Fairhaven Memorial Park Mortuary
1702 Fairhaven Avenue
Santa Ana, CA
Sokolski, Michael, was born in Poland, to Russian-born parents on September 25, 1926. During World War II, and the German occupation of Poland, Michael's home was bombed and he lost his mother. He was sixteen when he left the city alone on the last demolition train out, with only a loaf of bread.

Understanding the tremendous value of freedom, Michael served with the Polish Forces under the British Eighth Army Command during 1945 - 47 in Italy. He fought in the successful battle of Monte Cassino as a tank driver, was wounded, and honored with the Italy Star and War Medal for his service and enlisted with the Polish Resettlement Corps. Due to his "very good" military record, he was selected to be a student in the British Institute of Technology in Fermo, Italy. After his discharge, he emigrated to Sweden and ultimately to St. Paul, Minnesota.

In St. Paul, he entered Hamline University in 1952, as a foreign student. He worked his way through school for five years, receiving his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. After graduation, he took a position in Hawaii and eventually came back to Minnesota. There he worked for IBM Rochester as a design engineer, for five years, and in 1963 he became a U.S. Citizen. From 1966-1969 he founded and served as President of Datronics in Rochester, which he eventually sold to 3M Corporation.

In 1972, Michael moved to Santa Ana and married Joanne W. Mayo on July 2, 1972. That year, he founded Scan-Tron where he served as Executive Vice President of Engineering. As the engineer inventor of the multiple question, #2 pencil tests, Michael Sokolski revolutionized the method in which students, from all over the world, contend with test taking. He held multiple optical mark reading U. S. patents.

Mike was a Technical Reserve for the Santa Ana Police Department in 1979, a life time member of the Advisory Board for the Orange County Sheriff Department, was involved in both department's K-9 groups, listed in the "Who's Who in Finance and Industry", as well as Forbes Magazine 1984.

Mike's love of navigation fostered his interest in sailing and flying as a private pilot. In his retirement, Mike's love of the sea took him to Wisconsin's Apostle Islands and Lake Superior and on the West Coast the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia fishing for the elusive King Salmon. He was a "Master Fisherman" catching multiple 50 plus pound salmons. He made 123 trips during a 25-year period, taking his wife and family on many occasions.

Mike treated the sea with such integrity, that he was made an honorary Chief of the Haida Nation, a native culture of British Columbia. He was named Kilssay (Chief) G_uud (Eagle). He considered this to be a great privilege because the Haida culture is born of respect and intimacy with the land and sea and the air around us.

Michael Sokolski passed away on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at age 85 due to congestive heart failure. He is survived by his wife, Joanne; sister, Helen Brandes; nephew, Dr. William Brandes; niece, Dr. Lisa Brandes (Dr. Scot McLean); step-children he helped raise, Jodi C. Mayo, Dr. Joseph G. Mayo (Susan); grandchildren, Jennifer Kremen, Elizabeth Kremen, Kathryn Mayo, Joseph Mayo, Chloe Joanne Mayo, Charlotte Mayo and Chandler Mayo. He was preceded in death by his stepson, Dr. Chester W. P. Mayo, and grandson, Chester Michael Mayo.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 2:30 p.m., Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary, Waverley Chapel: 1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705, reception to follow. Fairhaven Memorial Park

Published by Orange County Register on Jun. 26, 2012.
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11 Entries
Forever grateful to Randy and Bob Wright to introducing my husband Rick and Myself to Mike and Joanne Solkoski, our lives were forever enriched by knowing you. Love you, Gail from Haida Gwaii❤
Gail McDonald
June 20, 2019
Joanne, I just heard of michaels passing the otherday . I'm so sorry of ur loss n was glad to have met him .. God Bless U. Dana (WOONER) Hastings
Dana Wooner-Hastings
September 13, 2012
Joanne - I so enjoyed the support of Michael of Santa Ana's "Code Enforcement" efforts. May his efforts in trying to help the City not go unrecognized. Hugs to you...Beth Aldecoa
July 7, 2012
My family and myself grieve with you, Joanne. I will always be grateful to Randy for getting us together. Our hearts are with you from Haida Gwaii. Love you--Gail,Rick, and Missy
Gail McDonald
July 6, 2012
Our family is so saddened to hear of the passing of Mike. Joanne - our hearts go out to you and your family.
I first met Mike and Joanne at Hippa Island, Queen Charlotte Islands back in 1988 and had the pleasure of salmon fishing with Mike many, many times.
I learned a lot about life from Mike. And, If I were to describe what I knew of him words like Jovial, gregarious, full of life and determination come to mind. He was a real legend.
And - if I were to describe his fishing ability, I'd say LUCKY!
(He'd grab me by the arm for sure for saying that!)
Our Master Fisherman's hat's off to you Mike - Tight Lines my friend.
George & Lisa Cuthbert
George Cuthbert
June 29, 2012
I am truely sorry for your loss from your husband, My thoughts and prayers are with your and your family. God bless you all
Lola Macias
June 27, 2012
The family of Michael Sokolski,
I am so sorry to hear of your lose. My thoughts and prayers are with you! God Bless you all...
Darlene and Don Ahlstrom
Darlene Ahlstrom
June 27, 2012
mike you were one heck of a good person and customer. it was a pleasure to know you and joanne through your roof process. many a life story you told me about yourself was a history lesson in itself, my boys and your dog is a expierience we still talk about to this day, rest in peace my friend
david nunez
June 26, 2012
Mike was an absolute original and it was an honour to be his friend. We will miss him here in British Columbia. Blessings to you, Joanne, and to the family.
June 26, 2012
Our family was so sadden to hear of the passing of Mr. Sokolski. Michael was a very special friend and neighbor, we will miss him.

George & Mary Hanna

Joan Hanna Borack & Family
June 26, 2012
A good friend and a man of conviction. Definitely one of a kind. May he rest in peace.
June 26, 2012
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