Michael passed on June 29, 2018 at Mercy Hospital, the same hospital where he was born in 1949.
He left behind his wife of 44 years, Linda; his children Nicolas and Merry; Alex and Chrissy; and Cassie; and his grandchildren Autumn, Emmy and Adam. He was preceded in death by his father, Reginald; his mother, Joan; his brother, Doug; and his nephew, Kyle.
He loved the water beginning as a child playing at Planz Pool; swimming competitively for South High School; and lifeguarding and playing water polo while at Bakersfield College and UC Santa Barbara. His passions were scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, sailing and lap swimming. Water was his element!
Michael graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in mathematics and a secondary teaching credential. He "hired out" with Santa Fe Railroad during his summers in college and chose to follow a career as a conductor with BNSF Railroad for 40 years. He served as secretary/treasure for the UTU for about 25 years, supporting the union work.
Michael and Linda built their home on 20 acres in Tehachapi. Here they raised their three children, feasted with family and friends at their kitchen table, had the companionship of golden retrievers, and enjoyed time in the garden.
In 2009, he battled against metastasized melanoma and won by undergoing experimental treatment at NIH (National Institutes of Health) developed by Dr. Steven Rosenberg. His survival was a miracle!
He realized the fragility and finiteness of life, relishing the moments with loved ones, adventures and travels with Linda, and scuba diving in the waters of the Santa Barbara Islands. Linda and he traveled to Italy, Spain, England, France, Switzerland, Greece, Fiji, Mexico, Canada and throughout the USA. His favorite destination was Hawaii.
During his final six months, he fought courageously for life when diagnosed with acute leukemia. The family would like to thank Dr. Ricardo Salas at Rio Bravo Cancer Center and Dr. Ronald Paquette at Cedars-Sinai for fighting along with him. He was an exceptional man. His laugh and the twinkle in his eyes will be forever remembered!
A gathering will be held at Triassic Vineyards, 24627 Cummings Valley Road in Tehachapi on Friday, Aug. 24 at 10:30 a.m. to share memories and to celebrate Michael’s life. Men, wear a Hawaiian shirt if you have one.