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Michael Paul Humlie Veteran
November 05, 2023


Michael Paul Humlie passed away at the Veteran’s Home of California, Ventura on November 5, 2023, after a brief illness. He reached his 70th birthday an hour before he passed. His family of loved ones was with him through-out the day, in person and by phone. He had many hearts surrounding him and ushering him forward in his last days and hours on earth.

Mike was born in Phoenix, Arizona on November 5, 1953, to Paul and Virginia (Rommereim) Humlie. His parents were thrilled about the arrival of their son, and excited to show his sisters, Kris and Deb, their new baby brother. It was a day of great celebration for his immediate family and his extended family.

In 1957 Mike’s mom moved with her children to Garden Grove, California to be close to her twin brother and family, at a time when she needed support. It was a hard life change for everyone, especially for Mike to lose contact with his dad at such a young age. Fortunately, the move brought many wonderful people into the family’s daily life--an aunt and uncle, cousins and many new friends.

Mike went to middle school in the Garden Grove area. He played saxophone in the band during those years. He spent two years at Rancho Alamitos High School and joined the diving team. In 1969, the family moved to Thousand Oaks. Mike attended Thousand Oaks High School his junior and senior year and was a competitive diver on the 3 meter and 10 meter tower. He graduated in 1971. After high school he was a lifeguard and water safety instructor for the Conejo Recreation Park District and a swim instructor for children 5 to 15 years old. In 1972, he coached the Newbury Park High School diving team.

Mike enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1973. He did his basic training at Lakeland AFB, and was in tech school at Chanute AFB. He became a Life Support Specialist at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, focusing on the safety and survival of pilots and crew members during flight. His job was to ensure that all crew members were fitted with the proper helmets, survival vests, etc. He worked with crews of C130 Hercules planes, CH53 and C3 helicopters and F4 fighters for a 12 man flight test squadron.

A highly meaningful moment in Mike’s life was in 1975 when his daughter, Erika, was born. After being honorably discharged from the service in 1976, Mike and his family moved from Utah to California, then to Illinois. Mike eventually returned to California and his family stayed in Illinois. Mike and his daughter didn’t spend a lot of time together during his lifetime, but they developed a strong bond nonetheless. Erika now lives in Wisconsin with her husband and daughter. His granddaughter, Ellianna, was recently married, which made Mike very happy.

After returning to California, Mike became interested in photography and began working in camera stores. He was quite talented as a photographer. He decided to enroll at UCSB, majoring in Law and Society and Philosophy of Legal Ethics. While attending UCSB, he worked for the Veteran’s Administration helping G.I.s with their education and housing benefits. He graduated from UCSB in
1983 and then went to work for Tony Rose Camera in the Santa Barbara area. This lead to an interest in electronics and store management.

He found a niche in store management and in 1988 became manager of Adray’s Department store in Ventura. In 1990, he moved to Santa Rosa to manage The Good Guys home electronics store. He helped open a Good Guys store in Bellingham Washington and managed a K-Mart store in Sacramento. In 1999, he became store manager of Circuit City in San Jose, a goal he had worked toward for many years.

Unfortunately, in July 1999 Mike had a heart attack which significantly changed his life. A few years later, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and eventually became completely disabled. He lived in Ben Lomond, CA for a number of years. His disability became more and more impairing, so his family offered to move him down to the Ventura area in 2008. He agreed to come.

Mike was born into a close-knit family of Norwegian ancestry. His great-grandparents all came from Norway. He comes from a long line of musicians, ministers, farmers, nurses, and teachers. He was fortunate to be born into this hardworking extended family of simple means, but very rich in love, heritage and wonderful traditions. Even though close to family and appreciative of the love that was shared, Mike had his own way of living his life which everyone respected. In his later years he dealt with a lot of pain. It was a struggle to be in pain all the time, but he endured it. He is now free. Mike will always be remembered as a good-hearted, intelligent, kind person. He was dearly loved by many.

~Vi elsker deg, Mike~

The family would like to thank the many caregivers, nurses, doctors and staff at the CalVet Home in Ventura, for all their compassion in helping Mike during his illness. He enjoyed his life at the VA home and was very well cared for. We also wish to thank Assisted Hospice Care in Ventura for the care and compassion offered Mike in his final weeks. We are very grateful.

Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Frislie; his step-father, Don Frislie; his father, Paul Humlie; his sister Beth Anderson (Humlie). He is survived by his daughter, Erika (Kurt) Simonson, granddaughter Ellianna (Caleb) Keen, sisters; Kris Carlson, Debbie (Greg) Wynne, nephews; Jake (Ariana) Lewis, David (Lerin) Neill, niece, Traci (Chad) Peplinski, great-nephew and niece, Lucas and Lexiana Neill, half-brothers and sisters; George Humlie, Mario Humlie, Carmen Russell, Petra Bolton and their families, step-brother and sister; Doug Frislie and Diane Syndergaard and their families, many cousins, second cousins and a very special aunt.

A Military Honors service will be held at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in the weeks to come. A private family gathering will be planned for some time next year.

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Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home & Cremation Service
757 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001