Michael Andrew Vanassa squeezed his overwhelming zeal for life into 48 short years.
After a battle with cancer, he passed away on July 13, 2019 with family and friends around him. Mike was born in New Castle, PA on April 23, 1971 to Sam and Ruth Ann Vanassa. The family moved to Enumclaw, WA in 1979 where Mike remained and attended the Enumclaw School District. He is survived by his wife, Sarah Greenwell; his parents; his brother, Sam D. Vanassa (Heather); his sister Patricia Lees (Justin); his brother, Benjamin and a half-sister, Carrie Lindig. He also has a niece, Emily Vanassa; a nephew, Eathan Vanassa and grandniece, Bailee Wilson.
Mike’s adventurous nature was revealed through whitewater kayaking, downhill and cross-country skiing, mountain climbing, winter camping, rock climbing, motorcycle racing, bicycling, hiking, and wind surfing. His foremost passion was flying his vintage airplane or any other plane his friends would offer him to fly. He also had a wide range of more placid interests including photography, fly fishing, making wine and creating his own recipes. He often tried to duplicate recipes of his grandmothers and some foods he particularly enjoyed in restaurants. He applied an amazing amount of research into all his endeavors.
Mike was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for 13 years for Fire District 46 and became a lieutenant. He also achieved the highest rank of Swift Water Rescue and participated in Search and Recovery on the Green River. As an EMT for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, he befriended the women’s bobsled champion and filled in as brakeman in the two-person bobsled practice runs. He also tried the luge, but refused to try the skeleton, which requires plummeting down head first. His various abilities also took him to Switzerland to support a friend competing in an Ironman Triathlon; and, subsequently he was able to explore some surrounding countries.
Mike has held jobs in numerous industries. He has worked on cell towers and did lighting and stage work for various venues for performances in Seattle and Tacoma. Many people knew him from his time spent working for Enumclaw Ski and Mountain in Enumclaw. His most recent positions were as Project Manager for C.C. Edwards Construction and lastly for Columbia Land Services Inc.
With his engaging personality and his ability to carry on conversations about almost anything, Mike continually made friends wherever he went. He was quick to put people at ease and offer support to everyone who needed it. His humor and loving compassionwill be missed by everyone whose lives he touched. He was a very thankful person and acknowledged that God had blessed his life beyond measure.
A Celebration of Mike’s life will be held at 3pm on Saturday, August 3rd at the Buckley Hall, 127 N. River Road, Buckley. Please share a memory on the tribute wall at www. weeksfuneralhomes.com.