Michael Robert Disbrow was born on August 22, 1953, in southern California, the first of seven children of Robert and Janet Disbrow. At 16, he taught himself how to play guitar, perfecting a variety of styles including rock&roll, folk, blues, jazz, and anything that challenged him. Through many hours of practice, he became excellent at fingerpicking, slide guitar, rhythm, and lead, writing songs, performing and recording his whole life, both solo and with many local musicians. Michael married Kristi Mary Hicklin on August 30, 1975, and they had three daughters, Rebekah, Sarah, and Julia, who they reared in Port Orford after moving there in 1981. In 1985, Mike and Kristi started Disbrow Woodworking. Mike designed, built and installed custom kitchen and bathroom cabinets, entertainment centers, tables, chairs, and doors in many local homes, from Coquille to Brookings. He also built guitars, did pottery, gardened, hiked, and built trails with Kristi on their five acres of land.
Mike was an amazing father, spending a lot of quality time with his girls (and later, his grandchildren) when they were young, making up all kinds of fun games and stories. Favorites were Shark, Tickle Chair, Olympics, and Magic Julia, and many nights he sang his young daughters to sleep with songs he played on the guitar. Mike also loved his German Shepherd dogs and he had many faithful companions throughout the years. He was a private person, but so much fun to spend time with. He was opinionated and discerning, thoughtful and witty, with a unique way of viewing the world. He had an unrivaled sense of humor, and he often had his family and friends doubled over laughing with his hilarious observations and stories about himself and the world. Mike loved walking on Hubbard Creek beach, hiking at the Heads and at Cape Blanco, and sitting on the banks of the Elk River, skipping rocks or fishing. His favorite meals were at home—Kristi’s amazing roast turkey and mashed potatoes, chiles rellenos and fresh salsa, soufflé, teriyaki tuna, or pizza on the grill with a beer.
Mike was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia in 2007 and passed away on March 23, 2022. He leaves behind his wife, Kristi, his daughters and their husbands/partners, and grandchildren, who he adored. He also leaves behind a wealth of music, through the songs he wrote, the concerts he gave, and the recordings he made. He will be long remembered for his love of family, his laughter, and his incredible musical talent. A celebration of his life is planned for June, as well as ways to get his music out to the wider world.
Friends may offer condolences online at westrumfuneralservice.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Amling Schroeder Funeral Service, Bandon.
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