Mike Villanueva – A Tribute For One Of Our Own

Comments (2)
  1. Moore says:

    This is excellent, good work Ellis!

  2. KATRINA VESEY says:

    Hello, this is Katrina Vesey (Fred Vesey’s widow).

    To all of the incredible men of MDI (especially the ones from the Southern California Division who were instrumental in helping me move into this tiny cottage last August), I was so shaken and heartbroken to learn of Mike’s passing from Jim Ellis this week. It is still so hard for me to comprehend. I met Mike for the first time, when he showed up with the group that evening to unload the huge moving truck. He hadn’t ever met my husband Fred, but was here to do whatever it took to help me get settled. Mike touched my heart, and I will forever be grateful to his managing the men that came together in Ocean Beach, to unload my belongings (or part of them) which just arrived from Northern California (in thanks to the amazing men from YMUW, who took incredible care of me by organizing and loading the moving truck for the long trip south).

    Mike was so instrumental in just taking over, making sure that everyone was doing what needed to be done. It didn’t take long for me to realize what a wonderful man he was, and looked up to by many. What stands out in my mind most of all, was Mike’s genuine care and concern for me, his gentleness and kindness. I was in such a state that evening, stressed beyond belief, and operating on very little sleep for a very long time. I had just lost my beloved husband Fred, a few months earlier, and grief had pretty much taken over my life. After a bit, it was noticed, that I was not going to be able to move all of my belongings into the cottage, it was too small. Some of the items had to be hauled back to the truck, and we realized I would have to find storage to keep the overflow, until such time as I could figure out what to do with it.

    Mike made sure the truck was secure, and the plan was to get a storage unit close by. I was of no help whatsoever, mentally or physically. Mike came back to pick me up the next day, to go find storage which we did. He just took control of the whole transaction. Eventually, I was able to get rid of the storage unit altogether. Mike and I would email in between times, and I talked about having him to dinner, and I know he was looking forward to that. He shared with me that he would be pursuing a teaching job eventually, which is what he wanted to do.

    I am so sad that the dinner here never happened. In all reality, I haven’t even had my own kids/grandkids or friends over to dinner since I moved in here last year. I just haven’t been in the right mindset to entertain anyone. Grief! Now, I am getting ready to move again (for multiple reasons)….to a much roomier place in a beautiful area of San Diego…and luckily still as close to my kids.

    I will never forget Mike’s calming demeanor, how much he cared about what I was feeling during that whole time, and how he managed to settle me down. I felt so fortunate to have met him, even though it was under such stressful circumstances. He worked tirelessly, as did all that men involved, and he never complained.

    If he managed to make such a strong impression on me in such a short time, I can only imagine what impact he had on all of you men. He was special, I could sense that immediately. Gone WAY too soon, dearest Mike. I will never forget you! Rest in peace.

    With love and gratitude, Katrina

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