Inspired early in life by Walt Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” Mike developed an avid interest in submarines. He excelled in high school, scored well on his representative’s test and was awarded an appointment to USNA. He did not apply elsewhere; he knew what he wanted – Navy submarines. Mike survived the challenges of Plebe year and vowed that when he rose to leadership he would lead by example, by inspiration and show compassion when needed. He carried these values the rest of his life. The Nuclear Power program requires an outstanding academic performance at USNA followed by the renowned interview with Admiral Rickover. His interview ended as he sang the Navy Hymn for the secretaries present, as requested by the Admiral.
Mike completed the academic portion of Nuclear Power school but while at the prototype facility in Idaho Falls had a grand mal seizure which led to a diagnosis of epilepsy and medical retirement. His dream of commanding a submarine was gone, despite his hard work and desire. Returning to Sacramento he completed a Master of Civil Engineering at Sacramento State College in 1974.
He met his future wife that summer and secured a state job that fall. Mike and Mary Menz were married in January of 1976 with Mary retaining her name with Mike supporting that desire by saying, “I don’t want to change my name, so why should you?” They restored an old house in Sacramento, built in 1885, raising three sons there.
Mike retired in 2011 and after Mary retired in 2012, they moved to their “spread” in Nevada, five acres with a mule, a barn and home south of Gardnerville. Mike collected art, Mary sewed, and they collected wine together. Mike was called Home by his Heavenly Father after a sudden and brief illness on August 7, 2021. He was 73. Mike will always be remembered for the Hawaiian shirts he wore almost every day, most made by Mary. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mary Menz, sons Michael III (Allyn), Dominic, and Paul (Erin) and their wives, strong women all. He will be mourned also by his beloved grandchildren Charlotte, Zachary, Addyson, and Riley. Mike will be missed by his large and loving extended family and the many friends made in their new home of Gardnerville/Minden Nevada.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the family's Catholic church, St Gall's, on October 16, 2021 at 10:30 am
The family wishes to have donations made in lieu of flowers to the City of Refuge, which provides shelter
to pregnant women and their older child for the duration of the pregnancy and postpartum.
City of Refuge
PO Box 2663
Gardnerville, NV 89410
(Please mail a check or use PayPal online)
Updated: September 09, 2021
Curator: Ed Moore