- 64 years old
- Date of birth: Sep 13, 1950
- Place of birth:
- Date of passing: Jul 30, 2015
- Place of passing:
Torrance, California, United States
|Life is what you make of it. Pura Vida!|
Michael Udo March achieved, experienced, and enjoyed in life with all of us, a reality that can never be forgotten after death. Let us come together now as we remember the life of a man whose heart touched us all.
Michael was born in Lackau, Germany on September 13th, 1950 to Dr. Vera Helga March and William Bruno March. Even though his youth was overshadowed by the burden of the Cold War, he nonetheless had a pleasant childhood and determined mother that provided for him and his brother in a time of fear and unknown that would later impart him with the basis for his solid work ethic and humble heart.
In 1956, the family came to the United States via military ship under the provisions of the Refugee Relief Act where his mother, a graduate engineer put her education to work in an attempt to carve out a new life for herself and her two sons. Michael would later become a United States citizen on August 11, 1961.
Michael was childhood friends with Jay North (Dennis the Mennace) and would himself briefly try his hand at a Hollywood career. He studied Architecture and Space/Laser Technology at University of Southern California; Business Management at El Comino College and Information Systems Management at Los Angeles Harbor College. In August 1969 he accepted a job he thought would he would be bored with within 6 months... That ‘boring’ job became the very esteemed and prestigious career which would define much of his life. Through his hard work and dedication at Huck, later Alcoa, Michael truly shined, and it was there that he came to know and love many of you, and where many of us learned to know and love him in return. He came to love his work and his colleagues that, as a perfectionist, would never compromise. A legend in the industry not just for his knowledge but for the relationships he built with the people on the shop floor, customers, and suppliers. Even in his last months, anxious to go back to work, he said, “I made promises and I always keep my promises.”
We his children, his friends, his family, don't need to be reminded of dad’s thoughts for us; we are who we are because of him. And so a part of us has also died with him, and a part of us will be scattered with his ashes. What greater purpose in life is there, however, than to know that his life will live on through those that he has loved so dearly? What greater peace is there than to know than one's eternity will support, accompany and work through the life of another? What greater gift is there than the comfort that our lives are better because he worked so hard to help us? So dad leaves with the knowledge that he will forever be in our hearts.
Though he has left us physically, it is our duty now to remember his example.
We remember how he never let another man down. He fulfilled every obligation he ever undertook. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it. I never heard him utter a lie, nor intentionally deceive.
We remember how he was self-made and self-reliant. From his education to his career, from his skill with every kind of tool that could fashion wood or metal, brick or cement, my Dad engaged with the world as a man who would be its master. Go outside in the backyard and you’ll find those millimeter sized pieces of brick on the patio, perfectly laid as he designed it.
We remember how my dad never made an enemy. Not one. We remember how happy he was whenever he saw someone and would take the time to see how they were doing no matter how busy he was at the time.
We remember my dad relishing the good things in life including music, travel, photography, family and friends. The number of people who called my Dad friend was legion.
We remember how he loved his work, but it wasn’t just the work, or self promotion or success that mattered to him, it was the knowledge of knowing what he did impacted so many other people that made him get up and work so hard every day.
We remember his excitement over nuts and bolts – excitement like no other. He didn’t see nuts and bolts like most of us; he saw these tiny yet incredible sophisticated pieces of hardware that were the most important things because they are what keep everything together.
We remember we were the first house to have a dedicated phone line for access to the internet and we could shop online. All thanks to our dad wanting to be on the cutting edge of new technology.
We remember his patience, never giving up no matter how many times he had to go over something; he kept at it until we understood.
We remember his loyalty. His faithfulness to the important people in his life could be seen in the way he steadfastly maintained ties with his childhood friends.
We remember our conversations with him. We remember his gestures of kindness. And we remember his life.
He was survived by his wife Luz Marina March and his six children: Michael Mario March; Shawn Christopher Eugene Collins; Kristin Marie Vera March; Juan Esteban Palacio Correa Escobar, Kevin Bedoya Correa and Sebastian Bedoya Correa.
I am thankful that my father had the strength to guide me, through example, to an independent life. And even though I have long ago outgrown the childlike love, I know that no one will ever love me as my father did, without question, recrimination, and simply because I was there; his child. And this breaks my heart every day. There’s a place in my heart that will always be void.
My dad gave me a parting gift. He waited for me before he passed, to be sure I would be there to comfort his beloved wife when this time came. The last words I was blessed to be able to share with him as I caressed his brow the morning before he died were the same words we said to each other every day for the past six months when we finished our daily phone call or visit. I love you.
Goodbye dad. You did good. You did real good.
In closing, I would like to share a poem with you that I wrote for dad back in 1999.
We are gathered here tonight to retire
A man whom we greatly admire.
It is rather clear,
I am speaking of an engineer
To Mike, An engineering fool
Whose imagination was as bright as a jewel.
The analytical engineering mind
produced ideas and inventions that benefit others of his kind
A man who can manipulate the bits and bytes
of the computer to everyone's delight.
His dedication to excellence spawned perfection
Beyond everyone's critical inspection.
Trough detail and thoroughness of his engineer-ing
He can make his inventions and ideas sing
The accuracy of his ideas were such a delight
Even Einstein would of thought they were right.
To him nothing was left to chance,
Including elaborate dinners and dance.
Through contributions and vision, success in business was won
Which earned him the admiration of everyone.
His leadership abilities and compassion for another
earned him the respect of all the other.
Even the average old Larry
gave him the admiration and support to achieve the extra-ordinary.
His relationship with staff was fine
Enabling him to always have a good time.
Through his 46 years of service from draftsman to management staff
he never put himself above others even to get a good laugh
So a final farewell, to Mike, our most valuable team member
Who will leave a legacy to remember.
"I miss you dad."
"Mike, it has been a PRIVILEGE to work with you for the last 37 years. your support in Europe has been tremendous and I learnt a lot from you.
How can I forget the time spent together when I worked with you in Carson during the 90's.
you were a smart man and a very good freind.
We will all miss you.
"I was lucky to work with Mike for over 5 years at Alcoa Carson. He was a great mentor , peer and a good friend. He re-enforced in me the "lead by example" principal. He was a smart, hard working man.
I believe his spirit is among us, specially at AFS Carson, so you guys over there, watch what you are doing. LOL.
Mike, rest in peace my friend.
"I had the honor of working with Mike March a little over two and a half years. The one thing that stood out about Mike was the way he was able to connect to all types of people, he was the kind of person who you were instantly drawn to. I remember the first time he had met my mother. It was at an Alcoa work party event. Mike came over to my table and said hello Heidi, who is this young lady next to you? Referring to my mother. I proudly said this young lady is my mother Rebecca. Mike said well Heidi i'm so glad that you brought your mother to our Queen Mary event, it's so nice to met you Rebecca. Even in that brief moment he had left a lasting impression on my mother and myself. I felt so welcome to be at this event, given that it was my first Alcoa event. I also got to met his lovely wife Marina,both are excellent dancers. It was such a joy to see him out on the dance floor doing his salsa dance moves. He put us all to shame when he hit that dance floor. I later told him "That in my book he would have won the best dancer award for the evening event". I'm so grateful that I had gotten the chance to meet this wonderful human being. Mike will forever be missed. Ps. Just a side note: I Security: Heidi Clifford @ Alcoa Carson will be lighting a candle for Mike and also lighting one for his Family and Friends."
"Today I will say “so long” to my friend Michael March…Not “good bye” because I know I will see him again in Heaven! I worked with Mike for over 17 years, he was one was of the kindest, smartest and best boss anyone could ask for! I want to thank him for teaching me so much over the years, I am truly going to miss you my friend…until we meet again, “so long.”
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