Jan. 31, 1954 - Jul. 13. 2021
Well, to begin with, I was not ready to go. I was not ready to get sick and I sure as heck didn't see the big "C" coming my way. So if you' re reading this, and by chance we may have known each other, I'm no longer here. Sorry if I owed you money!
I was diagnosed in May 2020 with multiple myeloma, the doctors couldn't pinpoint how it developed or even how long I'd been carrying it. They suggested it could be "environmentally" caused, whatever that means. Sure, I'd made a few stupid miscalculations and bad decisions along the way during my life that may have contributed, they may have been job related or experimentally related. Sometimes my body was a temple and sometimes a trash collector. Heck, I was a proud baby boomer, product of the 60's and 70's culture, and a sailor to boot.
In any regards I'm not here to defend my actions, though I really lived a marvelous and fulfilling life. I was married to my soulmate for 42 years, had two marvelous children who have given me four of the greatest grandkids any grandfather could ask for. I was able to work in a job I loved for 37 years, retire early, and spoil said grandkids.
As I write this, knowing that my very existence is limited, I'm so sad that I won't be able to grow older with my wife, spoil my grandchildren even more, make fun of my brothers and sister, pet my dog and cats, or even walk on the beach ever again. I just hope that during my 67 years of living I was able to pass on some sort of knowledge and help someone along the way.
Thank you, Mike, I'll take over from here. Mike was born in Portland, Oregon, on January 31, 1954. His youth was spent growing up In Stevenson, Washington, loving the outdoors. Moving to Longview as a young teen, he graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1972 and enlisted in the Navy in 1973. He was a hospital corpsman with the Marines and was honorably discharged in 1977.
He graduated from Central Washington University in 1979 with a degree in planning and environmental management. That same year he married me, Jan, and also took a deckhand job with Knappton Corporation in Rainier, Oregon.
Unfortunately, due to the economy, he was laid off in 1984. Drawing on hobby experience working with wood, he soon found work building custom cabinets in Yakima, Washington. Shortly thereafter he landed his dream job with Foss Maritime where he started as a deckhand, worked his way up to tugboat Captain, then Port Captain. He loved the adventure of the job, something new every day.
After retiring in 2013, Mike took up another love: photography. He belonged to the Monticello Camera Club, entered many photo contests and did quite well. He loved photographing his grandchildren, nature and landscapes.
He was an excellent cook and an all-around handyman. This man could fix and build anything I asked! When not working around the house or out scoping the latest spot for a photo shoot, Mike liked to go metal detecting, and he was slightly obsessed with the show Curse of Oak Island.
Patiently waiting for me to retire in 2018, we sold our home of thirty years and moved to Maui to get some much-needed sun. We had three wonderful years on island before his cancer diagnosis was made. After many months of treatment there we decided to move back to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to OHSU. Mike was very fortunate to have been able to spend his last days with beloved family and close friends who reside throughout the Pacific Northwest.
He is survived by me, his wife, Jan; his daughter, Jennifer Stocks of Portland and her husband, Isaac, and their children, Evie and Isla. A son, Christopher Walker of Green Bay; his wife, Bobby Sue, and their children, Otis and Lulu. His mother, Audrey Walker of Longview; brothers; Steve, Jeff, John; and sister, Lauri Vela.
A celebration of life was held on July 21, complete with an appearance by a Foss tugboat! We love and miss Michael, a wonderful, thoughtful and kind husband, father, and son. You are forever in our hearts.