Cowboy poet Mike Puhallo died peacefully in his sleep on June 24, 2011, after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Born and raised on a small ranch near Kamloops, British Columbia, Mike was a working cowboy, saddle bronc rider, rancher and horse trainer, spending more than 33 years ranching with his younger brother. He is survived by his wife, Linda, their two children, Paul and Sharlene; his father, as well as his four siblings with their families.
Many of Mike's poems and stories were about the unique history and heritage of the cowboy culture of the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Mike published six books of poetry, and produced three CDs of his work. Mike received the 2009 Male Poet of the Year award from the Academy of Western Artists, and was instrumental in establishing both the British Columbia Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Kamloops Cowboy Festival. He served many years as President of the BC Cowboy Heritage Society. The Western Folklife Center was honored to invite Mike to the 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Donations in Mike's name may be made to the BC Cowboy Heritage Society Student Scholarship fund.