Michael “Mike” Joseph Landers, 76

December 6, 1947 – July 4, 2024

Michael “Mike” Joseph Landers entered his earthly home of New York on December 6, 1947 and departed to his heavenly home on July 4, 2024. He leaves behind Susan, his wife of 54 years, three children: Michelle Bellew, Brandon Landers (Janie), and Marc Landers; grandchildren: Alecia Sanderson (Josh), James Bellew (Jessica), Julia Williams (Robert), Jenna Landers, Brandi Landers, Ayden Taylor, and Riley Taylor; great-grandchildren: Rhett Sanderson, Swayze Sanderson, Clay Parker, Hunter Parker (Abi), John Carter Parker, and Caden Parker, Tyler Wlliams, and  Viktor Williams; and two sisters: Carolyn Pellerin (Dana) and Beth Landers.

He is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Landers, mother, Mary Zolen Landers, sister, Joann Landers, father-in-law, Roscoe Bartlett, and mother-in-law, Opha Bartlett.

Funeral Services honoring Mike’s life will be at 2 PM Sunday July 7, 2024, at Trinity Assembly of God with Bro. Keith Fox, and Bro. Ronnie Smith officiating and his daughter, Michelle sharing personal reflections. Visitation will be from 5 PM until 8 PM on Saturday July 6, 2024, at Trinity Assembly of God and will continue Sunday from 12 Noon until Service Time. Burial will follow in County Line Cemetery in Dry Creek.

Mike, a Yankee by heart, met his Mississippi bride in unique fashion while he was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base close to Panama City, and Susan was completing her psychiatric training in Chatahoochie, Florida. The two met at a beach hangout in Panama City in 1967. Susan went back to Mississippi and finished her nursing school. She and a friend moved to Florida so she and Mike could continue dating, and two weeks later he was shipped to Vietnam. While in Vietnam, Mike bought a recorder and an engagement ring and recorded his proposal and mailed them both to Susan. She received them and recorded her response which was “yes” and sent her answer to him. Mike returned from Vietnam, and three days later they were married on September 21, 1969. They moved to California where he was stationed and began their family with their first two children. Mike served in the United States Air Force from May 1967 to December 1973. In 1973 they moved to Mississippi and planted their roots. Later, they completed their family of five with another son.

Mike began his teaching career at North Pontotoc a few years before he moved to Pine Grove School where he taught high school English and Spanish and also drove a bus route. He ended his career at North Pontotoc Middle School where he taught English and drove a bus route and the band bus where he also became known as the “Voice of the Vikings.” He challenged his students and expected only their best and often quoted to, “Never settle for mediocrity.” He also found it important to always have a pen in blue or black ink.

He was an avid member of Trinity Assembly of God and was involved in many areas of the church. He often stated, “A man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child” which contributed to him attending  Assemblies of God camps at Indian Springs as a counselor or as the camp nurse and serving as a Royal Rangers leader where he impacted many young men to pursue a relationship with Christ. He enjoyed men’s ministry and attended several Promise Keepers conferences. In his latter years, he became a Gideon.

Mike loved his family, friends, and country, but most importantly he loved God. His life was anything but mediocre. In the days after his passing, many people stated how much of an impact he had on their lives, from being the best English teacher to a great man who loved his people. However, the words that have the most lasting effect are those spoken by people who said because of him, they have salvation. He showed them what it was to be a strong Christian man and pointed them to Jesus.

As Mike was surrounded by family and friends, he made his transition to Heaven. His family has found great comfort and assurance in knowing he is with his Savior! His family will miss his unwavering loyalty, his banter, and his inability to make it through a family dinner speech without crying. They will miss walking into his house to find him sitting in his recliner and trying to steal the remote when he dozed off. But, more than anything, they will miss him.

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