Robert Michael Ferrill
A couple of days after his beloved dog braved the elevator to visit him in the hospital, Mike crossed over the human version of “the Rainbow Bridge,” bringing an end to his suffering. He waged a difficult and valiant fight against cancer, but somehow managed to keep his sense of humor to the end. He was 74 years old.
Mike was born in Crescent City, CA to Melvin and Rosemary Ferrill, one of six children. He is survived by two brothers and two sisters. From age 4, Mike grew up in Venice, CA, graduating from Venice High School, after which he attended Santa Monica Community College. He spent the majority of his adult life in the Minden/Gardnerville, Nevada area, loving the Carson Valley with its awe-inspiring vistas, exceptional hiking trails, and pioneer history. He was employed for nearly 40 years as an HVAC technician at Bently Nevada Corporation, where he was highly respected and liked by all. Besides performing expert level HVAC work, Mike also learned to splice fiber optic cables when that technology was brand new. He retired in 2017.
Mike was the ultimate “animal whisperer.” Who rescues a Canada Goose gosling and lives with her for 13 years? Alicia was one of the animal loves of his life and Mike spoke fluent goose. On one of his hikes out in the middle of nowhere, he came across a whimpering dog caught in a trap. They too became inseparable. Throughout the years, Mike was the person for his beloved dogs: Puppers, Sage-y, Sancho, Baby, and Baby Bear. At one point, he was feeding a ridiculous number of stray cats as chain migration was in full force to his TRE yard. The birds and bunnies didn’t go hungry either. Mike even put a screen in the bird water bowl to prevent the thirsty baby Quails from drowning. Mike pretty much preferred animals to people as he found them to be much less complicated.
When he wasn’t playing his video games, he enjoyed reading mysteries, history books, and researching the early days of the Carson Valley. He loved hiking alongside his current dog with his metal detector slung over his shoulder. Relics from the past intrigued and delighted him; he enjoyed figuring out the story that went along with each piece. He was never a joiner, but he did become a member of the Carson Valley Historical Society.
Mike was a kind and generous soul who helped his friends and neighbors without hesitation. A man of few words, except when conversing with his animals, he quietly put his many handyman skills to use for others on a regular basis. His caring work said it all. Fiercely loyal, he was the friend and neighbor everyone would be lucky to have.
He will be greatly missed by his siblings and all the many people who were fortunate to cross paths with this kind and gentle man. Without a doubt, he was one of the good ones.
It would be wonderful if donations could be made in memory of Mike to DAWG (Douglas Animal Welfare Group) or any animal rescue organization or shelter. Mike would love that. “Go rest high on that mountain, Mike.”
Gardnerville, NV 89410-1850