BRHS 2021 Distinguished Alumni: Mike Ramsdell | Head of Tremonton

Mike Ramsdell was born and raised in Bear River, Utah, where he attended elementary school. In 1960 he graduated from Bear River High School where he excelled in student government, sports, a capella choir, and a popular folk music trio. In his senior year, Mike was elected senior class president and was the quarterback for the Bear River championship football team.

After high school, Mike served an LDS mission in southern Germany and Switzerland. After his assignment, Mike attended Utah State University, where he earned a degree in political science and German. After studying law at the University of Utah, Mike was appointed an officer in the Military Intelligence Corps with a professional specialization in Russian / Soviet counterintelligence. During his active military service, he received degrees from the Defense Language Institute (Russian and German) in Washington DC, as well as a graduate degree from the Command and General Staff College for Military Studies. During his years of military service, Mike achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Highlights of his career include being an outstanding instructor at US / NATO School Command in Oberammergau, Germany. During his assignment in Scandinavia, Mike served as diplomatic courier for the State Department between the US embassies in Helsinki, Finland, and Moscow, Russia. The highlight of Mike’s career came when he was chosen to serve as the Military Liaison Officer for Secretary of State George Schultz during the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Moscow.

Mike’s book “A Train to Potevka”, which details his experiences in Russia at the end of the Cold War, has become a national bestseller. After the book’s release, Mike gained a reputation as a popular and sought-after speaker. Several national publications have written about Mike’s book and career, including the popular “Costco Connection”. His captivating interviews with the National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service are still broadcast from time to time. Three years after the publication of “A Train to Potevka”, it was followed by Mike’s second book, “The Gifts of Potevka”.

Mike and his wife Bonnie live in northern Utah with their three cats: Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin. Mike’s son Chris, daughter-in-law Jen and four exceptional grandchildren live nearby. Besides his work on the production of a movie “Potevka”, Mike maintains his passion for racquetball, skiing and college football.

Throughout his career, Mike has held many civic and religious positions, including the honor of serving as President of the very first LDS branch in Russia. He is grateful for the blessings of being a husband, father, grandfather and friend to those with whom he has served during his career. Despite his many years of overseas assignment and living overseas, Mike still proudly refers to Bear River as his home.

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