August 9, 1947 – February 8, 2019
Michael Ross Mariano, age 71, of Mercer Island, died peacefully on February 8, 2019 surrounded by his family. Michael was born to Beverly Harris Mariano and John Mariano in Canton, Ohio August 9, 1947. As a child, he moved frequently, residing in Ohio, Mexico City and Los Angeles before settling in Washington state.
Michael graduated from Aberdeen High School, class of ’65, where he met his wife Nancy Druzianich. They were married in 1968. Michael attended Grays Harbor College and the University of Washington, earning a degree in Civil Engineering and later his Masters in Transportation Engineering. During his early career, he worked for the City of Seattle DOT; King County Planning Dept; Washington DOT; and then CH2M/Hill for nearly 20 years. During his career, he teamed up for King County’s first formal Bicycle Plan in the 1970’s, and has been part of transportation designs across the region. These designs include projects in Westport, a portion of the roadway to Mt. St. Helens Recreation Center, the Eastgate-to-Mercer Island I-90 corridor, the downtown bus tunnel, and many other projects around the US and Canada. He has presented at a wide range of professional conferences, and authored a chapter of an Engineering textbook. In 2000, he formed his own company, Mariano and Associates Consulting, working for another 18 years before retiring in 2018.
After moving frequently during his early childhood years, as a young married adult, he settled in Bellevue, WA where he resided for nearly 45 years. In the early 1990’s, Michael and his family transferred to Wilmette, Illinois. The family retained their home in Bellevue, WA, and eagerly returned after a three-year Midwest adventure. Michael and Nancy then moved to Mercer Island in 2016.
Michael and Nancy traveled throughout the US, Canada, and even enjoyed a trip to Italy. Michael enjoyed competition and the camaraderie of team sports including Little League Baseball, golf, basketball, and slo-pitch. Michael’s humor is a defining characteristic throughout his life. He loved playing practical jokes, being the recipient of a good practical joke, and ended nearly every conversation, no matter how intense, with humor.
At the age of 60, Michael purchased his first sailboat and thus was born a love of maritime-adventures on the Salish Sea, from South Puget Sound to the Strait of Georgia and Desolation Sound. He was joined by his first mate, Nancy, his friends, his children, and grandchildren on these frequent voyages. He and Nancy joined Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club in 2012 where Michael supported the Chaplain, worked with the Youth Sail program and enjoyed “sitting on the dock of the bay.”
Michael supported, mentored, and relentlessly challenged family, friends and even strangers. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by Nancy his wife of 50 years; son Mike, Jr. (Grace), daughter Jennifer Wiechert (Steve), Mark (Erin), and Matt (Melanie), 14 grandchildren; his siblings Bruce, Anita, Dave, Chris, Paula and their families.
On Tuesday, February 26 at 11:00 am, the Mass of Celebration of Life will be held at St. Madeleine Sophie Church, Bellevue, WA with reception following in the Koinonia Room. The Burial Service will be at Fernhill Cemetery in Aberdeen, WA on Saturday March 2 at 12:00 pm. Harrison Family Mortuary is supporting the family with funeral arrangements.
Donations in his name may be made to Childhaven.org, Treehouseforkids.org, or any organization of your choice supporting children experiencing crisis and trauma.