Remembering Michael Brian Lake, 1950-2015

Michael Lake
Michael Lake, who died on Jan. 26, 2015. Photo: courtesy of Michael Lake’s family

Michael Brian Lake – Oct. 23, 1950-Jan. 26, 2015

Michael Brian Lake, 64, passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 26, 2015, at Alta Bates/Summit Medical Center in Oakland following a hit-and-run bicycle accident on Jan. 13 in Berkeley.

Michael will be remembered for his great sense of humor, a contagious laugh and a gentle heart. He spent many hours looking into the night sky through his telescope and teaching others about astronomy. Mike loved old movies and his trove of movie memorabilia. Some stars in his archive include Brooke Shields, Shirley Temple, and, his favorite, Natalie Wood.

Mike was also mechanically inclined and loved to joke about being ambidextrous. These skills were very helpful in his career, first at Pitney Bowes where he worked for many years, then at an ATM troubleshooting firm, and then finally in his last profession as a parking controller with LAZ Parking and UC Berkeley, where he helped clients and employees at the School of Optometry, UC Berkeley with a smile each day. Mike had worked there for 18 years, and had even worked the day of his tragic accident. He loved to ride his bike and a day rarely passed when he wasn’t on it.

Michael was the son of Howland Emerson Lake of Pinole and Charlotte (Hill) Lake Toor of San Francisco. He was raised in Berkeley and Pinole by his father Howland and stepmother Nancy L. Lake. He attended De Anza High School and Pinole Valley High.

Michael (Uncle Mike) is survived by sisters: Cathryn (Lake) McCoy, Janemarie Lake, Amybeth Lake and Diana Toor, brother Thomas Edmund Lake; nieces: Julie Diane (McCoy) Schuster, Jennifer Lynn (McCoy) Smith, Emily Elizabeth (Guerra) Mendoza, Melida Arjelia Nancy (Marroquin) Hernandez, Gwendolyn Rose West and April Toor; nephews: Christopher Michael McCoy and Robert Howland West; grandnieces: Jessica Lynn Fecke-Wheasler, Jennabelle O’Malley (Fecke) Jones; grandnephews: Michael Charles Schuster and Ian Emerson Smith; great-grandnieces: Claire Elizabeth Mendoza and Autumn Rain Seren Fecke-Wheasler and great-grandnephews: Benjamin Adan Mendoza, Truth Alexander Jones, and Adrian Jesus Hernandez-Marroquin. He is also survived by his aunt Patricia Miriam (Lake) Wilson and many cousins.

Mike was predeceased by his parents and stepmother as well as his uncle, Thomas Leroy Lake.

There will be a viewing at Chapel of the Chimes 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland on Feb. 11 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. There will be a celebration of Michael’s life at the School of Optometry courtyard (UC Berkeley) between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 12 (in case of rain, celebration will be held in the lounge). In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to cyclesofchange.org or a charity of your choice.

Please take time to live each day to the fullest as Michael did.

Michael’s sister, Cathy, would like to add: “Michael was born Oct. 23, 1950. I was 7. We spent hours alone which bonded us for life. As a toddler he could play with a single toy and be content all day. He was a people person who loved his job.” Till we meet again, sleep well.

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