet again.

  2. Don Erickson says

    I was involved with Mike and his dad on many committees and real estate transitions. They were always enjoyable to work with. So sorry to learn of his passing. At such a early age. Don Erickson

  3. Susie Reber Orr says

    My cousin Mike always ready with a big smile , a twinkle (from his dad Paul) in his eyes and he always said “How bout that Suz!” To me . Safe travels my cousin.

  4. Linda Reber says

    May you rest in peace my cousin Mike.
    I enjoyed Mike’s visit to us in California when i was a kid. He was alway delightful to be around .
    I am sorry to Mike’s sibling and Aunt Velma for your loss.
    Sending love and prayers .

  5. Nancy (Davis) Moos says

    My thoughts and prayers to all of Mike’s family and friends. He was a gentle soul. Rest in peace and may God bless you, Mike.

  6. Robert Meyer says

    Dearest PMR – I always knew I have two big brothers- thank you for loving me, always caring.. . & for making me always feel that you have two little brothers. I am so very honored to be a member of the Reber family .Will be eternally grateful that Mike passed with his sisters here : staff @ Rosetta- you all are angels for sure . Godspeed Mike ❤️Bobbymeyer

  7. Renee Steckler Erdmann says

    Reber family, I am so sorry to lose Mike so early. He was always a kind and cheerful classmate and friend. With love and prayers. Renee

  8. Mary Callis says

    Aunt Velma & Reber cousins: I am so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. I pray that God’s grace & peace be your comfort. Hugs & prayers for you all. Mary Hartley Callis

  9. Pat Hartley says

    I’m sorry sorry to hear about cousin Mike. I didn’t even know he was sick. My deepest condolences to my aunt Velma and the Reber family.

  10. Steve Whitson says

    Mike was a great friend for over four decades. I enjoyed our meals and conversations during my visits from Portland. More than once, he encouraged me to “Visualize Success”. I miss him.

  11. Steve Christiaens says

    Mike and I became very close after he recruited me to join him, along with Ron Stern and Vaughn McKelvey who went to Helena High, in the Wheatstone Bridge Company. When we started out, we had no repertoire and no prospects, but we practiced and practiced, and got to the point where we had about two solid hours worth of material. We played whenever and wherever we could, for sometimes as little as $5 apiece, although we did get some pretty good paying gigs if we were willing to venture further out from Helena to some of the small towns in north and central Montana. They loved us in Anaconda, for some reason. Mike and I had always been friendly, but once we had the band, we became close at a level that was new to both of us. We had great times rehearsing, traveling to gigs together, and playing. The Knights of Columbus Hall on Park was our rehearsal spot, thank to Mike’s dad Paul. It kind of became our personal after hours joint. Nobody ever checked up on us, or questioned why we were there. And we did our best not to take advantage of the situation, although sometimes we still did. After graduation, we got an offer to play at the club Sgt. Pepper’s, on Main near KCAP., 6 nights a week, 5 hours a night. While Ron, Vaughn, and I were all in, Mike held back. He didn’t really want to commit to those kind of hours every night through the summer. Unlike the three of us, he had other things to do. As it turned out, he was probably the wise one. We were stiffed for several hundred dollars, as the bar went belly up. But I was sorry he wasn’t along for that part of the ride, because we got really good playing those long nights, and I felt like I had lost my Central High ally in the band. After that, it was sort of two against one, whenever a band decision had to be made But it was quite an education for the three of us, all being just 18, and spending our summer nights in a bar atmosphere.

    Mike and I spent part of the summer of 1969 sharing an apartment in Missoula, where I think he was taking some summer classes, and I was taking a course for the FCC 1st Class radio license. Unfortunately, after that summer we fell out of touch, and never really reconnected. But for a few short years, we were thick as thieves. And even though the memories are getting dimmer with the passage of time, I will always cherish the times we had together.

    Rock on into eternity brother Mike. Maybe we’ll do it again someday.

    Steve Christiaens
    Blue Ridge, Texas
    Helena Central Class of 1968

  12. Tammy Barry Stefanik says

    Shane,

    I’m sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. While I didn’t know him, I can only imagine how great he was by knowing you and the type of person you are. My thoughts are with you all.

  13. Robin Auchterlonie says

    I am sorry for your families loss. Mike, frequented Hastings Entertainment for many years, when I was the Store Leader. Always happy, positive, fun loving. I was very fond of him. Such a good guy! My sympathies.

  14. Tom Q Erving says

    Shane, Debbie, Velma and the rest of the family, my sincere sympathy to you all. I’ve known the Reber family since grade school and know what a wonderful family they are. Mike was a great guy and yes very good looking as are all the Reber’s. A lot of wonderful memories that are a tribute to Mike. A longtime friend, Tom Erving

  15. Shane, David, and family,.
    Mike was always joking and was so happy he could remember my name. He would repeat it numerous times. My hear goes out to you all.

  16. Ryan Chiotti says

    Shane and family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My sincere condolences to all of you.

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