Michael Eugene Hall, 84, of Farmers Branch, Texas passed away at his home on Aug. 9, 2023. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, and will be deeply missed by all.
Mike was born in Ponca City, Okla., on March 22, 1939, to Gene and Marian Hall and was a student at St. Mary’s Catholic School. When he was 13 he moved with his parents to Dallas where he attended Hillcrest High school, graduating in 1957. He was 6’5” and slender in his teen years which required him to special order his Levi pants.
While a high school student he borrowed $500 from his grandmother to start a lawn mower repair/hobby shop business. He also attended Arlington State College (later UTA) studying architecture. After 2 years of college, he found that trying to go to school and run the lawnmower repair shop was too much, especially after marriage and 2 kids, so he stopped school to focus on the business.
The business was hugely successful and evolved into a Schwinn Bicycle Dealership that later became Mike Hall’s Bike Mart with 5 locations in Dallas. The Bike Mart was the top selling Schwinn Dealership in Texas for many years ultimately becoming the largest selling dealership in the nation.
Mike sold the Bike Mart in 1980 and started a home building business which he successfully ran until the late 1980’s when he semi-retired. He met the love of his life, Debbie Wipff, at Denim and Diamonds Dance Hall in Albuquerque, N.M., in July of 1988 and they were married in September 1990 in Dallas.
A lifelong learner, Mike taught himself computer programming and then taught programming and CAD drafting classes at Collin College in the mid 1990’s. He also took pottery classes and eventually became president of the Craft Guild of Dallas for 2 years in the late 1990s. He and Debbie travelled with a group from the Guild visiting Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. He embraced the beauty of cruising late in life, enjoying trips through the Caribbean, Alaska, and the Mediterranean, and was looking forward to a passage through the Panama Canal later this year.
An adventure enthusiast, Mike enjoyed outdoor activities and was an excellent snow skier and ski instructor. Car and boat racing, water skiing and scuba diving were also favorites, and he helped his friend, David Meinhardt, teach scuba classes all over the Caribbean.
One of his favorite hobbies, which he continued for many years, was building and restoring cars. His talent resulted in winning numerous awards for his creations. His 1934 Ford sedan won the 1983 Street Rod Nationals in Oklahoma City; the 1979 Ford pickup was awarded Good Guys Truck of the Year 2003; and his latest creation, the 1933 Roadster, was recently named the Top Roadster at the Dallas Autorama. He was well respected in the automotive community and had a wall of plaques and trophies attesting to his accomplishments. He also had a “Wall of Shame” where he displayed his fabrication failures to remind himself to keep trying until the part was perfect.
Michael enjoyed going to his shop every day and meeting friends for lunch on a strict schedule: Tuesday at Marshall’s, Wednesday at Casa Navarro, Friday at Dunston’s and Saturday was a toss-up — Franki’s or Howard Wang’s. These esteemed gentlemen discussed cars and current events, and then they solved the world’s problems.
His other great love was his dogs. His beloved Babe was more human than dog. After she was gone, he found a puppy online and convinced Debbie they should drive to Green Valley Arizona to adopt Niki. Coco was adopted shortly after and the family was complete. Michael was a loyal donor and sponsor of the SPCA of Texas and supported their adoption programs and community service.
Mike believed in hard work, personal liberty, and personal responsibility. He was a spiritual man who had faith in God. He excelled in his personal and business endeavors and was a trusted friend and mentor to many of his peers and younger men and women throughout the years.
A member of the Osage Nation, Mike was proud of his Native American heritage and enjoyed recounting Osage history, including many stories about his Native American ancestors.
He loved his family and was proud of their individual and combined accomplishments. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Hall; children, Todd Hall (Sharon) and Laura Asay (Ted); 4 grandchildren, Michael Hall (Lexi), Andrew Asay, Catherine Bateman (Curt), Daniel Asay (Jacqueline); 4 great-grandchildren, Grace Bateman, Luke Bateman, Caroline Asay, and Thomas Asay; mother-in-law Myrna Wipff, brother-in-law Douglas Wipff (Tria), and five nieces and nephews.