Michael McDonnell Robertson was born September 5, 1936 to John Marion (Buster) Robertson and Rose Ethel McDonnell in Two Dot, Montana. Mike, a proud Irishman, had two older brothers, Frank Elmer and John Marion and has a younger sister Cathryn. He grew up a rancher’s son and this is where his love of horses, cattle, sheep and all livestock began.
He graduated in 1954 from Harlowton High School, participating in FFA and then from Western College of Auctioneering in 1961. Mike, and his brother John, began their own ranch in 1956 in the Martindale, Mont., area which they had until around 1979. Mike moved to Benson, Arizona in 1981 in order to work at the Dusty A7 Ranch. In 1982, Mike met his wife, Lisa Warde, and together they began Robertson Horse sales. The first sale was October of 1984 and never has the 2nd Saturday monthly sale been missed in 35 years. Mike really loved being an auctioneer. Mike also loved to sing and play music. He played in bands throughout a lot of his life. He often would sing and call his auction chant while working or driving down the road. Mike was the kindest, most courteous and helpful man ever known. He was a true cowboy gentleman. He was the end of an era of men like him.
Robertson Horse Sales is not only a horse and estate auction but also a breeding program for performance AQHA horses. At one point, there were 36 mares and three stallions. The inspector for the western division of the AQHA, after viewing the horses, told Mike he had not known of a better set of mares put together which made Mike very proud. He loved his horses. He also loved his family and people in general. Everyone admired his integrity, honesty and kindness. They all would say they were amazed at how hard he worked. Mike built the facility where Robertson Horse Sales is located from the ground up. He cleared the land and every building but the house was built and every stick of pipe was welded. He built a fine facility for the training, selling and showing of horses. Mike loved to work and ride his horses and a good horse trade was never far off.
Mike was greatly admired and respected by his community, friends and clients. He was considered a fair man and that he could resolve any situation that might have had some problems. He was the great mediator.
Mike also loved to write and he was the author of two books, Cowboy Stories, Grit.
Horses and Faith and also Cowboy Stories, Farther Down the Trail. These books of short stories tell the life that Mike lived and loved so much.
Mike began hosting Cowboy Fellowship at the sale barn 15 years ago and he loved to learn about God’s Word with the cherished people that would attend. He was a man faithful to God.
Mike passed away quietly at his home on May 15, 2019 after a short illness. He is preceded in death by his parents, Buster and Rose Robertson, his two beloved brothers Frank Robertson and John Robertson. He is survived by his wife Lisa Robertson of Benson, Ariz., sister Kate Lechner, Harlowton, Mont., sons Jay (Dimathy) Robertson of Whitehall, Mont., Rory Robertson of Belgrade, Mont., daughters Karen (John) Lester of Bozeman, Mont., and Julie (John) Woodward of Harlowton, Mont. He has 13 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one great,-great grandchild and many beloved nieces and nephews. There will be, in honor of Mike, a Celebration of Life at Robertson Horse Sales on June 22, 2019 at 2 p.m.