Joseph Michael Ihnot (“Mickey” for his family; “Mike” for his friends), was born at the age of 79 on April 1, 1943 in Glasgow, Montana, the fourth child of John Ivan Ihnot and Phyllis Walsh Ihnot. He died on November 14, 2022 at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana with sisters Rachel and Susie holding his hands. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jackie and Richard, and sister Rosalia.
Mickey attended schools in Nashua, Glasgow, Malta and Butte, Montana. He was an altar boy at St Raphael’s Church in Glasgow and a great favorite at St Raphael’s School. He loved building things and once used his kit to build a robot that the nuns let him share with all the classes. The robot then made its way through the ranks of students and everyone wanted to learn how to make a robot. He was ahead of his time.
Mickey loved all of God’s creatures and would bring them home whenever the opportunity arose. At one point he even hid a rabbit in his room, which was only discovered because of the many small pebbles under the bed. He leaves behind his longtime companion, his little dog Snowflake.
Ever since he found out you could get cash for bottles of liquor, he’d had a steady income. In his teenage years he always had a job, whether it was in pet shops or operating equipment during harvest time at the Ueland ranch. He joined the Navy at the age of seventeen and served as boatswain’s mate on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, launching and recovering aircraft and eventually rising to the rank of corporal, third class. He worked for many years at the copper smelter in Anaconda, Montana. Eventually he went into carpentry and became an expert in building, remodeling and finishing work in that industry.
Christmas was his favorite holiday and he enjoyed decorating, especially tinsel, and playing Santa and doing things for those less fortunate than him. He bought bicycles (of various sizes) and toys for the children. He carried this spirit of generosity through his daily life and was always willing to help a neighbor or friend with any housework that came up. He donated money to renovate the AA Coffee Shop in Auburn, WA. Mickey had a heart of gold and will be remembered for his caring and support for others. We will miss him very much, the cute little troll and garden gnome with the mischievous sense of humor.
He is survived by Andria Gray (whom he considered his daughter) and her husband Jason (Post Falls, ID); children Jodi Antus-Hale (Doug Hale), Carrie (Andrew) Hicks, Mike (Maggie) Antus and Mike (JoEllen Flynn) Ihnot; sisters Connie Casavan (Ventura, CA), Patricia Ihnot (Havre, MT), Susie Bentsen (Larry) (Great Falls, MT) and Rachel Ihnot (Great Falls, MT); three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
The cremation was performed by the Schnider Funeral Home in Great Falls. His ashes will be interred with military honors and a funeral service in Great Falls in the spring.
Mickey needed a lot of loving care and support in the last few months leading up to his death. Rachel, her son Robert, Susie and Larry made sure he got the care he needed.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to an animal shelter or pantry of your choice.