Michael Anthony Krostag

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Michael Anthony Krostag, 45, of Vancouver, Wash., passed away on Oct. 29, 2012.

Michael was born Nov. 23, 1966 in Pequannock, N.J., and spent the first seven years of his life in Oakland, N.J., before moving with his family to Dallas in 1973.

He graduated from Gate of Heaven Catholic grade school in 1981 before moving on to Bishop O'Reilly High School in Kingston. In the summer of 1983, Michael had a diving accident in a swimming pool that left him paralyzed. From there, Mike spent the next several years at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia. Although bed-ridden and learning to cope with his new situation, Mike continued with his high school studies and was able to return to Bishop O'Reilly in order to graduate with his friends in the class of 1985.

Prior to his accident, Michael was very involved in sports and other activities, including Little League baseball, his grade school and high school basketball teams, cross country and Cub Scouts. He was also an altar boy. Despite the physical limitations presented by his accident, Mike never lost his desire to be the best that he could be in life.

Mike was determined to live a full life. It was the beginning of the personal computer age and Mike jumped right in. Mike attended and graduated from Luzerne County Community College and in 1990, he moved to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon, where he studied business and Japanese. He became very popular among the Japanese students and thus began a lifelong appreciation of the Japanese culture. Mike graduated in 1997 and was determined to live as much of a "regular" life as possible.

He combined his love of the Japanese culture and his desire to succeed in business by helping to start a Japanese restaurant in Beaverton, Ore. The Sambi restaurant, along with the management of several rental properties, became the center of Mike's productive life. Mike was so determined to become independent that he even learned to drive and was able to get around by himself for a few years.

Despite Mike's disability, he was a seasoned traveler. He travelled up and down both the East and West Coasts and made a few cross-country trips, visiting all the big national parks such as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. He even went to Hawaii a few times to enjoy the tropical climate.

Mike was a caring person who touched the lives of many. He was generous and never hesitated to help those in need. He had a dry sense of humor but was always upbeat. His attitude was amazing for someone in his position. Many people, especially his brothers, always looked to him as a source of inspiration.

Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Connie (1979).

He is survived by father, Robert Michael; brothers, Patrick "PJ" and his wife, Gaylene, and Rob and his wife, Helena; nephews and nieces, Kevin, Ryan, Jasmine, Jenna, Joey and Juliana.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Swoyersville. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. at St. Nicholas Cemetery, Mountain Street, Swoyersville.
Published in Times Leader on June 16, 2013