Michael Grant Carkhuff was called home by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Friday January 1st, 2021. What a great way to start the New Year! He was born January 3rd, 1945 in Long Beach, CA. Mike spent many years in Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout in 1960. He has been a peninsula resident for 21 years.
Mike is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years Carole Ray; two daughters, Kelly Fox (Peter) their 3 children, Rachelle (Don John), David & James of Newport News, VA and; Chrise’ McCaskey (Casey) her 3 children, Kayla, Grace & Dustin of Pontiac, IL. He is also survived by a great granddaughter (Audrey-Ann), his beloved brother Richard (Jan) of Bend, OR and Marylil and Vince Spady of Soldotna, AK.
The family will welcome friends to Mike’s “Celebration of Life” service on Saturday, January 16th at 11 am at Temple Baptist Church, located at 235 Harpersville Rd., Newport News, VA 23601 (Between Jefferson and Warwick Blvd).
Mike served his country in the United States Army by enlisting in July 1965. He attended Basic Training at Fort Ord, Monterey, CA. He then went on to Jump School at Fort Benning, GA and then Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA where he graduated on October 5th 1966. Among his tours in the Adjutant General Corp he served 2 tours in Vietnam: 67/68 (Tet Offensive 1968), Oct 72/March 73. Mike was on the last flight out of DaNang, Vietnam in March of 1973. Additional tours included: MilPerCen, The Pentagon, Fort Lenard Wood (Battalion Commander), Presidio San Francisco, War College at Fort McNair (The Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy), the NATO Staff Officer Course, Naples Italy, and NATO Command AF South. Col. Mike Carkhuff retired after 28 years’ service in October of 1993. Among his awards and citations are: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, and Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Colonel Carkhuff earned the Parachutist badge, Recruiter Badge, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and he is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Mike and Carole were baptized together in 1977 and thus began their journey in serving Jesus Christ. They became full time missionaries with campus Crusade for Christ – Military Ministry in 1994 where Mike served as the Human Resources Director. In 2001, he started “Family Ministry” within Military Ministry, focusing on military marriages. God then directed Mike to build Family Ministry teams throughout the United States. Mike was the director of Family Ministry, which coordinated Marriage Seminars with chaplains to be held both domestically and abroad. God truly created and expanded the Family Ministry Teams. In our local community of Fort Eustis/Newport News, Mike and Carole organized and lead “Marriage Enrichment” couple’s Bible based studies since 2004. They strongly believe that the Blueprint for marriage, in God’s Word, guides couples in their commitment to God and each other. Mike and Carole served Cru as Emeritus Staff and Carole will continue to serve.
For those that spent time with Mike, you may have heard these words often: “I Love it when a plan comes together!”, “Turn out the lights the parties over”, “Making my eyes sweat”, “Having more fun than we are authorized!”, “Every day is a recruiting day.” Mike would always look you in the eyes and give you a hug, or hand shake, of sincerity!
Mike served his Lord, Jesus Christ, his wife and family. Faith, Family, Freedom!
Memorial contributions may be given online at:
Donated funds will help Cru Military Ministry to continue doing what Mike loved; that of serving military men, women, and families in Hampton Roads.