Mike loved life with a passion, loved his family and friends unconditionally and had a heart as big as the world. He fought each day to live life to the fullest, and despite his health issues it never stopped his zest for life and living each moment with joyful determination until Jesus called him home on June 6, 2018. He is now free of his earthly body and at peace in the arms of Jesus.
Born in San Francisco on April 5, 1940, Mike had many fond memories of growing up in Hayward, CA, graduating from Hayward HS Class 1957, and from San Jose State with a degree in engineering. He spent his career working as a Quality Control Engineer in the marine systems and defense fields. Mike has lived in Gig Harbor, WA the past 37 years, a place he loved and made so many memories.
Proud of his Greek heritage, as his mother had immigrated from Greece, his fondest early memories were of the delicious Greek food, devotion to family, and the warm, loving Greek culture. He would never miss the Tacoma Greek Festival and the chance to relive those memories!
Mike was an amputee and so proud of his specially designed prosthetic leg with the Seahawks logos. He embraced each health challenge as an opportunity to overcome, pushing forward with a positive attitude due in great part to the amazing care of his medical providers and Fire Dept paramedics. They gave him hope, respect and friendship, and that meant the world to him.
Knowing Jesus Christ as his Savior was the core of Mike’s faith, and expressing that in singing was Mike’s passion. Singing in Life Center’s Singing Christmas Tree for many years was a joy he shared with treasured friends. The “Choir Guys” from Chapel Hill’s choir were a true support for Mike in his battle to persevere in his health adversities. They truly lived out their faith in walking with Mike and were saints on earth.
If it was loud, had an engine and went fast, Mike loved it… especially his love of 55-56-57 classic Chevys! His friends in the Rainier Classic Chevy Club were like family to Mike, and he loved each one of them as they shared so many of the adventures he treasured in life. Cruising in his 1956 Chevy, with the music playing, whether in a parade or on a road-trip or at a car show, was a bit of heaven for Mike. His car club friends gave Mike so much joy and support. He was gregarious, with a big laugh, loud voice and a willing bearhug for all.
Passionately devoted to his family and with a heart full of love, Mike was a giving, caring, nurturing husband, father and brother who fought fiercely these past 14 years for each day to be with them.
He is survived by his wife, Cyndi, his soulmate throughout these past 35 years. Passionately devoted to each other, they persevered as a team to meet the challenges of his health while looking for God’s light and guidance to treasure each moment they were together.
Mike is also survived by a daughter who he adored and was the light of his life, Stacy Smith (Jim Sturgis) of Chico CA, and a son he was so proud of and loved beyond words, Erik Brand of Seattle WA. He is also survived by his sister, Ann-Marie Steig of San Leandro, CA, with whom he had a special bond throughout his life and who will be forever in his heart; a special part of the family, Benito Solano; and especially his loving extended family. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, William and Constance Smith, and his son, Christopher at four years old. They were never forgotten and always in his heart! There are so many friends and family who Mike loved and the times he spent with them brought him so much joy. Thank you for all the compassion, care, help, and friendship given to Mike throughout his life. It meant the world to both Mike and Cyndi.
A memorial service in Mike’s honor will be held at the United Methodist Church in Gig Harbor on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the MultiCare Health Foundation or a local humane society or animal rescue of your choice.
Please see the area below for a video tribute of Michael. Press the play button to view!