Mike, an angel among men.
  • 56 years old
  • Born on May 22, 1962 .
  • Passed away on October 1, 2018 .
Thank you to everyone that shared Mike's Celebration of Life with us on Hope Ranch Beach on Oct 20, 2018.


A video of the paddle-out can be viewed at:

https://blog.surfingsports.com/mike-colee

Mike's obituary can be viewed at:

https://www.independent.com/obits/2018/oct/09/james-colee/


Posted by Randy And Marlene Berger on 15th November 2018
As Mike's parents, we want to express sincere thanks to everyone who has left a tribute, sent a note, a prayer or fond remembrance of our son. It is a comfort to read the many tributes from so many friends and family. Mike truly was a special person and we will miss him and love him forever. But, it makes our grief easier to bear knowing how many lives he touched in such a positive way. We feel blessed to have had him, and, we appreciate all of you who have reinforced our knowledge that he truly was the son we raised him to be. Kind, honest, gentle, forgiving and caring. He was indeed the best of the best and we are lucky to have had him in our lives. Thank you all so very much.
Posted by Mani Iyer on 3rd November 2018
It has been 31 years since I spoke with Mike. I first got to know him as my good friend Sunil's housemate, when we were all new at Microsoft, straight out of college. One of the nicest guys that I have ever met, to this day. Someone who leaves an impression, in his own, gentle, positive way. The way things are today, Mike has left us too soon. We need him, and others like him, to remind us that there is still a lot of good in this world. That we all need to stay positive, and hopeful, and we must wish only the best for others. To his family and close friends, extremely sorry to hear that Mike has left us. My heartfelt condolences.
Posted by Cecilia Tolley on 30th October 2018
Shocked to hear this news. I knew Mike from Windsurfing Tour events over the years, he was such a kind, positive guy. My heart goes out to his loved ones.
Posted by Sunil Pai on 29th October 2018
I found out about Mike yesterday from the Shavliks. Mike was a great friend, team-mate, apartment-mate and one of the warmest human beings I have known. The news yesterday brought back a rush of memories of the good times we had together both at work in Microsoft and outside. Mike was always helpful, not just to people he knew well but to many of my friends he barely knew. A genuine person to the core. I feel shocked and sad for his family. Mike will be missed.
Posted by Carl Spiess on 28th October 2018
A true gentleman. And a wonderful windsurfing competitor and companion. So sad.
Posted by Roz Thomson on 28th October 2018
Mike you will be truly missed. I have so many wonderful memories of chats and times sailing with you in San Carlos, Maui and Oregon. An amazing guy all around. I will cherish our memories together. RIP my friend. xo
Posted by Donna Mooney on 28th October 2018
Mike, you truly are one of the very best people I have ever known. I remember when I met you shortly after you & Carol started dating, and I loved you from that moment on. I treasure all the times I got to spend with you & Carol, and will never forget many years ago, sitting at your kitchen table having breakfast together. I was sharing about some tough things going on in my life, and you said all the right things, and I have carried your words with me ever since. Very few people share your special attributes...and this world will never be the same without you. I do know that we can all make you proud by carrying on those attributes, and trying to live our lives as you lived.
Posted by Mark Shavlik on 27th October 2018
We just found about Mike, and I am spending the day playing the old school Blues and Pink Floyd CDs I bought with Mike when we went CD hunting on Microsoft coding breaks back in the '80s, right after a burrito at the Crossroads Mall. You were such a great friend and I hope you got to watch the Cougars beat the Badgers! All our thoughts are with Carol and family.
Posted by Rebecca Shavlik on 27th October 2018
This news has finally weaved its way to Minnesota where Mark and I sat sad and struck with so many wonderful memories of Mike and you from those days in Seattle. We are truly heart broken.
Posted by Alex McKirgan on 26th October 2018
Mike was such a nice and friendly guy. We shared some epic sessions windsurfing in Baja and he always had a smile when he was sailing. A true ambassador for the sport. RIP.
Posted by Matt Pritchard on 25th October 2018
I had some great times with Mike. Watching him improve on his waveriding skills and seeing the stoke in his eyes after every session. He will be missed greatly, but his kindness and example of how we should live will always be there. He was one of the nicest guys around, an inspiration to all of us. Thanks Mike..... RIP
Posted by Eric Sinclair on 24th October 2018
I was truly shocked at the news of Mike’s passing. Mike and I met during our very first wave sailing competitions in San Carlos. A couple of ‘mature’ guys that shared a passion for windsurfing and a determination to get through the event. We had an immediate connection and supported each other as we moved through the heats. At the end of the competition, after most of the competitors had left, the swell and wind picked up and Mike, Ian Stokes and I sailed down to the Chile bowl and sailed wave after wave, just the 3 of us. We vowed not to stop until our plane flew into camp to take us home. One of the best memories of my life that I will continue to cherish. Let’s do it again in our next life Mike!
Posted by Sam Bittner Wilson on 22nd October 2018
A memorial for Mike will be held at Ho'okipa Beach Park on Maui on Sunday, October 28th at 5pm. This is the same day as the opening for the Aloha Classic.
Posted by Wardog Thomas on 21st October 2018
The "Celebration of Life" yesterday, was a wonderful gathering of folks from all facets of Mike's life... https://blog.surfingsports.com/mike-colee Here is a vid clip from the paddle out and other images from on the beach... Warm winds...good waves...and, strong strokes to you my friend...
Posted by Raymond Endres on 20th October 2018
Mike was a true friend at Microsoft. Though I joined much later, he welcomed me warmly as a friend and helped me adapt to a new city and environment. He was always there with a smile, laugh, and positive attitude. I will forever remember the cycling adventures together. I'm glad I was able to visit him once in Santa Barbara, and sad that I can never do so again. The world needs more people like Mike, not fewer. So many will miss him.
Posted by Keith Berry on 20th October 2018
Carol, Kevin and Kelly, What a fantastic tribute to Mike at Hope Ranch Beach this morning. A fantastic, unique and special individual who left a positive impact on all who had contact with him. May God Bless each of you in your lives.
Posted by Lynn Seigel-Boettner on 20th October 2018
I had the privilege of getting to know Mike as a dad as his daughter Kelly was in my classroom at Vieja Valley. We’d often swap bike and family travel stories. Mike had a way of being completely present and supportive of his own kids, our classroom and our larger school community. He was one of those parents who would show up often — when asked or when he simply saw the need. Both Mike and Carol were incredibly generous with their time, ideas and funds. His obituary has been on our Vieja Valley staff table, and over and over again folks are sharing stories of kindness and gratitude about Mike and Carol. It is hard to understand a life ending so young but amazing to see all the love and adventure he packed into his well-lived life.
Posted by Tim Marozick on 18th October 2018
The line from "For a Dancer" by Jackson Brown comes to mind: "I must have thought you'd always be around". We were always making plans to do a Baja trip or go foil kiting at Ledbetter, but now it's never going to happen. I'll miss Mike on Thursdays at Sharkeez and the plans we made.
Posted by Michael Love on 18th October 2018
Mike was such a beautiful person. A gentle, passionate soul. So kind and generous and inclusive. He was always attentive and sensitive to other people. I miss him very much and his memory and example will live on in me. All my love and deep condolences to you, Carol, and family.
Posted by Jean John on 17th October 2018
We met the Colee family, day 1 at Vieja Valley Elementary School. I believe our daughter and Kevin were in the same kindergarten class. I can still remember being a classroom parent volunteer with Mike. He did not hesitate to sit in a little chair next to Kevin and with the other students and myself also gathered around the table we assisted with the creative activity of the day! He was a very involved parent at school, as was Carol. I recall Mike coordinated a group of parents to go door to door to try to get people to vote for school funding. He did this by having us all meet on a Sunday morning at the pancake house to get organized before we canvased the neighborhood. Mike was and maybe is "an angel among men", on several occasions he was there to assist me. Our daughter had brownie meetings after school in the kindergarten yard. One week, I thought she had a meeting and would be driven home by her leader who lived by us. Unfortunately, there wasn't a brownie meeting that week, but fortunately, Mike was at the school with a boyscout or soccer practice and my daughter, unable to call me, found Mike who safely brought her home. Another time, flash forward to just a few months ago, I was pumping hydrogen into our hydrogen fuel cell car, Myrai. Mike seeing me, strolls over after filling up with gas. He's interested in the hydrogen car, well, it was also convenient for me, because I was having difficulty disengaging the hose pump from the car and it needed a little more muscle strength then I had at the time. When our kids were in probably 5th grade, we went on a family trip together to Squaw Valley to ski and ice skate. It was such a joy to have Mike, an excellent downhill skier, take the kids down the ski runs. He had a way of relaxing into it and it was a joy for all of us to follow. I want to extend our sincerely sympathy to Carol, Kelly and Kevin and the Colee family. Ivor, Jasmine and I would love to be with you on Saturday to celebrate Mikes life, but unfortunately we are all out of town at this time. We will be holding you in our hearts and in our minds and hope that these stories I've shared bring back fond memories for you, that in some way ease the pain of loss as time goes by.
Posted by Benjamin Pink on 17th October 2018
I am just devastated. Carol, I am so sorry for your loss. Mike was a great friend and I just can't get my head around the fact that he is gone. He was like a rock in that you always knew there was this great person out there in SB that you could count on for a place to stay, a smile, a laugh, a windsurfing story. I am off to Maui next week where I first met Mike and it will never be the same without him. I will really miss him. Ben
Posted by Josephine Wu on 16th October 2018
Dear Carol, Kevin and Kelly, Mike was an amazing father, friend, leader, and influence in our lives. We always wished for and counted on him to help out at school, field trips, sports, cub scouts, overnight trips and the PTA. Remember, he deservedly received an honorary service award from Vieja Valley School. He was my savior on many kid outings where I was losing my patience and control of a group of fun-loving boys. He was the kindhearted, fun, happy and extremely calm presence that treated each child with respect. I learned a lot from him and will always remember his genuine smile and giving self. Thank you for sharing him with a grieving community.
Posted by KarenAndJohn York on 14th October 2018
Mike had so many interesting and diversified interests. Unlike so many people he didn’t just think about them or talk about them but actually became fully engaged in them. The last time we saw him he was constructing a hydrofoil windsurfing board and he couldn’t wait to finish it so that he could test it out. He was very kind to our children and helpful to our daughter when she started working at MS. He was a great husband and devoted to his children. He loved his family and always put them first. I think he will be missed by everyone who knew him. Karen & John York
Posted by Skydog X on 13th October 2018
Mike had a "motor". Riding a bicycle up Old San Marcos Road (steep and 3 miles long) was a favorite thing of his to do. For the last 10 years or so a small group of random cyclists would meet at the bottom of the hill every Thursday at noon, and Mike was one of the regulars. These were not quite your normal tour around type-cyclists, but hardcore pain specialists. We’d gather at the bottom with a brief greeting, and then proceed to hammer to the top as hard as we could for about 15 to 20 minutes. In the thick of the action Mike was a 15:39 guy, and that is fast, and you need a motor for that. We all know and appreciate that Mike was a kind, quiet, calm person. But on his custom carbon bike (he made his own modifications), all the way up that hill, on Thursdays at noon, he was anything but calm. In fact, he was on fire. He started strong, and then for 15 minutes burned hard and finished stronger. Then at the top it was all over. The sweaty face, soft smile and a “nice job” of encouragement for those that were slower as we rode up a minute or two later. So, this was week after week, and year after year - kind of amazing! Most of the crew would head back down the hill after a minute or two of chatting, then just a few (Mike almost always) of us would ride up Painted Cave Road, another 3 mile steep road. This is where I really got to know Mike. We’d discuss everything, politics, news, bike racing, and sometimes our performances. Mike was not super competitive, except with himself. He always pushed himself to achieve his full potential. It was a raw and honest expectation, and sometimes he achieved it and sometimes not. Whether it was a fast day or a slower day, he always seemed OK with it. Kind of like a peaceful warrior. Anyway, I loved that attitude, and now that he won’t be joining us on Thursdays at noon, I reflect on the good times, feel honored to have known him, and lucky to have had so much fun hanging out with this wonderful guy.
Posted by Sally Dewan on 13th October 2018
The world has lost a special soul. Mike was so well thought of by everyone who knew him and he will be sorely missed. He was a kind, giving and gentle man with a zest for life and adventure and a deep love for his family. My heart goes out to Carol, Kelly and Kevin and you have my very sincere and heartfelt sympathy in this most difficult of times.
Posted by Adrienne Schuele on 12th October 2018
Kevin & Kelly your dad was exceptional, over and above and such a support & example in your Vieja Valley days. We could always count on him to bring great thought and knowledge which he shared freely. His smile and love for your mom was sparkling and I feel blessed to have known such a wonderful Dad, Husband and community carer! My prayers are with you all.
Posted by Eddie Heagen on 12th October 2018
Met Mike when Carol and Mike married. That year we shared our first ski trip to Europe with Mike and Carol. From that moment on Mike and I became sport travel buddies for all these years. Never missed a year of travel to enjoy windsurfing, kiting or skiing. Always enjoyed my regular trips to Santa Barbara to visit Mike and Carol. Amazing caring and giving person, Mike will always be my best friend for life. I will always cherish our sport activities together, I will always think of him when I step into the water or put my skies on. I will miss you but never forget the special moments we had together. Eddie
Posted by Andrea Pighetti on 12th October 2018
I always enjoyed the calm spirit of Mike when we were having a discussion, whether it be about PTA things at Vieja, windsurfing, travel and most recently photography and Oregon. I loved the way he looked at Carol, with such love and respect. What a great couple with a partnership that was strong and caring. You will be missed dearly and remembered fondly. We will be here always for Carol and the twins.
Posted by Erika Colee on 11th October 2018
I am truly sorry for the loss of Mike. Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our loved ones. May the love of family and friends comfort the Colee family in their time of sorrow. My deepest sympathies. Erika Colee Caitlin Colee
Posted by Douglas Moore on 11th October 2018
We have been blessed to have you in our lives. Your kindness, generosity, humility and joy for life is an example for us all. We will always trust our angel Mike to continue showing us the way. We gain strength by keeping you in our memories forever. Bless that your family and friends find strength to endure your passing. Love from the McNeel-Moore family.
Posted by Dixie Daniels on 11th October 2018
My nephew Mike is one of the best people I’ve ever known. He loved his family and would do anything to help any one of us. He was a great friend. The kind of person you could call in the middle of the night and he would be there to help, no questions asked. He was smart and hardworking and he also loved to play and have fun. Mike was a champion of the underdog and his kindness to others was the core of his being. He was kind to animals. The Colee family menagerie of Princess, Itchy and Scratchy were three of the luckiest critters who ever roamed the earth. I will always miss the pleasure of his company. It is wonderful to hear the remembrance of so many who knew Mike and to know how special he was to so many. Rest in peace Mike. You are the best of the best.
Posted by Chris Cartwright on 11th October 2018
Dear Carol,Kevin and Kelly, My heart goes out to you all and Mike will be missed by so many and remembered by his smile and hello by all. Knowing your wonderful family through the many years at Vieja Valley, his strength will carry you through. Looking through all the pictures and memories, what a legacy of Love he has left you❤️
Posted by Keith Berry on 11th October 2018
I am so sad to her of Mike's passing. All that has been said about Mike is so true. Carol, Kelly and Kevin please know I am here for you now and forever. May God bless each of you.
Posted by Richard Logsdon on 10th October 2018
I only had a handful of true friends during my high school years, and Mike was one of them. We barely stayed in touch as we went through life, but I know he made his spectacular. I am very greatful for the friendship that we shared. My heartfelt sympathy to his family.
Posted by Christine M on 10th October 2018
I met Mike and Carol when our children were in grade school and we have been friends ever since. I am truly thankful for their friendship and support through the years. As their normal isn’t normal anymore, may the Colee family find strength for each new day and comfort in so many treasured memories. Carol, Kevin, Kelly, Simply sending you hugs.❤️
Posted by Sam Bittner Wilson on 8th October 2018
Mike, you came into the Windsurfing Tour family like a bright shining light. You helped so much over the years and always with a smile on your face. You brought such positivity to the tour and to my life. I will never forget our long chats and crazy adventures on tour all around the world together. I am so lucky to have had you a part of what I consider my family for so many years. You are forever our hearts.
Posted by Douglas Cram on 8th October 2018
Mike was on a couple of projects with Lisa back in the late 80's, and I met him at a party, and immediately liked him. He had a '64 or '66 Corvette project in his Woodinville garage, so we had the car -guy connection from the beginning. I came to know him as fun-loving, enthusiastic, yet quietly intense and super calm. We definitely had fun at some legendary parties, but only managed to stay in touch occasionally over these past 20 years. Lisa and I had a great trip to the Santa Barbara place a decade ago, and more recently were excited to come check out the new spot in Oregon...We are stunned and saddened to hear of this loss, and our deepest condolences go out to Carol and the entire family. Smooth surfing in the next universe, Mike.
Posted by Ken Sykes on 8th October 2018
Mike was my best friend. We met at Microsoft in 1988 and became instant friends. We had countless late night battles on the MS basketball court, lots of great meals, sports discussions over coffee, and laughing our heads off recounting the latest Simpsons episodes with Gunther. He was always upbeat and happy and looked for ways to give compliments to the people around him. As his grandfather said "He's a real go-getter!": a hard worker and faithful team member. He was the best man at my wedding, he taught me to ski by dumping me at the top of Alpental, and he taught me to listen more to other people and look for the good in them. Mike you will be sorely missed.
Posted by Wind Dogger on 7th October 2018
I remember meeting Mike windsurfing in IV and Jalama back in the late 90s, Although I never knew him as a close friend , he was the nicest guys I knew. Always saying high to me and talking. With his smile and positive attitude. He was liked by all. So sorry for his family and my condolences go out to them. RIP Mike.
Posted by Donald Drake on 7th October 2018
Mike was an exceptional person and friend. We met while working together on MSDN at Microsoft where he was my mentor and became a wonderful friend. I will always carry many great memories of times spent with Mike and Carol. Rest in Peace Mike we will love you forever. Donald and Celia
Posted by Ralph Lipe on 7th October 2018
Mike was a true friend. We met while working on Microsoft Windows back in ancient times. We quickly became great friends and had many biking adventures together. We rode our first Seattle to Portland ride together. Earlier this year I got together with Mike for a ride up Mt Figueroa and even though it had been years since we had seen each other it was like no time had passed - we were right back to being great friends. I just completed a cross continental ride that I had invited Mike to join us on. During the last days of that ride I remember thinking that I would now be in good enough shape that maybe I could sort of keep up with Mike and that I should get in touch and figure out how to get together. I don’t have the words to express my sadness about Mike’s death. I remember his laugh and how often we would laugh together about the stupidest things. He was a wonderful man and friend
Posted by Lynda Lipe on 7th October 2018
I met Mike at Microsoft over 25 years ago. He had the room next to me when I worked on the Windows 3 team. I will always remember his kindness and gentle spirit. We will miss you Mike.
Posted by Wade Clements on 7th October 2018
As with all of you, I am with a very sad heart that Mike has passed. He was an incredibly kind individual and a great friend. I have thought of him often over the years and will continue to do so. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this very difficult time.
Posted by Nola Drazdoff on 6th October 2018
I'm devastated to learn of Mike's passing. I met Mike years ago while we both worked at Microsoft. He was a wonderful and loyal friend. He came to my rescue to help me pull off an epic surprise car purchase for my husband... and while I was home alone during a multi-day power outage he offered to come right over to get my generator running for me. We shared many, many lunches with 'the guys' at Shamiana every Friday for many years. I'm in shock, and deeply saddened. He was one of the best people I've ever known. RIP Mike. You will be sincerely and deeply missed.
Posted by Mark Clements on 6th October 2018
This is the saddest of news to find out that mike has passed away. We met mike some 40 years ago and as with most of the comments about mike, it was mike whose passions for biking /bike racing ,the electronic age and cars like his 69 Camaro that brought us together. l express my deepest sympathy to his family for their loss. He was the best of the best.
Posted by Michael Krauchi on 6th October 2018
Will think of you Mike every time I’ll ride OSM! You always made it look so easy with your nice smooth spinning style. Thanks for pushing me on many rides! Also, thank you for taking the time introducing me to SUP!! Will miss you Bro!
Posted by Janice Hardisty on 6th October 2018
I met Mike and Carol over twenty years ago when I moved to the Seattle area. Mike was a wonderful man. The kind of man you would want for a friend and neighbor: A kind, fair, friendly soul. This is a crushing loss to everyone who knew him. I am so sad that such a good man is gone. Never forgotten.
Posted by Brian Knowles on 6th October 2018
Mike, you were a great friend and neighbor. Really enjoyed those dinners and sunset get togethers with you and Carol. You were also a great cycling coach - got me into road biking, set me up with a good bike, and inspired me to get up the hills. You will be missed.
Posted by Karen Heagen on 6th October 2018
Mike’s passing creates a void in humanity’s heart. We are left without his boyish laughter, devoted friendship, adventurous spirit, and unsurpassed kindness. My heart aches for his family and friends who so adored and loved him. He truly was an angel among men and women.
Posted by Gene Raphaelian on 6th October 2018
I'm heartbroken to hear the news about Mike. He was one of the nicest, most sincere, and kindest people I've ever met. RIP my friend. You will be missed, but your amazing spirit will live on.

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