Michael Haggard, 56, passed from this broken and fallen world and into the real world of God’s grace and love due to glioblastoma on June 13, 2020 at his home in Erie, KS. He was born March 31st, 1964 in Oklahoma City.
He is survived by his loving and godly wife of 31 years, Sandra (Smith) Haggard of the home; his father, Don Haggard and his wife (loving stepmother) Linda, of Texas; his sister, Corey Haggard of Seattle, WA; stepsisters Stacey Holt and Lindsay Owens Schlatter and their families; his uncle David Carpenter of Oklahoma City; and cousin Donna Butcher and her family of Kentucky. Also, his newfound grandmother, Wanda Janko of Yukon, Oklahoma, Uncle Darrell Janko and Aunt Charlotte Fulks, his mother’s biological family distanced by adoption, reunited now and just in time by 23AndMe. He also has brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law, four nephews and a niece from his wife’s family and many cousins, aunts, nephews and nieces that he never met, to his regret. Time, distance, and life had always gotten in the way.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Jenene Mulford and her adopted parents, Michael’s most loving grandparents who “raised” Michael in so many ways, Irvin and Raby Carpenter of Oklahoma City. And his brother-in-law, Pete Schlatter, Lindsay’s loving husband, father to nephew Devin. It would be amiss to forget the many dogs that Michael loved as “family” who preceded him as well, such as Stuart Ho, the Shiba Inu that Sandy and Michael adopted in Taiwan and brought to Kansas with them. All such hearts with fur and tails are God’s love to us. These teach us unbridled love and forgiveness... and how the shortness of their lives can have such rich value and meaning that lasts far beyond time.
He grew up in Oklahoma City and in many surrounding Oklahoma cities including Bartlesville, Vinita, Elk City, and Sayer. He graduated from Putnam City North High School, Oklahoma City, in 1982, attended Midwest Christian College in Oklahoma City (now merged and alumni of Ozark Christian College of Joplin, Missouri) but transferred to Iowa Christian College and graduated with a BA in Sacred Literature in 1987. Ordained into the ministry in Ceres Oklahoma Christian Church in 1984. After interning as missionary student in Tamil, Nadu India in 1984, he was pastor, evangelist and missionary to many churches in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Arizona, and Pingtung, Meinong, and Kaohsiung Taiwan. He then graduated with a Masters of Theology and Apologetics in 2012 and a research PhD in Philosophical Theology from Trinity Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana in 2014. He taught classical philosophy, informal and formal logic online through The Lukeion Project at lukeion.org and took as much joy from teaching junior high school and high school students the “language” of God in logic and reason as he did teaching the Word of God from the Bible and person of Christ. His most recent ministry and perhaps most blessed to Michael and Sandy was to The First Christian Church of Erie, KS. May God bless them for their great love, and their material kindness in Michael’s final days.
A lifelong learner, Michael was also an Arizona Firefighter II, an EMT-D and ERT, a Ropes Rescue Tech II, an Arizona State Fire Marshal’s Instructor, Evaluator and Fire science instructor training dozens of cadet firefighters for Northland Pioneer College, Navajo County, AZ. A “promoted” Burlington Santa Fe Freight Train Conductor, in the Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska divisions. He was a member in good standing with the International Association of Christian Philosophers, and former Executive Board Member of the Taiwan Missionary Fellowship.
He was an amateur artist in watercolors, acrylics, and other mediums, a published paper model artist, a commercial 3D printing and computer digital artist, an avid gamer of table top warfare.
Michael was a child who never quite knew what he was going to be if he ever grew up.
At heart... an explorer.
All Michael wants you to remember about him, really... is Christ; the one true God who became one of us so that he might save all of us with his sacrifice and his resurrection. “No greater love has a man than this, that he would lay down his life for another.”
A visitation will be held on Wednesday from 6:30-8 pm and Celebration of Life on Thursday, June 18 at 10:30 am at Erie First Christian Church, 703 West State, with Pastor Doug Baty officiating. A graveside service will be held on June 20 at High Ridge Cemetery, Stanberry, MO.
Gifts and memorials to Michael can be given to Erie First Christian Church’s “Pastoral Love Fund,” which is used to help people of the Erie area who find themselves in temporary financial hard times, or to the Haggard Medical Fund, Commercial Bank, 222 South Main, Erie, Kansas 66733.