|Michael Peter Kalenik passed away on 2/13/14 at his home on the Salmon River outside Clayton, ID.
Mike was born on February 12, 1947 in Sacramento, CA to Peter Kalenik and Daisy Wortman Kalenik. He spent most of his youth in the Sacramento area. Mike joined the US Air Force in 1967 and was stationed with the Cobra Unit at PhuKat Vietnam in 1968. He was “Radar” for his unit.
After the service, he pursued a degree in Environmental Science minoring in History graduating from California Statein Sacramento in 1972.
He worked as a backwoods ranger for Sequoia National Park and then as a California State Park ranger stationed at Lake Oroville, Prairie State Redwoods, and Bodega Bay where he went into maintenance. He was a great teacher, storyteller, self- taught taxidermist, scout master. He was always interested in nature and wildlife and loved sharing his knowledge and skills with school kids, tourists and others. He became a water quality specialist and helped design and build water systems. History being another passion , he helped the Maidu Indians restore an ancient village.
Around 1990, Mike retired and moved to Central Idaho, retrained in electronics, and started his satellite/TV business in Custer Co. He was in a hunting and fishing paradise
He married several times. In 1971 his son Christopher was born. Then his daughter Sara from a later union. In late 1997 he met the love of his life Cheryl Miller. They married on January 1, 1998. They built their dream home near the banks of his treasured Salmon River.
Always interested in history, in 2005, Mike was elected as president of the Clayton Area Historical Association. He had a vision to purchase and restore the old company store in Clayton and turn it into a museum. He wrote grants for the first time. The board of directors followed his lead. On July 4, 2007 the Clayton Museum opened. More grants were written. The museum expanded. In 2008, the museum received the Preservation Society of Idaho’s Orchid Award. See our website claytonidaho.org.
Mike is survived by his wife, Cheryl, his son Christopher(Jessica-Vallejo, CA), daughter Sara(Keenan-Palmer, Alaska), stepdaughters Ericka and Kiersten Miller-Portland, OR, father Peter Kalenik-Oregon City, OR, sisters Linda Deis(Bob-Santa Rosa, CA) and Cindy Newhall(Ron-Sacramento, CA), many nieces and nephews and extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother Daisy Holden and stepmother Ruth Kalenik.
If you choose, please make memorial contributions to the Clayton Area Historical Association, PO BX 1, Clayton, ID 83227.
A celebration of Mike’s life will be held on the banks of his beloved Salmon river sometime this summer.