Michael (Mike) was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a mentor, and a dear friend. He was born in Arcata and attended Blue Lake and Stewart Elementary Schools and Arcata High School. Mike was born into a pioneer family that settled in Humboldt County in the mid-1850s. He was a fourth-generation Humboldt County native who never had the urge to stray far.

After graduating from high school, Mike attended Humboldt State University’s Civil Engineering program. While at HSU, he was president of the Intercollegiate Knights (IK), a campus community service organization. One of Mike’s favorite IK memories was creating sculptures alongside US 101 near the Eureka Slough with driftwood and trash they collected along the freeway. The “Red Bandit” and other sculptures were removed because they were thought to be a distraction to drivers. However, you now know the rest of the story that it was not a bunch of “hippies” as reported by the newspaper. It was a group of community service nerds.

Mike started his career at Caltrans in 1965 as a Junior Civil Engineer while attending HSU. After graduation, he continued working for Caltrans for many years in Highway Design. Because of his skills, Mike was selected for a special assignment during the 1970s to restore the Victorian houses in Eureka that Caltrans purchased for the now abandon Eureka Bypass. Later in his career, Mike crossed over to Transportation Planning, and later retired in 2008 as the Design Manager for the North Region after over 40 years working for Caltrans. He was a licensed civil engineer for over 50 years.

Mike was exceptionally talented in his ability to complete anything he set his mind to doing. He built bicycles and a unicycle as a pre-teen, a beach buggy from parts as a teenager, and an apartment complex with a friend when he was 30 (in his spare time). He also designed and built a custom house for his family when he was 32, and he rebuilt his now prize 1977 Bronco in his late 30s. More recently, he completely restored his parent’s 1964 Chevelle.

Mike once used a gum wrapper to help get a car started. Yes, he was like MacGyver at times.

Mike was focused and driven. He designed, built, and restored houses, fathered four children, was a member of the Six River’s Running Club, and enjoyed bicycling.

While Mike never ran a marathon, he did complete the over 40-mile Arcata to Willow Creek run. He was a good runner but found his niche when the Bar to Barf run was initiated in Eureka. This concept turned out to be an equalizer for Mike as he won his first road race in 1987.

Mike got hooked on the idea of owning a fishing boat, so he and some friends invested in an old “captain’s gig” that they christened the “M.S. Piggy.” The Piggy was not a “looker” or the prettiest marble in the bag, but she was a tough old boat - functionally sound and remarkably fast with an overpowered engine. Mike, along with his kids and friends enjoyed many years of ocean salmon fishing. Occasionally when returning to port, Mike enjoyed a bay race, and let us just say the Piggy is faster than the Madaket. Though a few of his kids turned green while fishing, Mike was always grateful for the extra limits their presence provided at the end of the day!

Mike met his wife Katharine Eagan (Kat) in 1994 at 5 a.m. at the Adorni Center when they met to row together for the first time. Although difficult to see each other on that dark, foggy morning, the shared excitement and love for rowing, mountain biking, hiking, and Japanese food was a good start to a long and loving 28-year relationship and 20-year marriage.

Upon retiring from Caltrans in 2008, Mike immediately became busier than ever. He was always fixing stuff and making it better. He managed a handful of rental houses that kept him busy, and he took immense pride in what took the most effort, which was working on his own home. Built by John A. Cottrell circa 1902, the Queen Anne/Eastlake residence was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mike spent considerable time learning and then putting his woodworking skills to the test by building lathe blades to match much of the custom trim and scalloped shingles, not to mention the time he and Kat spent completely restoring the inside of the home. The result was amazing and meticulous – or about what you would expect from Mike.

Mike was a highly active member of the community. He served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Eureka and on the State Board of Professional Engineers and the Timber Heritage Association Board. Mike was a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, the Humboldt County Historical Society, the Old House Group, the Humboldt Rose Society, The Ingomar Club, a founding member of the Redwood Offroad Club, Curry Cruisers, and Lost Coast 4X4s. If he had a passion for it, he joined the club, the committee, the association, etc. If he did not like something, he went to those meetings and argued for what he believed.

Mike is survived by his wife Kat, his children Scott Eagan (Marisol Cervantes-Eagan) of Reno, NV; Kelly Eagan (Nick Compin) of Yuba City, CA; Kimberley Eagan (Andre Logie) of Yuba City, CA; and Kerry Eagan (Jeffrey Sulli- van) of Prince George, VA; his grandchildren Milana Eagan, Sean Eagan, Tiernan Eagan-Johnson, Madeline Eagan, Shannon Eagan, Alana Logie, Legacy Jones, Lillian Eagan-Compin, Jasmine Sullivan, Layla Logie, and Tobias Sullivan; his great-grandchildren Kaedline Trask and Robert Trask. He is preceded in death by his father Henry (Mike) Eagan; his mother Evelyn Eagan; his sister Patricia Eagan; and his furry friends OJ, Dave and Violet.

And regretfully…very regretfully…Mike has been taken from us sooner than any of us would like. We are shocked, and we are mourning his loss. We miss you already – our lives are forever changed by your passing. Over the years there have been many stories about Mike at various times of his life – some funny, some sad, some touching, but always inspiring. Mike made all of us better people for knowing and having him in our lives. For information regarding his memorial service, please call: 707-445-1019. We hope you bring a story to share.


The obituary above was submitted by Michael Eagan’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.