Michael William Fernandez
April 20, 1941 - May 20, 2018
Michael William Fernandez was born April 20, 1941 in Sacramento to Robert Fernandez, immigrant from Spain, and Esther White Fernandez, native of Nebraska. He began his schooling in kindergarten at Elk Grove Grammar School and graduated 3rd in his class from Elk Grove High School in 1959. He was elected their permanent Class President and organized their class reunions for the next 50 years.
Mike married high school sweetheart, Shirley Smolnisky, in 1959. Son Michael Timothy was born in 1960 and daughter Celeste Louise in 1963. Celeste and her husband Tim blessed Mike with 3 grandchildren.
Mike graduated from Sacramento State College in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. During college he worked as an Engineer’s aide at Aerojet General Corp on the Gemini space program. Upon graduation, he began his career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in nuclear weapons development, the Tomahawk and Pershing II missiles, Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, National Ignition Facility, and many significant projects for our national defense. After 35 years, he retired in 2000.
Mike enjoyed playing sports, building heavy construction projects and the sedate activity of reading. He was a people person, nurturing friendships across the board and maintaining close relationships with the friends of his youth.
Mike started a 2nd career in Stockton, joining First Commercial Real Estate. Around that time, he married grade school friend Sara Colton Corrigan. When California’s commercial real estate market plummeted, they moved to Tualatin, Oregon close to Sara’s 3 sons and their families.
In 2009, Mike was diagnosed with Parkinsonian, also known as Multiple Systems Atrophy. He continued to maintain a subdued lifestyle and nurtured a deep faith in his Lord Jesus Christ. He was an AWANA leader for 3rd and 4th grade boys at church, and “adopted” an 8-year old Kenyan girl through World Vision. The Lord called him to His side on May 20, 2018. He is survived by his brothers Bob (wife Sandra) and Tom, and sisters Rita and Rebecca, wife Sara, son Tim, daughter Celeste (husband Tim), and grandchildren Ben, Samantha and Bryan.
A memorial service honoring Mike’s life will be held 10:30 am on June 20th at Herberger Funeral Chapel, 9101 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove CA 95624.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations on Mike’s behalf for World Vision, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063