Michael J. Fajer|
July 31, 1927 - April 19, 2014
SALEM - Michael J. Fajer was a life-long Oregonian, born in Portland on July 31, 1927, to immigrant Slovakian parents, Michael Steve Fajer and Elizabeth Janis Fajer. During the Great Depression, Mike spent his childhood growing up near the former Vaughn Street Baseball Park in northwest Portland, where he also attended St. Patrick Elementary School. This early influence inspired Mike to later play baseball in high school, college and in the semi-professional leagues. He remembered fondly and often the many friends he made while growing up in "Slabtown."
Mike was student body president of Commerce High school in Portland during the height of WWII. During his high school years Mike worked full-time in the summer in war-related industry, including the shipyards of Willamette Iron and Steel, the American Can Company, and Timber Structures. Immediately upon graduation from high school in 1945, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving one year assisting in the demobilization of WWII Navy personnel. After the war, Mike attended the University of Portland from 1946 to 1950 where he earned a degree in Business Administration.
Mike married Joy Yvonne Crosswhite in 1951 and moved to Eugene where they made their first home. In 1953 he moved his family to Salem, where Mike worked for the State of Oregon for thirty-two years, retiring in 1983. During his thirty-two years of service, he worked for several State agencies, including the Department of Corrections, Budget and Management Division, Department of Motor Vehicles, Executive Department and the Department of Human Resources. Mike and Joy were married for fifty years. After Joy passed away in 2001, Mike married Dorothy Mae Gysin in 2004.
Mikes interests included the competitive game of handball and, together with his Salem partner Lee Shinn, won two Pacific Northwest Doubles titles. He also enjoyed converting his extensive music collection from the 1940-50's into digital formats. Mike was a member of the St. Vincent De Paul Parish in Salem since 1956. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the First Catholic Slovak Union, Multnomah Athletic Club and the YMCA.
Mike is survived by his second wife, Dorothy Gysin Fajer, and by his four children; Michael Vincent, David James, Keith Allen and Mary Frances Gritta. His daughter, Elizabeth, died in a 1986 vehicle accident. Mike has seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am, Friday, April 25 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 1010 Columbia St NE. Viewing will be at 3:00 pm, Thursday, April 24 followed by Recitation of the Rosary at 7:00 pm, both at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Apr. 22, 2014