Michael “Mick” Strain, 78, of White River, SD passed away on March 12, 2015 at his home in White River, SD.
Funeral service was held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the White River Community, Center in White River.
Mick was born June 10, 1936 in Murdo, and was the third son of Grace (Astleford) and Eugene Strain.
He attended South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, receiving a B.A. in business, and then earning the degree of Juris Doctor from the University School of Law. He was a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics Training School, Washington, D. C, and also a graduate of the School for Special Prosecutors at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Mick served as assistant Attorney General to Frank Farrar from 1966 to 1969. During his tenure he prosecuted and won most of the drug related criminal cases arising in the Attorney General’s Office and was responsible for investigating and bringing charges resulting from narcotic and dangerous drug violations.
Mick took a sabbatical from law and politics in 1970 to assist Jerry Collins in acquiring, rebuilding and managing the Portland Meadows horseracing track in Portland, OR.
He returned to practicing law in 1977 and was elected Mellette County State Attorney in 1992
In May 2013, the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association honored Mick with a Life Time Achievement award.
He was a member of the South Dakota Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Delta Theta Phi law fraternity. He was considered one of the best criminal attorneys in South Dakota and had an ardent sense of right and wrong, and sought to remedy injustice wherever he saw it. His passion for helping Native Americans in need brought him close with many traditional Native Americans. His down to earth manner in representing clients at trial won him many acquittals and the respect of the citizens of South Dakota.
Although he spent many hours on the road, and traveled over most of the United States, Mick never ventured far from the western prairie living he grew up in. He was an avid horseman, raising several lines of quarter horses, cumulating in the Flyma Bars breeding line. He was also an occasional rancher, ardent follower and supporter of the White River basketball and football teams, and an estimable calf roper in his prime.
He was probably best remembered by friends and family for his seemingly endless repertoire of narratives and anecdotes, fraught with lore and local legend. He conveyed these seemingly embellished stories with deadpan delivery and split-second timing, always ending in a humorous and usually ironic twist.