Mike Tiger, 70, continued his journey on Friday, November 20, 2020 surrounded by his loving family after a period of declining health at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. Mike was a registered member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
He was born on March 7, 1950 to his late father Seminole, Howard Tiger and his Mother of the late eastern band of the Cherokee Indians, Winifred Sneed Tiger. He is also predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Cam and Minda Bradley Sneed of Cherokee; his paternal grandmother, Ada Tiger of the Seminole tribe of Florida, Snake Clan; as well as his two brothers, Clyde Tiger and Vernon Tiger.
Mike is survived by his wife of 46 years, Judy Gloyne Tiger and four children, Ernest Dwight Tiger, Russilla Bree Tige, Catcuce Veron (Katie) Tiger and Katie Tiger Smith (Elijah). He also leaves behind six grandchildren, Ali Skye, Mikah Day, Lil Catcuce, Shaligugi and Ani Unole. Additionally, he is survived by his beloved sister, Ruscilla Tiger of the Hollywood Reservation. He is also survived by his first cousin, who was more like a brother to him, Moses BigShot Jumper.
Mike leaves behind many friends, family members, co-workers as well as his childhood friend, Dan Miller, whom Mike considered a brother. He also leaves behind many caring members of the Sneed family in Cherokee.
Mike grew up on the Dania-Hollywood Reservation in Broward County, Hollywood, Florida. He was very proud of his Seminole tribe of Florida and the eastern Cherokee Indian Heritage Band. Mike grew up living in a chick until his father moved the family into a house on the Hollywood reservation. As a young man, Mike was an exceptional athlete at McArthur High School. With four other Seminole teammates: Joe Osceola, Moses Jumper, Max Osceola and Moses Osceola; these Seminole players have been dubbed The Fearsome Five. They were instrumental in winning the 1967 District Football Championship. Mike then attended the University of Tampa to play football. Mike joined the National Guard and served from 1969 to 1974.
Mike began his long career in 1971 at the age of 21 when he was elected to the board of directors of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. He is the youngest to hold public office in the Seminole tribe. In 1973 he came to work full time for the Seminole Tribe as Director of Human Resources. Eventually, he was promoted to executive administrator of the Seminole tribe. In 1982, Mike moved his family to Nashville, Tennessee, to work for Indian Health Services (IHS). The IHS office in Nashville manages all of the resources needed to provide health services to American Indians and funding for the Urban Organization for American Indians living from Texas to Maine to Florida.
Over the next 22 years, Mike held many different positions within Indian Health Services, from Executive Director to Deputy Director. During the last 10 years of his time with Indian Health Services, he served as Regional Director. Mike retired from Indian Health Services in 2004 after 22 years of service and returned home to Florida to work for the Seminole Tribe as Tribal Treasurer. During Mikes’ journey, he made many friendships through his love of hunting and fishing. He also left a lasting impression of his enjoyment of coaching, sport and his professional career.
His family will hold a memorial service for Mike Tiger at the Cherokee Baptist Church on Monday, November 23. They will accept condolences and visitation from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., when his daughter, Katie, will begin her eulogy. After his eulogy, they would like to invite friends and family to talk and share some beloved memories of Mike. Then there will be a closing prayer.
Mike will be buried at the First Seminole Baptist Church in Hollywood, Florida, next to his family’s home.
The family requested that no flowers be sent for the memorial service; those who are so inclined can donate to Mikes Memory at the Cherokee Baptist Church Building Fund, PO Box 395, Cherokee, NC 28719.
If you plan to attend, please wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing to protect each other.
Long House Funeral Home helped the Tiger family make the final arrangements.
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