Michael Francis Mandis
August 4, 1952-September 23, 2023
Mike died peacefully in his sleep on September 23, 2023. He was 71 years of age. He is survived by his devoted wife, Judy, and his siblings: Jim, Kathleen, Beanie, and Mary Anne.
Born in Beirut, Mike spent most of his early childhood in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia attending the Aramco schools. When it came time to go abroad for boarding school, Mike developed "irreconcilable differences" with the administration at three different institutions of learning, although he achieved graduation success at Santa Clara High School in California,
When his mom and dad, Dorothy and George, retired in 1971 to Eugene, Oregon, Mike lived with them while attending Lane Community College where he earned Associate of Science Degrees in diesel and automotive technology. Shortly after, he moved to Moss Landing, California after having designed and built a 40-foot, twin-hulled, ocean-going catamaran. He sailed to Santa Catalina where he worked both construction and parasailing jobs with the catamaran serving as his home. He later sailed to Huntington Beach, California, where he further expanded his resume by becoming a licensed boat captain.
Mike and Judy met in southern California. In 2008, they moved to Oregon and bought a home on the McKenzie River near Vida, Oregon.
In 2004, Mike suffered a severe stroke which left his right side almost completely paralyzed and required his use of a cane for mobility. Judy selflessly supported him through this challenging time. Despite his handicap, Mike persevered in his pursuit of being productive and was involved in a variety of local activities. He was recently celebrated as the longest-standing volunteer board member of the McKenzie Community Track and Field Association. He built many strong friendships in the McKenzie River community. Mike's skills, creativity and craftsmanship seemed limitless. He was a top-rate mechanic, built a 12-foot miniature pirate ship and sailed it in multiple "The Tall Ship" regattas along the California coast. He created a company, Privateer Shipbuilding, to produce and market his custom-made boats and nautically-themed furniture pieces.
Mike lived his life as a proverbial free spirit and proved over the years that he was really his own best boss. He was a mechanic, carpenter, furniture maker, welder, boat builder, sea captain, commercial scuba diver, “pirate” and bootlegger. Those who knew him will never forget his hearty laugh, his wit, his stories, and his brown moonshine. We will all deeply miss him.