Joseph “Mike” Hlavin, passed away Saturday, March 3, 2018 at St. Mary’s Asbury’s, a few days short of his 84th birthday. He is survived by his wife Phyllis and three daughters: Suzie (and son-in-law Nicco), Lulu (and son-in-law Steve), and Jacque. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Irene Hlavin, and his only sibling, Bob.
Mike was born March 9, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio where he was raised and went to school. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in electrical engineering from Case Institute of Technology and then later obtained a Master’s degree from Case in biomedical engineering. However, Mike’s life's work, took him into the world of computers. Moving throughout the U.S., he worked on numerous aerospace engineering projects. He worked on the Apollo missions to the moon and was later in-charge of the initial design and installation of the computers on the Space Shuttle Enterprise (1st Shuttle), and worked on putting the first GPS satellites into space.
When not at work, he liked to travel and visited many countries including Russia, Spain, England, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, and Turkey to name a few. He learned to fly as a young man and shared that love with his two sons-in-law. Mike liked to take daily walks with or without dogs. He had a passion for reading, especially Clive Cussler. He always thought about being a farmer and home-grown produce was grown yearly. His greatest passion was model trains. He built two incredible train layouts, including one just for Christmas that stayed up all year. The trains blended his computer expertise with his hobby. The set-up in the basement
was computerized. He was quite the whizzz!!!
Mike was an active father and helped raise his three girls to be strong independent women (like their Mom!), sending them all to college and graduate school where they went on to become physicians (Suzie and Lulu) and Attorney/CPA (Jacque). There wasn’t a girl scout hike or Friday night band at the football game or parade that he missed. His girls will remember him for his excellent annual reading of the "Night Before Christmas" which extended well onto their adulthood. He also loved dogs, having had St. Bernards, a Golden Retriever, a Lhasa apso, a Lab, and a Springer Spaniel and many granddogs!
When he made friends, it was a lifelong commitment and he frequently traveled back to Southern California to meet up with his buddies.
We will all miss Mike immensely. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to either Pilots N Paws or Canine Companions for Independence.