- Published on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:01
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff
Resident of Los Altos
Feb. 17, 1936 – June 7, 2014
Mike was born and raised in Belle Harbor, New York, where he grew up near the ocean with his parents, Nathan and Rose Korn, and two younger brothers. He later graduated from Cornell with an MA in mechanical engineering and went on to serve as a Lieutenant in the Navy on an aircraft carrier, the FDR.
After returning from the Navy, he married Barbara and started a training course at IBM in New Jersey. In 1972, he moved with his wife and three sons to Northern California. He joined IBM’s Palo Alto office, where he would spend the next twenty-seven years of his career.
Mike and his family settled comfortably in Los Altos, where he was a devoted father, a supportive husband, as well as a friend to many. Mike was a true family man, unfailingly there for his sons. As well, he was a man who offered unwavering friendship, someone people could count on.
At IBM, Mike worked as a systems analyst. He loved his work. He was well-respected and known for the quality of his work and being a gifted troubleshooter. During his prolific career, he inspired and mentored numerous colleagues, always sharing his ideas and thoughts generously and modestly.
As much as Mike loved his work, he also possessed a great love of the outdoors. The prospect of a tough hike or a long bike ride had always put a grand smile on his face. Wearing his signature, beat-up hiking boots, with a sweatshirt draped over his shoulders, and a toting a small pack filled with an apple and his favorite cookies, Mike found immense enjoyment in setting foot on any trail.
He hiked innumerable trails in California, as well as having taken great delight in climbing Mount Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts, during his semi-annual visits with his mother in Williamstown. Being the consummate hiker and explorer, he savored every moment and every day that he was out on a trail in the midst of nature.
When he wasn’t hiking, he enjoyed swimming, mountain and road biking, visiting Tahoe Tavern and sailing in his mini-fish for hours every summer, taking in the beauty of Lake Tahoe. He travelled often with his family, taking trips to Hawaii and Carmel and Canada. Accompanied by his wife Barbara, he often went to the theater to take in a Broadway show and attended concerts given by the San Francisco Symphony.
Mike had the love and admiration of his friends and family, whose lives he filled with acceptance, humor, endearing habits, an unabashed wit, and his unique brand of charisma.
His life was full, rich, and filled with extraordinary experiences. He volunteered his time by assisting AARP seniors with their taxes, taking classes and eventually obtaining his state license to become a HICAP counselor. He later broadened his cast of experiences by taking a pottery class and selling colorful candles at the flea market. Mike was a man who contributed as much as he could and in any way he could, all the while meeting new people and chatting it up.
He was blessed with a long and amazing marriage. His wife Barbara lovingly cared for him, bringing him joy both before and during his illness.
He was peerless in his immense and enduring courage in facing the battle that was his lengthy illness, even smiling and laughing when he found something to be amusing. Mike was always fond of a good joke. He has imprinted our hearts with his determination to forge ahead in the face of unthinkable circumstances and insurmountable odds. He displayed a conviction that lies only within the souls of the bravest of individuals.
Mike never uttered a single complaint during his illness. His strength and bravery made the unbearable acceptable for all of us. True to his selfless spirit and thoughtful nature, he left us with the gift of hope, reminding us to never give up on the dream of life, to be your true self, and to live life to its very fullest, just as he had.
Mike passed away peacefully from corticol basal degeneration with features of progressive supranuclear palsy. Donations in his honor can be made to Brain Support Network for PSP, www.brainsupportnetwork.org/#donate or BSN, P.O. Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026.
Mike leaves a legacy of being a loving husband, a proud father, and a wonderful and equally proud grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; three sons and daughters-in-law, David and Peggy, Ze’ev and Linda, Paul and Angela; five grandchildren, Emily, Daniel, Amichai, Elizabeth, and Katie; and two younger brothers, Donald and Gerald.
“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” -Helen Keller