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Former deputy Mike Wakeling dies

Mike Wakeling

Michael T. Wakeling Sr., a Houlton native and former St. Croix County Sheriff's investigator, died Friday, Oct. 26. He was 66.

Wakeling, a 1964 graduate of Hudson High School, spent 32 years in the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department and retired June 3, 2006. He served as an investigator of sexual assault and child abuse cases from most of his career.

He was inducted into the HHS Wall of Fame in 2007.

During an interview with the Star-Observer in June 2006, Wakeling told about applying for a job with the department.

"Back then, all you needed was a No. 12 shoe, a No. 2 hat and the ability to lick half the people in the county," he said.

However, a glitch in his past could have been a roadblock to an appointment in the sheriff's department.

Wakelin said in high school he got in an altercation with Superintendent E.P. Rock. "He threw me out of the back door of the school," he said.

In a story about his induction to the Wall of Fame in the Star-Observer, the altercation was attributed to Wakeling using a shot put for a bowling ball in study hall.

Wakeling faced a review board for the deputy's job that included E.P. Rock. Apparently bygones were bygones and he got the appointment.

Wakeling described himself in high school as "one of those kids on edge, I could have gone either way," but credited E.P. Rock and a few special teachers for helping him through to graduation.

The 1964 True Blue, HHS yearbook, lists Wakeling as a 6-foot-3, 295-pound tackle on the football team.

He started in the workforce at Minneapolis Honeywell but after 10 years he had enough of the assembly line and was looking for a new career when former Sheriff Charlie Grant encouraged him to apply for a deputy position.

He started in the jail and then went on patrol. For 20 years he worked with child abuse and sexual assault cases.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Bertie, children Mike Jr., and Shannon Castle and four grandchildren. Services were set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 at St Mary's Catholic Church, Stillwater, with visitation Tuesday, 4-8 p.m. at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, Stillwater.