Mike and Dutch
Michael Lingley, 49, died Wednesday evening Feb. 29, at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson, Calif., following a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on June 30, 1962, in Modesto, Calif., to Robert and Dorothy Lingley. Mike, his sister, Laura, and their parents moved to Oakdale, Calif., in 1964, when Bob was transferred to the new Wells Fargo branch. Mike made many lifelong friends in Oakdale and he graduated from Oakdale High School in 1980. He moved to Mammoth Lakes in 1982, where he worked for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area as a lift operator during ski season and as a painter after the snow melted. Later, he became an electrician and worked for O’Kelly Electric. He lived off and on in Mammoth during his entire adult life, and lived happily for the last 2 years in Sunny Slopes.
Mike had several passions. He loved to ski and go downhill fast. Although he never would admit it, he was an accomplished guitar player and knew more about music than just about anybody. His home brewed beers were legendary especially the doppelbock. At the age of 12 he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and told he would probably not survive to his 30th birthday. Instead, he stayed healthy well past that by doing what he loved best: breathing the clean air and hiking the High Sierra. His parents gave him the middle name of Dana after one of their favorite mountains on the eastern border of Yosemite, and he climbed it numerous times after his first ascent in Bob’s hike-a-poose. Mike backpacked, camped, and hiked with his family and in later years with many friends and faithful dogs. One of them, Charlie (the Mountain Dog) climbed several peaks with him including Mt. Baldwin south of Mammoth. He could not tell you which hike or climb was his favorite because he loved them all. Naming his favorite songs was just as impossible.
Mike was a faithful friend who always had a funny joke or comment. He could practically recite the entire script of “Monty Python and The Holy Grail,” complete with hysterical accents. In fact, it was funnier to listen to him and some of his friends than to actually watch the movie.
Mike’s memory will live on in his favorite Eastern Sierra vistas, epic guitar riffs, anything but yellow, fizzy beer, and most of all laughter. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Dorothy, just four years ago. He leaves behind his sister Laura and brother in-law Michael Parker of Oakdale and Mammoth Lakes, several close cousins, one aunt, his four-legged hiking buddy, Dutch, and countless friends.
There will be no formal services per Mike’s wishes. A memorial gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date to be announced. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to: Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356.