Sept. 8, 1946 - Nov 2, 2013
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Michael Rydjord was born Sept. 8, 1946, in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and graduated from Bloomington High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris, with a double major in psychology and philosophy. Upon graduation he attended Officers' Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas followed by pilot training in Lubbock, Texas. His military assignments included flying reconnaissance missions at Korat Air Force Base, Thailand; instructor pilot at Reese Air Force Base, Texas; recruiter at Fort Snelling, Minnesota; C-5 pilot at Travis Air Force Base, California; C-5 instructor pilot at Altus, Oklahoma; and finally back to Travis flying C-5s where he retired in 1989. Following retirement from the Air Force he became a pilot for USAir working until he was furloughed in 1991. While on furlough, he did simulator training for Flight Safety at Travis Air Force Base.
During Mike's seven year furlough he served as a volunteer for a month at a time at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park where he welcomed park visitors at all hours day and night, did maintenance, trail work, and park improvements including designing and installing an electrical solar system for the host quarters. He continued serving as a camp host there until his diagnosis of terminal brain cancer in 2012.
Mike also served as a docent for the Solano Land Trust where in 2008 he helped organize the Lynch Canyon Kite Festival, which has become an annual event. His hobbies included carpentry, car repair, home improvement projects, working on computers, hiking, enjoying national parks, and snowmobiling in Yellowstone.
Mike had an inquisitive and analytical mind with an insatiable curiosity and a quest for knowledge. He was a quiet, unassuming man who spent his life taking care of others, being a "behind the scenes" person who always saw what needed to be done. Mike was devoted to his family who greatly appreciated his many fine qualities, especially his dry sense of humor. Memories of his dancing eyes and broad grin will be cherished.
Mike is survived by Linda, his wife of 45 years, and their three children, Timothy (Kelly) Rydjord, Erica (Michael) Mayer, and Todd (Shelly) Rydjord; grandchildren, Maggie Ohama, Cameron, Morgan, and Riley Mayer, Grace and Dani Rydjord, and Naomi Rydjord; sisters, Kathleen St. James and Colleen Rydjord; numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Curtis and Arlene Rydjord and father and mother-in-law, Loyal and Doloris Busby.
The visitation will be held at Nadeau Family Funeral Home on Friday, Nov. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m., with an evening service to begin at 6 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Nadeau Family Funeral Home on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. Interment will be at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to
, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 or NorthBay Hospice, 1200 B. Gale Wilson Blvd, Fairfield, CA 94533.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Nadeau Family Funeral Home
Nadeau Family Funeral Home - Vacaville
180 East Monte Vista Avenue Vacaville, CA 95688
Published in The Reporter on Nov. 6, 2013