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Michael Nicodemus "Mike" Somday


Michael Nicodemus "Mike" Somday passed away Wednesday afternoon, April 26, 2017, in Grand Coulee, Washington at the age of 83.

Mike was born to James and Rose (Gua) Somday, shortly after his identical twin brother, James B. Somday Jr., on April 25, 1934, in a small shack about three miles downstream from the Grand Coulee Dam in (Koontzville) Elmer City, Washington.  

Mike was a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and after graduating high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Part of his 21 years of service was spent in the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. 

 Mike's most memorable port of call was certainly Italy, for it was there that he met Miss Maria Maffeo whom he married on Sunday, May 1, 1960, in Pompeii, Italy.

On September 9, 1974, Senior Chief Michael N. Somday, ETCS, retired from active duty and then returned home to Elmer City, with his family.  

A lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church, Mike was active in the Sacred Heart Mission in Nespelem and with St. Henry's Catholic Church in Grand Coulee, helping others through Cursillo and many other ways. 

After his "retirement" from the U.S. Navy, Mike spent another 35 years working for the Colville Confederated Tribes as an Administrative Executive, Tribal Council, Bench Judge, and Gaming Commissioner. Mike's consistent focus was for the betterment of his tribal community. 

Mike enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family, and was an avid beader – crafting beautiful religious and native cultural medallions from the tiniest of beads as gifts for others. Mike's greatest love, though, was always time spent with his family, whom he adored and constantly poured his love and wisdom upon.

Preceded in death by his parents, James and Rose (Gua) Somday; three brothers and two sisters; Mike's proud legacy lives on through his beloved wife of 57 years, Maria M. Somday; his twin brother, Jim (Francisca) Somday Jr .; his children: Joe Somday, Mary Louie, Rose Ellis and Michelle (Mike) Somday; grandchildren: Rachel (Brian) Abbink, Michael Somday, Jennifer (Seth) Golla, Thomas Somday, Nicholas (Mary) Louie, Robinson (Brittney) Ellis, Christopher Louie, Taylor (Lexi) Ellis, Aja Ellis, and Justice Somday; 12 great-grandchildren, and many extended family members.

Please make any donations in Mike's name to St. Henry's Catholic Church, P.O. Box P., Grand Coulee, WA  99133.

A viewing was held Saturday, April 29, at Strate Funeral Home in Grand Coulee.

At Michael's request, cremation has taken place and no services are scheduled at this time.

Please sign Mike's online register book at

Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee is honored to be serving Michael's family.

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