Michael was born at Oregon Health Science University in Portland, Oregon, on April 12, 1995.
To his siblings and extended family Michael was affectionately called ‘Little Mike’ by his family to distinguish him from his Uncle Michael, whom he is named after. He was a cheerful, friendly, and outgoing child who was quick to engage you in a conversation. Michael was extremely polite and well mannered, loved giving hugs, and always had a firm handshake for anyone who wanted to shake his hand.
He lived with his mother until he moved into the foster medical home. The foster care providers selected for Michael were Steven and Flossie Qualls.
The Qualls had Michael involved in their neighborhood church Maranatha, and then later at New Song. Michael enjoyed going to church. He especially loved the music at church and showed his enjoyment through clapping and singing. Steven and Flossie were always supportive and encouraged Michael's visitations with his biological older siblings and other extended family
members every weekend. All of Michael’s family members were invited to join in birthday and other celebrations that they had for him and the other children in their home.
Michael adjusted to his placement with the Qualls after having difficulty responding to requests the first time asked. Although known as ‘Little Mike’, Michael was affectionately called ‘Big Mike’ by Steven because he had such a big personality and presence despite his small physical stature. Michael was friendly and loved to meet people and have a conversation. Michael never met a stranger; people were always amazed by his ability to engage in a lengthy discussion with them.
He loved to travel, which he did while living with the Qualls as they frequently took road trips to visit extended family in both Ohio and California. The beach was another favorite destination of Michaels.
Both the Qualls and Williams families accepted Michael as one of their own, and he was called brother. He loved children, being surrounded by family and friends, and just hanging out. Michael shared with his father, Steven, a story of a woman he had met, and she said to him, "I don't know where you belong, but you don't belong out here."
Michael attended Sabin Elementary School and later, when the Qualls relocated to the Parkrose area, he attended Parkrose Middle School. The family then chose to return to California where they lived in Fairfield. Michael graduated from Armijo High School in Fairfax, California.
Upon turning 18 years of age, Michael decided to return to Portland, Oregon. Michael was known to pop by and visit with family members. He was anxious to check in and see how things were going and have a little conversation.
Steven stated that the last time he saw Michael, I asked him "if he had to do his life over, would he do it differently;" after Michael thought about it, he said, "No."
Michaels most immense joy came at the birth of his daughter, Arriella, in 2018. Michael's life took on a whole new meaning when his daughter was born, and she became his greatest love.
When you look at Arriella, you see her father Michael as she has many of his facial characteristics, i.e., his eyes, nose, and smile.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Flossie l. Qualls, & Yolanda M. Martin, and his brother, Walter Dean III. Michael leaves to cherish his memory, his father, Steven Qualls; daughter Arriella Qualls; siblings, Mary Dean, Cynthia Moore, Michael B. Dean, Shannon Griffin, Nina Mendoza (Ismael), Andrew Qualls, Glenna Qualls, Christian Qualls, Curtis Mitchell, Corey Martin, Kevin Martin, and Al'Shawnda "Ali" Martin; a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, & many, many friends.