Michael G. Stier, April 5, 1948 - January 10, 2020
Mike Stier passed away peacefully at his home, January 10th, with his family and his new granddaughter by his side. Although Mike had been in remission from cancer since 2006, he had continued battles with his health caused by the radiation and chemo he received to save his life. Mike was born in Northern California to Kathleen and Doug Stier and grew up in Salinas, CA. This is where his work ethic shined, starting by boxing lettuce in the fields, advancing to operating a forklift. He also worked for a friend, who became a father figure to him, Al Martins; and under Al’s guidance he sold camper shells and campers. Here he learned that one could make a good living in the RV Business!
Straight from High School Mike enlisted into the Marine Corp. He found his 18-year-old baby face self, right smack in the Vietnam War! Once a Marine always a Marine! After attending Hartnell College for a short time, he realized, it wasn’t for him. Mike was too anxious to get out and make money! He often said, “I attended the school of hard knocks!”
Upon returning from the Vietnam War he soon learned there was a distribution area available for Camper Shells and Cab over Campers in Bakersfield. In typical Mike Stier fashion, he made a “QUICK” decision to take the risk, opening his original lot in 1973…. adjacent to what would become his dealership at Hwy 58 and Union Avenue. His company grew with additional locations including Camperland on North Chester, Olive Drive and Hwy 99, and ultimately Camperland on South Union. He had found his niche in the RV World.
The Auto Mall Dealership was a premier dealership of which he was most proud! We opened the doors in January 2000. The Dealership grew to be one of the most premier and productive dealerships in the nation. In 2004 Mike sold his Premier Dealership to Camping World while “keeping the land” where it stands today. He stayed on in an advisory capacity for a of couple years. All of you that know Mike well, know he could NOT work for another person. He retired in 2005. Soon after, he teamed up with his longtime friend and partner, Barry Phillips, to open Barry’s RV Outlet. Mike was quite a Businessman!
Mike never retired from Life! Mike had a burning passion for most things he did whether it “was” working or playing! He could be found on the golf course most days until a couple of years ago. Then his passion turned to playing cards, betting and watching Football and spending more time enjoying his lifelong passion of fishing. He continued to coach, mentor, teach, and encourage all those around him with his wry smile and great laugh. He would say “I’ll teach you a few things you can’t learn in school!” One of those things was his work ethic! Another was integrity! Mike loved family, friends, hunting, fishing, golf, cards, and always, the occasional "circus" bet. Truly one of a kind man’s man!
Mike was always up for adventure and lived life to the fullest. He had such an amazing life and did things that most people only dream of. He went on hunts all over North America, was one of the youngest men to harvest a North American Grand Slam. Fished all over the world including Brazil, Panama, Alaska and his longtime favorite marlin and tuna fishing in Cabo San Lucas. One of his fishing adventures ended with a rattlesnake on the other end of the line and Mike in the ICU for a week. He raced cars at Mesa Marin and till this day holds track record. He revisited the sport when he took up Legend Care racing again for his 65th Birthday. He even had a short stint as a hang glider although that didn’t end very well!
Mike and Cathi had been married for 35 years in October. He also has 2 daughters Kaylee 27, Stevie 25 and the newest blessing to the family, Addison Michael Stier. Mike loved his girls with all his heart. He had a Brother Ridgley Stier from Alaska whom he was very close to. He also leaves a young man, Mark Slater, who lives with the Stier Family. Mike loved him like his own son and mentored him in life and of course RV Sales. Mike had 20 nieces and nephews who will always remember Uncle Mike as caring, crazy and one of a kind.
Never forgetting his roots and passion for his fellow man, he was a community leader and staunch supporter of local causes and charities, including Junior League, CASA, BC Helmet Club, Make a Wish, Along Comes Hope and most recently, the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery. Mike truly embraced patriotism in many ways during his life. He was always Red, White, and Blue thru and thru. He flew the biggest flag ever flown in our city; on the 911 tragedy his flags flew all over the town! One would often see Mike and his Team wearing American Flag Shirts and patriotic ties…. doing it the Mike Stier way.
Mike had a special relationship with Dr. Ravi Patel who made sure Mike had regular tests so the ugly “C” would not rev its ugly head! Dr. Alim Ashraf had given Mike excellent care for the last five years as he battled aspiration pneumonia time after time. In addition, Mike was first treated for 4th stage cancer at MD Anderson and lately at Cedar Sinai. Around the Clock nurses could not have done a better job, under the guidance of Mary Vasinda nurses would be here in a moment’s notice to check on and treat Mike. Lastly, Roberta at Mercy Plaza Pharmacy kept Mikes medication straight, sometimes when it changed daily, she has amazing recall.
He will be truly missed and remembered by his family, friends, employees through the years, business associates, and all those that he touched with his wisdom, intensity, and friendship.
Mike will be buried with full Marine Honors at the
Nation Cemetery, Tuesday January 21st @ 10:00 30338 East Bear Mountain Blvd
Remembrance Service and Celebration of Life will be held @ 11:00 Bakersfield Country Club
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering
if they made a difference in the world.
the Marines don’t have that problem.”