Obituary: Michel Alan Gaynor “Mike”

Dr. Michel Alan Gaynor “Mike” July 29, 1945 – June 05, 2023

Dr. Michel Alan Gaynor (Mike), 77, of Keizer, Oregon, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones on June 5. 2023.

Mike was born on July 29, 1945, to Oleta and Roy Gaynor in Ellensburg, Washington. Born a preemie, he worked endlessly from day one to make a better life for himself and those around him. He grew up in Moses Lake, Washington, where he graduated from Moses Lake High School in 1964.

Mike joined the Navy in 1965, achieving the rank E-5 (Petty Officer Second Class). He was honorably discharged in 1969

In 1967, Mike met his wife, Ann Coffin, in Machias, Maine, and they married in Waterville, Maine, in 1968. He was immediately assigned to the U.S.S. Chemung (AO-30) out of California to serve in the Vietnam War. After serving, he began working for Tektronix in Beaverton, Oregon

He worked as an Engineer for two years at G.E. Medical Systems, where he was the highest skilled employee. He was offered a job as a traveling Engineer but, putting family first, decided to use the G.I. Bill to pursue a career in optometry.

He graduated with his Doctorate in Optometry from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, in 1979, where he was the President of his class. Upon graduation, he purchased an office in Keizer, Oregon, and served as community optometrist for 35 years.

Mike was devoted to public service and became a Keizer Rotary member in 1979. He was a founder of The Rotary Foundation-Polio Plus, served as president and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was actively involved in Keizer Little League, helping to create the current complex with the “Dirty Dozen,” serving as President of the League three times. He was integral in the success of the Keizer Soccer Club, serving as President for many years.

Mike served on the Keizer City Council from 2002 to 2005. He was honored as Keizer’s First Citizen in 1992, of which he was deeply humbled.

As a passionate fisherman, Mike collected fishing poles, reels, boats, and other fishing gear. It brought him great joy to share his love of fishing with friends and family aboard Brite Eyes and Miss Brite Eyes, of which he was Captain. He began the Keizer Fishing Clinic with his friends, sponsoring the Steelhead tournament for 10 years. A highlight was the yearly Rotary Exchange Student Deschutes River fly fishing trips, where he shared his love of fishing with others

In 2012 he sold his Optometry business to Dr. Cynthia Strawn and retired in 2014 so he could fish more. Fishing was more than just a hobby to him; it was a huge part of his life.

Mike is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ann, son Michel Alan Gaynor II (wife Heather), and daughter JoAnn Gaynor McEachran (husband Nathan). He is also survived by 4 grandsons, Brandon (Laura), Christopher (Tianna), Evan, Carson, and two great-granddaughters, Amelia and Lila; his siblings Stanley, Sandy, and Dennis; Aunts Connie, Bonnie, and Donna as well as many cousins. He was preceded in death by his Mom and Dad, sisters Laurie, Mary, and Uncles Bob and Wilbur. He was especially thankful for the out-pouring of support over the last few months. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, community member, coach, Captain, and friend to many. Mike will be greatly missed.

Celebration of Life services for Mike will be held Saturday, July 1, at 1 p.m. at Scenic Valley Farms in Gervais, Oregon. Fishing attire is encouraged, or casual dress.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or Keizer Rotary in his honor.