Michael Pumphrey

Michael Joseph "Mike" Pumphrey

Thursday, March 12th, 2020
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Michael Pumphrey was one in a million. Our one in a million. And with the heavenly odds in our favor, we all won the lottery just by knowing Mike as a husband, father, son, brother and friend.

He was our Lucky Star.

Born to Lonney Paul and Arlene Marie Pumphrey, Mike was their one-of-a-kind baby boy – the oldest of three children. Being the big brother was a big task, but Mike embraced his sibling leadership role – especially the teasing rights that came along with the title. Like the time he tricked his brother Dan, telling him to pick up a slithering something off the ground, all the while promising: it couldn’t possibly be a grass snake ... Or, the day Mike knew trouble was coming his way and played a great game of “run and hide” to avoid getting “his tan hide,” resulting in Dan and JoLynn getting the spankings instead. Despite those pranks, and likely many more never claimed over the years, Mike loved his brother and sister very much, often bringing up their names so fondly.

Growing up as an “Okie from Muskogee,” Mike developed an undying love for big rig trucks (driving them professionally for 22 years), classic country music, family traditions and watching sports. His devotion as a University of Oklahoma fan – complete with a vast collection of OU hats and apparel – was well known among his friends, co-workers, and, of course, family. Boomer Sooner could not be contained! A special family memory took the Pumphrey family to an awesome football game vs. UCLA just last fall, when the Sooners stomped the Bruins 48-14!

Whether it was the road trip to that OU game or to his sons’ many baseball and basketball tournaments or taking in another country music concert with his dance partner for life, Lezley, Mike embraced life on this earth just as he embraced the people he loved – fully and completely with no regrets. Mike enjoyed every mile as a truck driver, logging his travels day or night, hour after hour with no complaints. He loved the smell of diesel, and yes, it was in his veins.

Mike also loved hanging out with Lezley and their families. Anything that would bring his loved ones together gave him joy – which meant he would be blessed with a bounty of joyous moments. Mike’s athleticism and sports knowledge has molded the Pumphrey boys – Connor Joseph and Cohen Alexander – into phenomenal athletes and even more amazing young men. Now sitting in the best seat in the house, the boys’ dad will always and forever be cheering for his @PumpDawg4 and @CocoBaller7.

Mike and Lezley married on June 24, 2000 – the start of their one-in-a-million journey together. As each other’s best friend, they lived, loved and laughed together each and every day. In recent years, Mike was able to join Lezley regularly for her event planning tasks. The dynamic duo teamed up to create wonderful occasions for so many local businesses and families, making even more friends along the way and showing others what it means to be a husband-and-wife team for life.

Mike was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Eugene “Gene” and Lois Katherine of Porum, Oklahoma; and his maternal grandparents, Joseph Alfonso and Emma Louise Carbonneau of Paramus, New Jersey. Left to cherish the memory of their one in a million is Mike’s beloved wife, Lezley; sons, Connor and Cohen; his parents, Lonney and Arlene Pumphrey; brother Daniel “Dan” Paul and sister-in-law Casey Pumphrey; sister JoLynn Marie and brother-in-law Tim Sheldon; along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Lezley and the boys would like to thank their families and friends, as well as their baseball and basketball families, for everything they have done to provide comfort during this horrific tragedy. We are forever grateful for all the prayers, food, flowers, text messages, phone calls, cards, social media posts, love and support received as we remember and celebrate Mike’s life.

A special thank you to: Pastor Mike Espejo, Greenlawn Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, Willow Ranch and the Motor City employees for the endless amount of support.

In our sorrow, we find peace in knowing that our one-in-a-million Michael remains our Lucky Star, watching, even twinkling, from high above … and that, one day, we will all be together again.

A Truckers Last Ride
He traveled the roads in the years gone past
a life he chose and hoped it would last.
Driving all night from state-to-state
trying to get home and arriving late.

He parked his truck now,
his engine has stopped
and those who have loved him
their hearts have dropped.

He traveled every mile
with a smile and great pride
now he travels the streets of Heaven
on the Truckers Last Ride
Read Less

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Joseph "Mike" Pumphrey, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, March 20th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Friday, March 20th, 2020 2:00pm
    Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest - Celebration of Life Center
    2739 Panama Lane
    Bakersfield, CA 93313
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest - Tribute Center
    2739 Panama Lane
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Tim and Lynnette Madden and Larry, Nancy and the Pumphreys have sent flowers to the family of Michael Joseph "Mike" Pumphrey.
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist

Larry Pumphrey

Posted at 04:22pm
"Michael Pumphrey" will remain in our hearts forever.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Michael Pumphrey

Lezley Parker Pumphrey

Posted at 01:39pm
See You Again
Said goodbye, turned around
And you were gone, gone, gone
Faded into the setting sun,
Slipped away
But I won’t cry
‘Cause I know I'll never be lonely
For you are the stars to me,
You are the light I follow

I will see you again, oh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me, oh
‘Til I see you again …

My Dearest Husband, Michael,

You were such a wonderful husband, an amazing father, best friend, work partner and so much more …

I keep saying this because it’s so true: You were our one in a million.

And even if I had a million words, a million hours, a million lifetimes, I could never truly express how much I’m going to miss you. You are the LOVE of my life and we had something so special. We were beautiful together. My 27 years with you seemed to be so simple, but these last nine days have been so difficult. My years moving forward are going to be so hard and dull; I knew losing you would hurt, but I never knew this level of pain even existed.

You were my person; my one in a million. I wasn’t done loving you; I will never be done loving you. I wanted to love you for the rest of my life, and I will. It’s just that I want you back here, I would do anything to change that. But, if there was any other place that I’d rather you be, it would be in Heaven, where I know you’re safe, loved and pain-free, just surrounded by the peace and love you so deserve.

Our promise to each other wasn’t ever a goodbye, but I will “See You Again.” And many times, during our travels together, if “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood came on the radio, we would sing it … because we both knew. We knew that, at some point in our Love Story, this could happen, and it would be up to God to decide what would be next for us.

I remember the first time I met you – you came to my house because you remembered a family known as “The Brady Bunch” from Oklahoma. I remember asking my mom, “Who is that handsome man?” She responded, “That’s Michael Pumphrey from Oklahoma.”

And that’s when my Lucky Stars truly aligned. That’s when my one-in-a-million love entered my world.

And yes, that Wrangler butt drove me nuts (sorry to embarrass you, boys!) and I just had to have that “Okie from Muskogee.” I’m forever grateful to that friend who brought you to me that Saturday night, which changed my life forever. You swept me off my feet (many times). Together, we lived a wonderful life, we laughed every day and we fell in love over and over again.

You were a true gentleman – well-mannered, so polite, but always quick and witty, too. Your down-to-earth and good-natured soul attracted people the moment they got to know you. No one will ever forget your smile or that signature, contagious laugh. We still hear it in our minds, Michael. It is forever imprinted on my heart, just as the memory of our life together.

Our boys, Connor and Cohen, are so strong. I know how proud of them you are. You helped me build this solid foundation for them and, as a result, they shine bright just like you did. I know you’re deep in their heart and souls forever as well. We were very blessed that God gave us these two amazing boys. You were such a wonderful father to them, and I cherished watching you take them to school, get involved with them in their sports and how much you beamed as you showed them off to all our friends and other parents.

As they have become teenagers, I also saw how they always went to you for advice and, of course, you listened. You were always there to pick up the pieces and help them sort things out. They respect and love you from the bottom of their souls. Thank you for providing that solid foundation to our sons – because of you, they will be able to pass that along to their families one day as well. That is a legacy of love that you built, Michael. Even though you weren’t here long enough – you made sure that Connor and Cohen can carry a piece of you and make a positive difference in this world.

You were also the hardest working man, who never turned down a load or a haul. Not only were you committed to your job, you worked long hours (that would drive me insane at the time), but that work ethic was who you were at the core. You were so committed to providing for our family. I know that, when you weren’t at work, you enjoyed every minute of being a Dad Uber – or “Duber,” as the boys would call you (with affection, of course) – and you never declined to help me in any way, whenever I needed it. Even when I didn’t think I needed help. In the last three years, we became a prominent husband-and-wife team that created many wonderful memories for ourselves, our families and for so many local businesses. Without you, I would have never made this business into what it is today – you are the “Star” of Star Dezyns and I consider you the Lucky Star who guided my life.

You always made me and everyone around us feel comfortable, secure and loved – the ability to provide those gifts was one of your greatest strengths. You were my soulmate and my inspiration – my steadfast rock who saw me through thick and thin. You supported and loved us all and were always there to help navigate us through life’s challenges.
I’m going to miss your sweet, sweet smile, your special laugh, and that soft and sensitive touch when you held my hand in yours. I will miss being able to talk to you face to face, but I will speak to you often. I know you’re in my heart and you will provide comfort and confidence to me and the boys in the rough days ahead. I also know you’re walking and driving the Streets of Heaven, with a big smile on your face saying, “Keep truckin’ ahead – make the most of life – and I’ll see you soon.”
May God bless you and keep you, my one in a million, my best friend. So, this isn’t “goodbye,” my dear, sweet husband … this is ‘til I “See You Again …”

And until that day comes, I promise to turn to God for comfort and look for glimpses of you in our boys. But, when times get hard – as I know they will without you by my side – I will check the night sky above for my special, Lucky Star watching over us … my one in a million.

Love, your wife, Lezley ♥️

For you are the stars to me,
You are the light I follow
I will see you again, oh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me, oh
‘Til I see you again …

Lynnette Madden

Posted at 05:58pm
We are so heartbroken at the loss of Mike, his smile and kindness was amazing. Tim and I will always be thankful to call him our Friend. Love to Lezley and the boys.

Tim & Lynnette Madden

Tim and Lynnette Madden

Posted at 05:15pm
May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you. We love you and am honored to have wonderful memories of Mike and Lezley.
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Tim and Lynnette Madden purchased flowers for the family of Michael Pumphrey. Send Flowers


Larry, Nancy and the Pumphreys

Posted at 05:56pm
With caring thoughts, love and sympathy.
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Larry, Nancy and the Pumphreys purchased the Rays of Light Spray for the family of Michael Pumphrey. Send Flowers


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