Michael Gary (Mike) Fleniken passed away on February 29th at the age of 62. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 25, 1953, Mike was the son of Carroll Joseph Fleniken and Jane Newton Fleniken of Lafayette, Louisiana.
He was predeceased by his father and his younger brother, Gregory Joseph Fleniken.
Mike graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and after a five year courtship married the love of his life, Connie Lynn Walton of Lafayette on April 9th, 1983. Connie and Mike were itinerant gypsies moving numerous times and living in several states before settling in Houston, Texas.
Arriving in Houston in 1989, Mike began working in the oil and gas industry as a landman. He co-founded Portman, Fleniken and McCall and after a few years left that partnership and founded the OGM Corporation.
Under Mike’s expert leadership, OGM became the largest oil and gas land company in the United States with a dozen offices and twelve hundred employees. In 2013 he sold his majority interest in OGM, which then became the Percheron Corporation. Mike remained on the Board of Directors at Percheron, as well as several other subsidiaries of companies founded by him.
During their 33 year marriage, Mike and Connie traveled extensively abroad and enjoyed purchasing their eclectic collection of artwork and antiques. Mike loved building homes on their ranch in Burton, Texas, restoring antique furniture and helping to fund the Animal Friends of Washington County, located in Brenham, Texas. The annual fundraiser, emceed by Mike, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the animal clinic. With a substantial donation from Mike and Connie, Animal Friends opened the Connie Clinic, which provides low cost neutering and spaying for cats and dogs, helping to reduce the population of unwanted pets in Texas.
This project was the dearest of all to Mike and Connie. Secondly would be Mike and Connie’s devotion to conservation land easements.
Their Burton, Texas ranch was one of the first properties in their county to be put in a permanent conservation easement , preventing development and hunting, thus protecting and the preserving several hundred acres of land in perpetuity for wildlife.
After purchasing a historic manor home designed by the renowned American architect, William Lawrence Bottomly in The Plains, Virginia in 2011, Mike and Connie began an extensive renovation of the grand 1930’s residence known as Cloverland.
In 2012, they moved from their Burton, Texas ranch to Cloverland. Surrounded by their menagerie of dogs and cats, they continued their love of traveling and the gypsy twosome was already planning and looking forward to a new building project on their land in Sonoma County, California.
Mike will be deeply mourned by his wife , Connie L. Walton of The Plains, Virginia, mother Jane Newton Fleniken of Lafayette, Louisiana, two sisters, Cindi Fleniken Baxter and husband John of Lafayette, Louisiana and Sondra Fleniken Young of Mena, Arkansas. Four nephews, Louis Austin Walton of New Orleans, Louisiana, Trevor Young and wife, Sherry of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Troy Young of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and William Baxter of San Francisco, California. Two nieces, Lauren Baxter Knecht and husband Kirk of Lafayette, Louisiana and Tory Amanda Young of Denver, Colorado. His brothers and sisters-in-law, Thomas Larry Smith and wife Melinda Walton of Leesburg, Virginia, Jackie L. Walton of Marshall, Virginia, Jerry L. Walton and wife, Cindy of Lafayette, Louisiana and Suzy Aycock Fleniken of Lafayette, Louisiana as well as a lifetime of close friends.
A memorial celebration of Mike’s life will be scheduled later in the year. In lieu of flowers, his family prefers donations in Mike’s name to the Animal Friends of Washington County, 3901 Highway 36N, Brenham, Texas 77833.
Some hold the belief that whenever a soul leaves this earth, an impact is made that forever changes something or someone left behind. With the passing of Michael G. Fleniken, it is impossible to exaggerate the impact and the sense of immeasurable loss for so many whose lives were enriched by his generosity and spirit.