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Michael Lewis Sickels

Michael Lewis Sickels passed away June 7, 2016, in Coos Bay, Ore.; he was 72 years young. Mike was well known for his lifelong obsession with lawn care, woodworking, unique organizational skills, and love of helping others. In the end, it was pancreatic cancer and kidney disease that took him from his loving family and friends. Mike was born June 19, 1943 in Seattle, Wash. to Harold and Ruth Lenore (Lewis) Sickels. Mike grew up raising award-winning sheep in the Shedd and Brownsville areas for the local 4-H club. He excelled as an all-state football lineman, found his love of cars and good friends, and honed his leadership skills at Central Linn High School, where he was valedictorian in 1961. Mike attended the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Central Oregon Community College where he also enjoyed snow skiing and worked fighting forest fires. From 1967 to 1973 Mike was a member of the Oregon Army National Guard. In 1968, he met the love of his life, Cherylee in Bend, Ore., and they married April 26, 1969. He found his lifelong career and passion in 1962 when he began as a teller at Bank of Shedd. In 1964, he moved to the Bend area and worked for Bank of Central Oregon until it was purchased by  Western Bank in 1972. In 1973, he moved his family from Redmond to Coos Bay, furthering his career with the bank. In 1976, he was promoted to executive vice president at Western Bank and held many important roles such as chief financial officer and corporate secretary. Mike and Cheri moved to Medford, Ore. in 1993 when Western Bank moved its head office, and after his children graduated high school. He continued to thrive in his leadership roles until the bank was purchased by Washington Mutual in 1996. Early retirement did not serve Mike well, as he was restless and believed that he had more to give to the banking community. He co-founded People’s Bank of Commerce in Medford in 1998 where he held the position of CEO, CFO, and chairman of the board until his retirement in 2008. He maintained his position as chairman of the board at People’s Bank until his passing, after 54 years in the industry he loved. In 2005, Mike and Cheri purchased a second home in Coos Bay, moving there full time in 2009. Along with Mike’s professional banking career, he was actively involved in the banking and financial community, holding numerous leadership roles within Independent Community Banks of Oregon, and the Oregon Economic Community Development Department Finance Committee. In 2006, he was honored by the Oregon Bankers Association with an induction in to the Bankers Hall of Fame. In addition to his leadership roles in the banking community, Mike was actively involved with many civic and community associations such as Medford Rotary Club and Medford Rotary Foundation, Rogue Gallery and Art Center Board of Directors, Coos Bay School Board, Bay Area Hospital Budget Committee, Pacific Cove Humane Society, and Southwestern  Oregon Community College Budget Committee. He had also been an avid supporter of youth activities. Mike loved to spend time traveling in his motor home to support the sports activities of his grandchildren. He also loved traveling with his wife and friends, visiting historic and scenic destinations near and far. His numerous travels took him from Alaska to Mexico, California to Key West, Fla. Mike reveled in his passion of woodworking, history and military history, good music, classic and hot rod cars, airplanes, ships, and the sea. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family and friends. In addition to his wife of 47 years, he is survived by his children, Myndee (Dale) Brown, Michael Sickels II, Robert (Brenda) Knorr, and Robin (Tony) Bunnell; his brother, Brian Sickels; grandchildren, Daylen Brown, Carissa Bunnell, and Chad Bunnell; great-grandchild, Izabella Bunnell; and many step-grandchildren. His extended family includes many cousins, nieces, nephews, his stepmother, and stepbrothers and sisters, who were all a large part of his life. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Ruth Lenore Sickels; as well as his favorite four-legged “children," Gretel and Willie. Mike will be greatly missed by many. He was an active member of the community and his industry. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and cousin. He was a mentor and teacher to many throughout his entire life. Even though his physical being may be gone, his great wisdom, caring and giving nature, love for animals, and love for all those around him will live on. A celebration of life will be held for Michael Sickels from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Bastendorff Beach RV Park pavilion in Coos Bay. Reservations at local RV parks should be made well in advance as this coincides with the Bay Area Fun  Festival and Cruz the Coos/Show ‘n Shine weekend. Contributions may be made in memory of Michael Sickels to: OBA Education Foundation, P.O. Box 13429, Salem, Ore. 97309; Rural College Technology Scholarship, an endowment for technology and business, SWOCC Foundation, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, Ore. 97420; Pacific Cove Humane Society, P.O. Box 361, North Bend, Ore. 97459; Coos History Museum - 1210 N. Front St., Coos Bay, Ore. 9742

Michael Lewis Sickels