By Abigail Bostwick
Tomahawk Leader Assistant Editorabostwick@tomahawkleader.com
As a journalist, one of my favorite assignments has always been to interview a retiring member of the law enforcement community. Like many, the brave men and women who enter into this challenging field intrigue me. It has been rewarding for me to work with these individuals and I’ve enjoyed writing the articles that wish them into their golden years of well-deserved retirement with family and friends.
I never expected that the article I would write for longtime Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department member and chief deputy Mike Soucy would not be his exit into retirement, but his early passage from life. Mike, 56, Tomahawk, died after a courageous battle with cancer last Monday. His loss is an absence that runs deeply throughout the community.
While I was not as privileged as Mike’s colleagues and close friends to know him on a deeper level, I came to know him as a well-respected chief deputy who contributed much to his department, community and family.
As the county’s first DARE officer, Mike spent countless hours in the classrooms, meeting many of our local youth growing into their teenage years. He helped usher them into the difficult times, and mentored them on the dangers they would face.
Mike was a graduate of the FBI Academy and a member of the Wisconsin Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Association, Wisconsin Association of SWAT Personnel and Wisconsin DARE Officers Association. As an avid Harley-Davidson rider, Mike also was a member of the Blue Knights International Motorcycle Club.
He was a man who showed outstanding leadership in his department, I’ve been told, mentoring many and contributing to their career development and success.
Mike was a man admired for his integrity, leadership, dedication and commitment. He was kind-hearted, genuine and sincere. Mike always had a smile, a nice word or something funny to say. Those who met him left feeling that they’d met someone of grace and character.
Despite being diagnosed with bone cancer in late July, and the painful treatments that followed, friends and family say Mike always kept a positive attitude and sense of humor.
While I may not be writing Mike into his retirement, and we are all mourning his passing, it is my hope that the community, his family and friends can find solace in that Mike’s life was one well lived. He touched many during his time on earth, and he will not be forgotten. We can all celebrate this, his spirit, as he is riding his Harley into the heavens.