Michael David Aardema, 51, of Kimberly, Idaho, unexpectedly passed away on October 24th, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was born on June 18th, 1970 in Hanford, California.
Mike graduated from Jerome High School in 1988. He went on to play a year of football at University of Idaho and was a proud Sigma Alpha Epsilon. In 1996, He married the love of his life, Sarah Steile after meeting her on a blind date set-up by each other’s’ mothers. Mike and Sarah went on to have three children, Ashlyn, Maddie, and Collin. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world, something he proudly and often mentioned.
Although he loved to play college football, he knew his future was in agriculture. At the time of his passing, he was the proud single owner of Oak Valley Agriculture. He loved the dairy, but as many people knew, dairying was just one of his many passions that allowed him to pursue other business endeavors. He loved the excitement of making a deal. Mike was surrounded by an amazing team at Oak Valley Dairy which allowed him to have a healthy work-life balance. One of the greatest joys of his life was being able to watch and coach his kids in various sports., Whether Mike was a spectator or a coach, everyone – including the refs – knew he was in the gym or /on the field. Although Mike graduated from Jerome High, he was an honorary Bruin. He bled blue, even trading in his new crimson truck when Canyon Ridge came to town.
As the kids grew up and became more involved in activities, Mike rarely missed anything. Between work and his kids, he rarely took time for himself. However, when he did take time for himself, it often involved his best friend, Jon Davis, and a “once in a lifetime trip” that happened more than once. Throughout the “once and a lifetime trips” he gained lifelong friendships and memories.
He was a part of many organizations and clubs over the years. The Dairy Club & YPO brought his professional and personal life together. Being a member of these clubs, he was surrounded by professional peers whom encouraged him to be a better dairyman, friend, and family man.
Mike was well known as an intense businessman, but those who knew him well, also knew that he had the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone at any time. He often flew under the radar, touching many people in many ways with his generous spirit. One thing that will be remembered by all, Mike was always the last to leave a party.
Mike is survived by his wife, Sarah Aardema, and three kids, Ashlyn Aardema and her fiancé Thomas Brown, Maddie Aardema and her fiancé John Vander Hulst, Collin Aardema; his parents Donald Aardema Sr.,Alicia Ykema, John Steile, Linda (Jim) Lathrop; his siblings Don (Kristy) Aardema, Ron (Jesika) Aardema, Trisch (Paul) Beezhold, Shaun Steile, Rob (Wendy) Rocha, Jeffrey (Ardie) Cecil, Chuck (Carrie) Cecil, Wes (Denise) Cecil, Laura (John) Fitzgerald and many other cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by Evelyn Aardema and Carol Ann Steile. The family suggests in honor of Mike’s memory to donate to Bruin Athletics.