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Michael McCune


1938 - 2019
Michael McCune Obituary
Michael "Mike" T. McCune

Mike McCune of Healdsburg, California died peacefully at his home surrounded by family, after a battle with Parkinson's disease. He was joyful and kept everyone laughing through the very last moments of his life. He was 81.
Mike was born in 1938 to Joe and Mary McCune in Klickitat, Washington, a company mill town. His grandmother was a homesteader in nearby High Prairie and his father worked at the mill. After his parents divorced, Mike and his brother split their time between Los Angeles, with their mother, and the desert town of Boron, where his father became a machinist for the 20-Mule Team Borax mines. Though both his parents had only 8th grade educations, Mike completed high school at Dorsey High in LA, and eventually earned a BA and MA in Economics from UCLA.
Between high school and college, he enlisted in the Army and attended what is now the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. After a year of training in Mandarin Chinese, he was stationed in Taiwan where he translated Chinese radio transmissions (once, he translated a Chinese broadcast into the story of Chicken Little, to entertain his superiors).
Mike first met Mary Lee Reinhard in the 8th grade (he and a friend snuck her out of dance class for a joyride in the rumble seat of a Model T Ford). After Mike's stint in the Army, they fell in love and during their first years of marriage, Mary Lee worked as a teacher while Mike attended UCLA. They soon moved to Berkeley where they raised their daughters and lived for over 30 years.
Mike founded several businesses including a successful leasing company. He grew his last company, CLP (Contractors Labor Pool), from one office in Emeryville to 58 offices in more than 30 states. He also co-founded the first MBA program at St. Mary's College in Moraga.
Mike and Mary Lee loved to travel and, at one point, they took the family to Kenya for five months. In Berkeley, their back door was always open to family and 'extended family.' Close friends often stopped by for a meal and some stayed for months or years. After Mike retired, they built a house in Healdsburg, where they continued to welcome family and friends and Mike rebelliously fed their fluffy dog, Bisbee, under the table. He loved the gardens and wildlife surrounding the house and enjoyed their evening ritual of cocktails and the PBS Newshour.
Mike was an avid conversationalist and his greatest joy was to "talk interestingly." Towards the end of his life, Parkinson's disease stole his ability to speak fluently, along with his mobility. He had to adapt to being a listener and accepting help. He bore it with grace and was rewarded with love and support. Family and friends will cherish the memory of Mike's generosity, his mischievous sense of humor, and his love of books, a good story, and good company.
Mike is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Lee McCune, his three daughters, Robin McCulley, Shannon McCune, and Marianne McCune, his five grandchildren, Dylan, Laurel, August, Lois and Juniper, and his sister, Holly Maranto.
In accordance with his wishes, no services will be held.


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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 8, 2019
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