Michael Valentine DalPonte
March 29, 1946 - June 21, 2014
Michael "Mike" Valentine DalPonte, age 68, passed away to be with our Lord on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at his home in Keizer, Oregon, surrounded by his loved ones. Mike battled a Glioblastoma Multiforme, terminal brain cancer for 18 months.
Mike was born on March 29, 1946 in Washington D.C to Peter Louis Dal Ponte and Crystal E. Osborne DalPonte. They and his brother, Tom DalPonte, preceded him in death.
He graduated from Fairfax High School, in Fairfax, Virginia in 1964 where he was a three-sport All Star athlete. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1969. Mike lived and traveled to many parts of the world as the son of an Army Colonel.
Mike met the love of his life, Barbara "Betsy" Newman DalPonte in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1966. The two were married on October 7, 1967 in Three Rivers, Michigan. Mike enjoyed a 33-year career with State Farm Insurance.
His joy of sports and children was a legacy. He devoted many years to coaching Boys Club basketball and Keizer Little League softball. He was passionate about nature, fishing, and music, and was a great fan of the Blues. Over the years they became avid and expert gardeners.
The essence of our father and husband was his comforting and sincere appreciation of the moments of time with his family and friends. His every acquaintance was unique and became an instant friend. He made a difference in the life of so many. His value of each day and uniqueness in each moment, was passed on to all the children he coached over the years. He taught the importance of positive effort over the worry of success. We hope he understood how many lives he touched and enhanced.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, his daughters, Lisa (Josh) Emerson and Kelli (Tony) Lelack, both of Keizer; and six grandchildren ~ Delaney and Cameron Engle, Chloe and Noah Lelack and Lily and Jesse Emerson. He also leaves his sister Kristi (Robert) Maling of Huntington Beach, CA, and many nieces and nephews he cherished.
Mass for him will be held on Friday, June 27, at 1:30 pm at St Edwards Catholic Church at 5303 River Rd. N. in Keizer, OR., private internment following. All are invited to share his Celebration of Life the same day beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Keizer Elks Club, 4250 Cherry Ave. NE. Share photos, memories and online condolences, please visit Mike's memorial website at www.keizerchapel.com.
Donations in his memory are suggested to the OHSU Foundation in support of the Blood Brain Barrier program in Michael's name. We wish to thank Drs. Petrunin, Gordon and Pierce of Salem Cancer Institute; Drs. Girod and Shaw of Cascade ID, Dr. Neuwelt of the OHSU BBB; the nurses of SH Infusion and Wound Care, Home Health and Willamette Valley Hospice. Above all we thank the everyday confidence and care of Ron Palm DO of Willamette Health Partners and all the staff who so gently cared for him.
Keizer Funeral Chapel
4365 River Road North Keizer, OR 97303
Published in StatesmanJournal on June 26, 2014