A Sacred Moment


Michael John Stano

January 28, 1963 - May 17, 2008

An amazing person - he spent his life helping others

On May 17, 2008, we all lost an amazing person. Mike lived an incredible life, achieving more than it seems possible for one person to accomplish in 45 years. He spent his life helping others: he fought forest fires, volunteered for the Peace Corps, worked in a brain trauma unit, and worked as a physical therapist. Recently, he began volunteering with injured war veterans in his free time, teaching them to kayak.

Mike loved the outdoors. He spent most of his life kayaking, canoeing, camping, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. He loved the water and had a natural talent for water sports - he was able to stand up on his surfboard on his first day of surfing classes in Hawaii. He was also an expert whitewater kayaker. He traveled the world, mastering incredibly difficult rivers. He taught kayaking in his free time and introduced many people to the sport that he loved. His accomplishments in kayaking built his confidence in life, but he still never understood what an incredible person he was.

Mike was once referred to as a "Renaissance Man". There was very little that he didn't know how to do. He could fix, build, and renovate anything. It was rare that someone would ask him a question that he didn't know the answer to. Think of the most random topic, and Mike probably not only knew about it, but had life experience in it. Life fascinated him, and he was always learning new things from the people he met.

In addition to being brilliant and skilled, Mike was an incredible human being. He was compassionate, sincere, and genuinely interested in the people he met. People often perceived him as quiet and laid back, but if you got to know him well, you realized that he was also passionate about his beliefs while being open minded and willing to learn.

Mike is survived by his parents Mike and Betty Stano, brother Stephen Stano, sister Cathy LeCompte, wife Leah Darrow-Stano, mother-in-law Julie Darrow, sister-in-law Claire Darrow, and brother-in-law Daniel Darrow. He also left behind a family of Chihuahuas who adored him and couldn't wait for him to come home from work every day - they are still hoping to see him pull in to the driveway again in his first ever new car that he purchased this year. He had an incredible family and group of friends all over the country who helped to make him the person he was. Everyone whose life he touched has experienced an incredibly painful loss, but we will all have happy memories and funny stories to tell to keep his memory alive.


There will be an open house celebration of Mike's life on Sunday June 8th from 11:00 to 4:00. We will be gathering at 1:00 to share memories and stories of Mike's incredible life. Please bring your stories of Mike and help us remember this amazing human being.

11:00 - 4:00 Open House 1:00 - Gathering to share stories and memories

Open House will be held at a private home. We invite all who knew Mike to attend:

534 172nd Avenue NE Bellevue, WA 98008 425-644-4625 Home 206-550-4886 Cell


Donations may be given in Mike Stano's memory to the King County Search and Rescue Association Rescue One unit, which provides swiftwater rescues.


Just as the Wave Cannot Exist

Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.

Albert Schweitzer

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