CLEVENGER, Michael A.
Mike (91) passed away peacefully, January 10th , 2020 in Santa Barbara, CA, after a long and adventurous life. Born in Spokane, WA on August 13, 1928 he spent his childhood in Houston, TX.
He told stories about the lasting effect of his scouting days in Texas as a member of the Trail Blazer Patrol.
“The patrol meetings and trips we took developed skills and confidence that helped me in my work and marriage. The satisfaction of being the best patrol of Troop 50 and achieving recognition at the Scout Jamborees were lessons of value I’ve always cherished.”
Mike started in the oil exploration business when he was 17. He went on to work for Geophysical Associates during his college days at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where he graduated with a degree in Geophysics in 1951.
While working on a geophysical crew in Canada Mike met his wife of 60 years, Billie (Wilma Allan). They were married on a cold Canadian day in December of 1951 and enjoyed a warm honeymoon in Acapulco, Mexico.
Mike and Billie moved with the geophysical crews in the U.S. and Canada over the next few years and had a son, Ralph, and daughter, Susan. By this time Mike was working for United Geophysical Corporation and the opportunity to work overseas set the family on a new path. They lived in France, Iran, Libya and Egypt before returning to the states in 1965. Mike’s work overseas was instrumental in finding many of the largest oil fields in the middle east and north Africa.
They spent two years in Metairie, Louisiana before moving to La Cañada, CA in 1968 where Mike continued his work at United Geophysical eventually becoming president of the company. The Clevenger family had lived in 21 different places in six countries over 17 years.
Mike and Billie lived in La Cañada for 25 years. Mike traveled for work, visiting west Africa, China, and South America in the search for oil. Mike and Billie played lots of tennis and enjoyed entertaining friends and family in their close-knit community. Mike retired in 1990 but he never retired from life’s adventures.
Both Clevenger children and their new grandchild lived in Santa Barbara so in 1992 Mike and Billie built a new home on the Mesa to be close to their family.
They spent several years traveling throughout the west and Canada. One of Mike’s proudest accomplishments was his ascent of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States. An avid skier, Mike spent every winter skiing in Mammoth, and his passion for fly fishing took him throughout the west as well as Alaska, British Columbia, Belize, and New Zealand. He was very proud of being a co-founder of the Santa Barbara Flyfishers and the work he did as a volunteer wilderness ranger for the U.S. Forest Service.
Mike is survived by his daughter, Susan Clevenger, his son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Mary Jane, and his grandson, Gray Clevenger.
“Mike is now on an extended fishing trip”.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Parkinson’s Association of Santa Barbara.