Obituary of Michael John Sphar
It saddens the family to announce that Michael John Sphar passed away on July 30, 2023, in Lodi, CA, at the age of 76. Mike was born in Palo Alto, CA, to Clark & Lorraine Sphar. He attended Menlo-Atherton High School and continued his education at Linfield College (now University) in McMinnville, OR, where he graduated with a degree in Physics and a minor in Math. It was here that he met his first love, Carol, and the two married shortly after Mike graduated. After college, he enlisted in the Air Force, and was assigned to the Air Maintenance Squadron at Travis AFB. He was commissioned as an officer and transitioned to the Air Force Reserves, eventually retiring as a Major. He worked in Silicon Valley in its infancy, primarily in Quality Control and Computer Operations at National Semiconductor and Intel Corporation. Later on, he made the decision to be his own boss and started his company, Mike Sierra Enterprises. It was a one-man shop where he contracted IT services to several large tech firms. He was quite successful in this endeavor, allowing him to retire in 2004 at the age of 57.
Over the years, Mike pursued his passions with unbridled enthusiasm, glider flying, snow skiing, building a cabin at Lake Tahoe, and sailing. He always said he loved the 3-dimensionality of flight, and he loved exploring the most challenging runs at various ski resorts. He skinned up and skied the back country before most skiers even knew what that was. At a young age, his Dad taught him some engineering and construction skills, which he used throughout his life, particularly in building his cabin. His Dad also taught him to ski and sail, both of which he enjoyed immensely. Mike renewed his love of sailing by purchasing a 40-foot cutter rig sloop, and sailing from Miami to the Virgin Islands, with exciting (and otherwise) adventures along the way. Puerto Rico became his Caribbean home base when he cruised the islands.
Mike and Carol eventually divorced, but their daughter, Melissa, remained the most important part of his life. In the early 80's Mike found new love with Monica, and the couple married in 1985 on Guam, her home island. The two enjoyed traveling and dabbling in various real estate ventures. They lived in Santa Clara, CA, then moved to Gardnerville NV, only to return to California, settling in the rural town of Clements, San Joaquin County. Mike became a winegrape grower/farmer, working their 5-acre vineyard in Lodi.
Mike is survived by his wife, Monica, daughter, Melissa (Luke), grandchildren, Sophia, Ashley, Olivia, Joshua, Weston, Amanda, Hannah, and Walker, brother, John (Kristen), sisters-in-law Donna (Gary), and Kat (Pete dec.), nephews Scott, Isaac (Desiree), and Nate, nieces Katie, Suzie, and Dawn (Dave), and many other friends and family. He is predeceased by his father, Clark II, mother, Lorraine, and brother, Clark III.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Sphar, please visit Tribute Store