Mikeal John Connors passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday, October 23, 2015, at the age of 54. He was born on August 16, 1961 in White Sulphur Springs, Montana to the union of Bernard and Kathleen Connors. Mike was raised on a farm and graduated from Laurel High School. He has worked as a Border Patrol agent out of Sonoita, Arizona for 19 years and resided in Sierra Vista with his much loved wife Diane and two German Short haired Pointers.
Mike was an avid outdoors-man who excelled at every endeavor he took on. He was an exceptional hunter, fisherman, gardener, cook, athlete, artist and mechanic. There wasn’t anything Mike couldn’t do well. His greatest accomplishment was raising his two children. He was a father unlike any other. Before leaving, he instilled in them all the tools they would need to follow in his footsteps to become equally accomplished. He was a selfless man who enjoyed sharing his many talents with those around him. Mike had an outstanding ability to make everyone around him feel loved with his enthusiasm and charismatic personality. He was a truly honest, ever hardworking man, who will be dearly missed by many.
Mike’s law enforcement career began at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility in Billings, Montana. There, he worked his way up to the Assistant Commander/Lieutenant position before beginning his career with the Border Patrol. After completion of the Border Patrol Academy in 1996, Mike went on to indulge himself in several different task forces that the patrol had to offer. First, he took on the role of being a firearms instructor. In this position he passed down his expertise of firearms to each of his trainees. Next, Mike found his true passion working as a canine handler. He quickly excelled in this task force winning multiple Top Dog awards with his canine Raiza, which lead him to passing his knowledge and passion down to future handlers. Some of the recognition's he received included his sincere dedication and exceptional contribution while instructing at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Canine Enforcement Training Center, his enthusiastic initiative, going above and beyond the scope of his duties, willingness to pursue challenging and innovative ways of training dogs, and ultimately for his outstanding performance in the development and delivery of the Integrated K9 Concealed Human Narcotic Detector Dog Pilot Course. His guidance and leadership were distinct assets to each of the students who had him as an instructor.
After the passing of his canine Raiza, Mike moved back into the field and quickly picked up the next task force as a S.A.M. (Supplemental Aircrew Member). Here he was a mobile Border Patrol Agent who assisted the pilot, operated the FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Radar), GPS, moving maps, and other electronics. Before flights he would get all of the gear on the flight depending on the mission at hand, prepared the aircraft for flight and did it all with his own initiative and a humble, great attitude. This task force was only supposed to be for a couple of months, but after earning the absolute respect of the pilots, he stayed working on this task force for over five years. Pilots he flew with said he set the bar for the S.A.M. program. His amazing work ethic, compassionate nature, and utter selflessness have made him a legend among his peers.
Mikeal is survived by his devoted wife of 31 years, Diane; loving daughter, Danielle Jozwiak and spouse Jay Jozwiak; treasured son, Bryan Connors with fiancé Diana Mendoza, and soon to be grandson; loyal sister, Michelle Steffans and spouse Tim Steffans; beloved brother, Mitchel Connors and spouse Cindy Connors; and kind stepmother, Becky Connors. Mike was also deeply loved, cherished, and adored by his large family of many in-laws, nieces, and nephews. He was a role model and mentor to all of us, as well as all of the agents and throughout the Border Patrol family. Those who knew Mike quickly fell in love with his compassionate spirit.
See Original Artical