Michael Aunkst

Michael  Aunkst

Submitted by his wife

Mike‚ 45‚ came from a large family‚ 1 of 11 children. Two of his brothers are career firefighters. David is from the San Antonio‚ Texas area and Jim is from the Albuquerque‚ New Mexico area. From 1987-1991 Mike volunteered on Bernalillo County‚ #10 district fire department in Albuquerque‚ New Mexico as vehicle crew chief‚ under the supervision of his brother Jim. In the spring of 1998 Mike joined the Benedict Volunteer Fire Department until his death on February 27‚ 2005. Mike always kept himself busy whether it was racing season at the McCool Junction Speedway where he was a volunteer firefighter‚ or volunteering to help in any way during local or area sporting events in and around Benedict.

On February 27‚ 1997 Mike and I were married in a small ceremony with only family in attendance in Benedict. We reside in Benedict where we were raising our two wonderful children. At the time of his death he was a great stepfather to my son Dustin‚ 18 and a father to our daughter Liza‚ 9. He never missed a sporting event that the children were in. He would attend all of Dustin’s games whether it was band‚ football‚ wrestling‚ track‚ basketball or baseball. You could count on seeing a smile on Mike’s face watching with pride as Dustin played. Mike would go to the dance studio where Liza was practicing and watch her through the viewing window and smile‚ never missing a spin‚ twirl or step. He also taught her how to hold a bat‚ throw and catch left-handed. You would never catch him on the bench during her games either. He would stand on the sidelines‚ cheering her and her team on.

He loved all sports. He never sat in the bleachers at races – he had to be where the action was‚ in the dugouts. He was a loyal Dallas Cowboys and Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Mike held down two jobs to support his family. He worked at Even Temp. and Valentino’s on weekends where he would deliver pizza. During football season he would fly his Husker flags on the delivery car while delivering pizzas‚ and during Christmas he would deliver pizzas in a Santa suit.

He was the first to pull off a prank or two on someone for their birthday or just because they needed it and even had a suggestion or two. Mike didn’t do anything for the glory or fame. He did things for others because he truly cared. He will be missed by many. But most of all‚ by his family. He smiles down on us everyday.

Teresa‚ Dustin and Liza