James “Mike” Colee
Mike Colee, 56, of Santa Barbara, CA died on Oct. 1, 2018. Mike was with two friends on a camping adventure when their plane crashed in northern Mexico. All three passengers perished. Mike is survived by his wife, Carol, his son Kevin and his daughter Kelly. He was predeceased by his father Frank. His relatives include his mother, Marlene Berger, his stepfather, Randy Berger, and siblings Jamie Colee, Cheryl Swift, George Colee and Bracken Berger.
Mike was born in Phoenix, AZ on May 22, 1962. He went to college at BYU and earned a degree in Electronic Technology. In 1987 he earned his MS degree in Electrical Administration from the University of Utah. Microsoft Corporation headhunted and hired Mike, who moved to Redmond, WA immediately after graduation. He spent the next several years helping to develop Windows 3.0 and 3.1 and worked on an MSDN team. While living in the Seattle area, he met and married Carol. Together they enjoyed many Pacific Northwest outdoor adventures. Their twins, Kevin and Kelly were born in 1995 and the family moved to Santa Barbara, CA in 2000.
Mike led an extraordinary life as a person who epitomized the phrase “carpe diem.” He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He had many passions: cycling, competitive windsurfing, flying, computer programming and enjoying locally roasted coffee and conversation with good friends. He loved working in his shop where he could design and build things out of metal using machines that could carve aluminum like butter. Mike learned many of these skills from his beloved grandfather, who was a machinist by trade.
Mike was always available to others when they needed help of any kind. His engineering experience and abilities enabled him to repair just about anything. He would also drop everything to help with simple but important things like solving computer problems, moving furniture and charity events. Some of his friends have described him as “an angel among men” … “the kind of man you would want as a friend and neighbor” …. and “one of the evolved, conscious men this world needs more of.” One friend says, “Mike’s passing creates a void in humanity’s heart, we are left without his devoted friendship, adventurous spirit and unsurpassed kindness.”
His family wishes to thank the many friends who have supported us through this difficult time. It will be a very lonely journey without him in our lives. Very few people have enjoyed life as much as Mike did. In lieu of flowers, please honor Mike’s loving, generous spirit by performing a kind deed to help someone in need.
A Celebration of Life/Paddle Out will be held on Oct. 20th at 10:00 am for his family and friends. Please visit Forevermissed.com/mike-colee for details.