Michael (Mike) Lee Adelman, 43, passed away in Seattle, WA, on March 24, 2023, after suffering a heart attack in his home. A celebration of life is scheduled for 3pm on Sunday, April 2, at the Sunset Bay Lodge at the Ballard Elks in Seattle. Another celebration will be planned for late August in his hometown of Milbank, SD.
Mike was born on December 28, 1979, in Milbank, SD, to Betsy and Joe Adelman. As is common in a small town, Mike participated in nearly all available sports and school activities (even musicals!); although his two true favorite activities were swimming for the Milbank Area Lions Swim Team and playing on the American Legion Post #9 Baseball Team.
Mike graduated from Milbank High School in 1998. He then went to South Dakota State University, where he was a record-setting distance swimmer for the Jackrabbits Swim Team. He was also a loyal member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. After graduating with a Bachelors’ degree in Economics, he moved on to get his Masters in Business Administration at St. Cloud State University. He has had many jobs in the finance/technology world. Most recently, he was the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Technology at Tanium.
Ever present in Mike’s life was his true love Sara (Bierschbach). They first met when he joined the swim team at the age of 8. Sara was 6 and already had a year of swim team under her belt. They spent every summer of their childhood swimming with each other. It wasn’t until Mike’s senior year and Sara’s sophomore year of high school that they started dating. They continued dating all through college while attending different schools and married on June 18, 2004, in Minneapolis, MN.
Mike and Sara moved to Seattle in July of 2006 and loved spending time together exploring a new city and hosting guests from back home. They moved to the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle after falling in love with the Nordic vibes that reminded them of home. The most important part of their lives didn’t start until they had their daughters, Tenley Elizabeth in March of 2009 and Sophie Lee in January of 2012. Mike was the most amazing dad to Ten and Soph.
It is hard to explain the impact that Mike had on the lives of all the people he met. He was everyone’s favorite and was the life of every party, kids’ sporting event, school/neighborhood gathering, and family function. His infectious smile drew people in, and his laugh kept them there. He was ever-present in the Loyal Heights neighborhood of Ballard, where he, Sara, Tenley, and Sophie resided for the past 10 years. He was a coach for various teams that the girls played on, and at the time of his death was coaching Sophie’s basketball and softball teams. All of that, combined with the many people he met while walking his chocolate lab Emmie multiple times a day, meant that there was hardly a family within a mile radius who wasn’t connected to him in one way or another.
Mike was preceded in death by his grandparents Vince and Margaret Adelman and Vince and Bernette Karels and his uncles Bill Karels and Greg Adelman. He is survived by his wife Sara and daughters Tenley and Sophie; parents Betsy and Joe Adelman of Milbank, SD; Ben (Tong) Adelman of Renton, WA; Andrew Adelman of Richfield, MN; Emily (Travis) Bjordahl and their children Jonny, Tommy, and Will of Milbank, SD; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; his in-laws Mark and Jan Bierschbach of Corona, SD; and his brother-in-law Jeff (Rachel) Bierschbach and daughter Sydney of Minnetonka, MN.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the following:
Milbank Ball Diamond Association
South Dakota State University Jackrabbit Swimming & Diving
Designation: Excellence Fund for Swimming and Diving
American Heart Association