Mike Tiger, 70, continued his journey on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 surrounded by his loving family following a period of declining health while at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. Mike was an enrolled member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
He was born March 7, 1950 to his late Seminole Father, Howard Tiger and his late Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians mother, Winifred Sneed Tiger. He is also preceded in death 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 his 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. In addition, he is survived by his loving 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, co-workers as well as his childhood friend, Dan Miller, who Mike considered as a brother. He also leaves behind many, may caring members of the Sneed Family in Cherokee.
Mike grew up on the Dania-Hollywood Reservation in Broward County, Hollywood, Fla. He was very proud of his Seminole Tribe of Florida and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Heritage. Mike grew up living in a “chickee” until his father moved the family into a house on the Hollywood Reservation. As a young man, Mike was an outstanding athlete at McArthur High School. Together with four other Seminole Teammates: Joe Osceola, Moses Jumper, Max Osceola, and Moses Osceola; these Seminole Players were dubbed “The Fearsome Five”. They were instrumental in helping to win the 1967 District Football Championship. Mike went on to attend The Tampa University to play football. Mike joined the National Guard and served from 1969-74.
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 person to hold public office of the Seminole Tribe. In 1973, he came to work full time for the Seminole Tribe as the Human Resources director. Eventually, he was promoted to executive administrator of the Seminole Tribe. In 1982, Mike moved his family to Nashville, Tenn. to work for Indian Health Services (IHS). The IHS Nashville Office manages all the resource s for providing health services to American Indians and Urban Organization funding for American Indians living from Texas to Maine to as far south as Florida.
Over the next 22 years, Mike worked in many different positions with Indian Health Services, from executive officer to deputy director. The latter 10 years of his time with Indian Health Services, he served as area director. Mike retired from Indian Health Services in 2004 after 22 years of service and went home to Florida to work for the Seminole Tribe as the tribal treasurer. Along Mike’s journey, he made many friendships through his love of hunting and fishing. He also left a lasting impression from his enjoyment of coaching, sports and his professional career.
His family will be holding a Memorial Service for Mike Tiger at Cherokee Baptist Church on Monday, Nov. 23. They will be accepting condolences and visitations from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. at which time his daughter, Katie, will begin his Eulogy. After his eulogy, they would like to invite friends and family members to speak and share beloved memories of Mike. Then there will be a closing prayer.
Mike will be interred at the First Seminole Baptist Church in Hollywood, Fla. next to his family home.
The family has requested that no flowers be sent for the Memorial Service; those so inclined may make a donation in Mike’s Memory to the Cherokee Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 395, Cherokee, NC 28719.
If you plan to attend, Please wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing to help protect each other.
Long House Funeral Home assisted the Tiger family with final arrangements.