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Arthur (Mike) William Mulligan
November 6, 1931 ~ October 13, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Arthur William (Mike) Mulligan, 91, of Calgary, Alberta, was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and died peacefully with family by his side on October 13, 2023, after having led a full and wondrous life.
Many of Mike’s formative years were spent in Brainard, Minnesota. It was there, while working at Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake, that he met his beautiful and loving future wife, JoAnn Godfrey. The two were married in 1956 and promptly set about building what would soon become their family of seven.
Mike and Jo created a loving home for their young family in Minnetonka, MN, where Mike worked initially as a salesman for Culligan Soft Water, ultimately rising to and retiring as Vice President of Operations. In 1965, when Mike was asked to relocate to Canada to help open the first Canadian Culligan branch, he and Jo took the leap, packed up their five children, ages 2 to 8, and hopped on a train to head out for a new life in Calgary.
For the rest of his life’s journey (in what might be described as a “circuitous route”), Mike and Jo resided at various times in both Calgary and Minneapolis, eventually landing back in the Calgary neighborhood of Inglewood, a community they loved and contributed to in numerous ways for many wonderful years.
Mike’s love for his family came first but his passion for birdwatching was a close (some might say, VERY close) second. He was a highly renowned birder who organized and led bird-watching trips all over the world. Some of his most memorable trips took him to Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Alaska, and Kenya. It wasn’t only the birds, but also the local guides and the many fascinating people he met along the way that drew him back time and time again.
Mike served his communities in many ways, including a deep commitment to the Rotary Clubs in both Calgary and Minneapolis and active memberships/volunteer work at the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, as well as many other organizations.
Mike is survived by his wife JoAnn; his children Mary, Kathy (Bruce) Granquist, Zita (John), Jean, and John (Nataliya); his grandchildren Connar, Emma (Matt), Alex, Liam, Aaron, and Brooks (Tarri); great-grandchildren Domenic and Amelia Jo; beloved sister Patricia (Georgia), and many other dear relatives and friends, near and far.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Arthur and Mildred Mulligan; brother Pat; sister Zita, and grandson Gabriel.
A Celebration of Life to honor Mike will be held at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (2425 9 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB) on Friday, November 10, 2023 at 5:00 PM, and will be live-streamed for those unable to attend. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the access link.