Earlier this month, my friend Michele Tresler (Ulriksen) slipped into the cosmos. She was best known for her memoir, "Reform at Victory," which describes her year-long experience at an oppressive, fundamentalist Christian reform school as a teenager. You can learn more and/or order a copy at http://www.reformatvictory.com. Michele was a dedicated Atheist and social liberal, with a passion for writing, science, punk rock, comedy, her daughter Ashley, and her studies at Portland State University.

She will be dearly missed by friends and family, and others who recognized her friendly smile, her dark and witty sense of humor, intriguing intellectual capacity, and her natural charisma at being a wonderful human being. Michele struggled with depression and anxiety for much of her adult life, and chose to end her pain at her Portland residence in the late hours of Saturday, March 12th or in the early hours of March 13. She overdosed on prescription Valium and drank the better part of a 750 mL bottle of Grey Goose Vodka. This happened after indicating those very intentions on her facebook page in the comment section of a thread in which she initially stated, "[I am] one bad relationship away from having 30 cats." She was found 4 days later by her roommate Patrick, who had unassumingly gotten home late every night that week, and checked on Michele after her former husband Robert called and expressed concern.

I knew Michele as a co-worker at KOAC in Corvallis. She quit a few years before I did. She was an administrative assistant and quickly became a good friend of mine after I moved here 6 years ago. We had a lot in common as far as our outlooks on religion (for the most part) and politics, as well as our taste in comedy and attitude toward mainstream society. We also share the experience of being put in a fundamentalist Christian reform school against our will in our teen years. We stayed friends well beyond her departure at the radio station. It seems the last time I saw her was in the Summer. I regret missing her recent 41st birthday, for whatever lame excuse I had.

No funeral services are planned at this time, though a small memorial was held in Michele's honor in Corvallis on March 20. Michele's former husband and close friend, Robert Ulriksen indicated that she never liked to settle in one place, so will not be buried in the traditional sense. Michele is survived by her younger sister Lisa, her 15-year-old daughter Ashley, and her former husband Robert Ulriksen. Her friends have offered their support to her family in these tough times, and are still reeling from the painful reality of Michele's permanent absence.