The Washington Redskins announced that scout Mike Faulkiner passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 15 following a valiant 10-month battle against pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife Laura.
"The prayers of the entire Redskins family are with Laura at this sad time," said Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder.
Faulkiner had a long and distinguished NFL career and had most recently rejoined the Redskins front office in 2005 as an area scout.
"Mike was an important part of the Redskins organization and we are saddened today to lose a member of our family," said Joe Gibbs. "He had a heart for the Redskins and we are grateful for the time and commitment he made to the organization and to each of us. We want to celebrate his life with Laura and thank God for the influence that Mike had on us."
A complete obituary provided by the family follows:
Mike Faulkiner, 60, Russell, Kansas, died January 15, 2008, at the Hays Medical Center in Hays, following a valiant 10-month battle against pancreatic cancer.
He was born in Glen Dale, West Virgnia, March 27, 1947, the son of Howard Faulkiner (now deceased) and Dorothy Faulkiner Evans.
During his lifetime, Mike dared to dream and worked hard to achieve his goals. Football was his career choice; golf was his passion. He was fortunate to have reached the pinnacle in both, receiving a Super Bowl ring and scoring a hole-in-one.
At a young age, Mike set his sights on becoming a football coach. He graduated in 1965 from Cameron High School, Cameron, West Virginia where he excelled in sports.
He attended West Virginia Tech University on a football scholarship, playing quarterback and defensive safety.
Following graduation, he sold life insurance briefly before going on to teach and coach at his high school alma mater; Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville, Georgia; and Walton High School, Walton, West Virginia.
After reading a Sports Illustrated interview with Washington Redskins' Coach George Allen in 1974, Mike wrote a letter asking Coach Allen to let him come to work for him.
Several hundred other aspiring coaches did the same, but Mike was chosen as the first in what began an internship program that developed several NFL professionals.
Mike stayed with the Redskins for five years before joining the New York Giants as assistant to head coach Ray Perkins. Mike then became head coach of a semi-pro team in Charlotte, North Carolina.
When it folded, Mike went to Eastern Illinois University as Offensive Coordinator; and then to the CFL's Montreal Concordes in the same capacity.
During his NFL career, Mike coached defensive backs, quarterbacks and linebackers for the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.
In 1992 Mike returned to scouting, joining the San Francisco 49ers and moving within his territory to Austin, Texas. Among his new priorities was golf which he had taken up a few months earlier.
In Austin, he met his future wife, Laura, at Balcones Country Club where they both were members; and where Mike scored a hole-in-one on the Par 3, No, 15 a few months later.
During that time, Mike also became skilled at making golf clubs, which was one of his favorite hobbies. He was also a voracious reader. Golf was his favorite subject, though he was interested in most non-fiction works.
Mike and Laura became best friends, travel mates and golfing partners. They married in Austin on February 15, 1996 and built a home at Horseshoe Bay Resort in the Texas Hill Country.
In 2002, they moved to Laura's hometown of Russell, KS to be near family and lifelong friends. A favorite past-time was boating on nearby Wilson Lake where Mike learned to ski at age 56. Despite the toll cancer had already taken, he was able to take his last ski ride in August 2007.
Mike and Laura were able to enjoy frequent travel throughout the U.S. until early November. Highlights were visiting the Texas Big Bend country; playing the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links; and taking grand-nephew Jace to Branson, Missouri, on his first-ever vacation.
Trips to Mike's beloved New Mexico and Colorado Rocky Mountains also lifted his spirits throughout his illness.
One of Mike's most prized possessions was his 1994 Super Bowl ring, which he earned while scouting for the 5-time World Champion San Francisco 49ers.
He left the 49ers in 1998 to become a Regional Scout for the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2000, he returned to the Washington Redskins as Personnel Director.
Due to coaching changes, Mike followed that position with a stint at the New Orleans Saints before returning to the Washington Redskins scouting department in 2005, where he remained employed until his death.
All these experiences enabled Mike to form countless friendships across the country. During his illness, virtually every one found ways to communicate their concern, respect and admiration to Mike.
No greater tribute would be possible, so at Mike's request, there will be no formal memorial service. Cremation has taken place.
Mike is survived by his loving wife, Laura, of the home; his mother, Dorothy Evans of Kearneysville, WV; two sisters: Diane Hicks, Cameron, WV, and Dedrie Faulkiner, Cincinnati, OH; two brothers: Daniel Faulkiner, Cameron, WV, and Andrew Evans, Kearneysville, WV; two sisters-in-law: Barbara Faulkiner, Cameron, WV, and Janet Peerman, Russell, KS; mother-in-law Maxine Shackelford, Russell, KS.
Mike will be dearly missed by numerous beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, including Mike's special little buddy Jace Peerman, who will continue to learn about Uncle Mike through the memories of others.