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Michael Leavell

11/16/1937 - 01/28/2020 Mike Leavell passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, in La Quinta, CA on January 28 at age 82. He was born in Bakersfield but he grew up in San Pedro, CA. Born in modest circumstances, Mike developed an incredibly strong character and drive to succeed. He worked at anything available cook, machinist helper, flower delivery, unloading fruit at the docks, and then pool and L.A. City Beach Lifeguard. He graduated from San Pedro High school in 1955; received an AA degree from Harbor College in 1957; and received his BSEE from Long Beach State in 1960. He did graduate work towards an MBA at Santa Clara University; graduate work towards an MSEE at UCLA; and completed an intensive executive education course at Stanford University in 1986. His leadership style was shaped by his roles in the "Vendettas", an all-male social club that was formed on the campus of Los Angeles Harbor College and then a stint in psychological warfare unit during his year in the U.S. Army Reserves. Mike was employed in aviation engineering from 1960 to 1962, with a ten-month Army reserve assignment in Fort Bragg in the middle. He was employed at both Lockheed and the Computer Control Company into the mid 1960's. He worked at Hewlett Packard from 1968 until his retirement in 1996. He began his career at HP as an entry level applications engineer; worked his way into sales and sales management; and then managed large and global customer support and consulting organizations. He was promoted to Corporate Vice President in 1988. In his post-HP retirement years Mike enjoyed tennis, golf, the stock market, and traveling. Favorite annual events were 'Grandpa's summer camps', typically at Club Meds. He and Barb moved from Carmel Valley to La Quinta in 2012 where they particularly loved their dogs Meggie and Max. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Barbara Bishop; children Christopher, Lynn, and Tracy (from his first marriage to Terri Leavell); and sister, Jan Magdaleno. He is also survived by grandchildren Garrett, Gabrielle, Abbie, Matthew, Zoe, Nicholas, Alex, and Jack. And great-grandchildren Emily and Delilah. He will be laid to rest at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes on Monday February 10 at 2 pm. (In lieu of flowers please consider the Boys and Girls Club of LA Harbor or the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.)
Published in Daily Breeze on Feb. 4, 2020
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