Michael “Mikey” Gaspar Anaya, Jr.
June 16, 1983 - May 8, 2022
It is with overwhelming sadness and disbelief that we announce the passing of Michael “Mikey” Anaya, Jr. (38) on May 8, 2022 in Rio Dell. Mikey was born on June 16, 1983 to Michael and Tina Anaya (nee Barnett). He grew up in Carlotta, rebuilding classic cars and practicing martial arts with his dad. They even tested for — and received — their black belts together.
After graduating from Fortuna Union High School in 2002, Mikey moved to Arizona where he obtained his Master Mechanics Certificate from Mercedes Porsche. He later moved to Fremont to work for Fletcher Jones and returned home in 2012 to be closer to his family, working for Scotty’s Cutters Edge in Fortuna for many years.
Family was always important to Mikey. He enjoyed attending barbecues and impromptu parties with his many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that were like family. Some of the best times were family trips to Grass Valley, where his grandparents, Delores and Henry Sr. lived. Thanksgiving was always their favorite holiday, going to the annual “Cornish Christmas” festivities downtown, holding onto a rope along with many of his cousins, a technique acquired over the years to ensure no one was lost in the crowd.
Mikey endured so much in the year leading up to his passing, he married the love of his life, Jessica Brandt, in a beautiful ceremony at the Riverlodge in Fortuna on August 21, 2021 without the presence of his parents, as they were fighting Covid-19. Shortly thereafter, his father passed away. Mike Sr.’s passing was quite unexpected and Mikey loved his father dearly; losing him was the most difficult thing he has ever gone through. During what was supposed to be the most exciting time of his life, as a newlywed planning for a future with his wife, he was also grieving his father. But Mikey had a tough exterior, he wanted to be strong for his mother and sister, so he would always tell you he was okay. Although he had the support of his loving wife, a large family and many friends, Mikey wasn’t one to share his feelings, he was more concerned with the feelings of those around him, and that’s what made him so special.
If you were lucky enough to know Mikey, you know he was generous, kind, selfless, with so much life ahead of him, that he searched his whole life only to marry his soul mate within a year of his passing. That he was a son, who was still mourning the loss of his father. But to really know Mikey, you had to know so much more, like that he could fix anything with an engine, that he always wore a hat, that he was quiet and kind, and that he loved cars and animals. To really know Mikey, you had to know that he was the kind of person that would keep your secrets, would listen to you vent for hours. That he was fiercely protective of those he loved and never held a grudge. You had to know that as a Senior in High School, he drove his Freshman cousin to school every day and taught her to drive in his classic Chevelle on her 16th birthday; that he would take a day off of work just to help a friend move, or fix your car. You had to know that he loved mushrooms, Cazadores, and Sake Bombs; that he would be the first person to drop everything to ensure your safety, even at risk of his own, because he prioritized those around him. To really know Mikey, you had to know that he was a protector, a calming presence, a shy man who loved deeply, and said so much without even saying a word. You had to know that he tended to suffer in silence, that he wouldn’t “burden” his loved ones with his grief, because he wanted to be the rock, for everyone.
Mikey was just an amazing person and his absence leaves a void that is ever-present and all consuming, it is hard to imagine continuing on without him, and almost impossible to believe he is really gone. But Mikey would not want us to look back on his life with regret that it was not long enough. Although far too short, his life was full and vibrant. We will never forget that smile he couldn’t hide as he shared his first dance as “husband and wife,” or the look of embarrassment as his friends and family toasted to the Bride and Groom with stories and advice. He gifted us many beautiful memories and leaves behind a legacy of laughter, love, compassion and humility. He taught us to enjoy every moment with those you love, because tomorrow is not promised, to not let the little worries overwhelm all the good that life has to offer, and enjoy the ride.
Mikey is survived by his wife, Jessica, mother, Tina, Sister, Amber (Peter) Guerrero and their son, Dominic, his grandfather, Joe (Margie) Barnett, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Predeceasing him in death was his father, Michael Gaspar Anaya, Sr., and grandparents, Henry and Delores Anaya and Waletta Barnett.
Although Mikey’s loss is one we will continue to mourn deeply, we take comfort in knowing he is once again reunited with his father, watching over their family and friends together. A celebration of life will be held for both Mike Sr. And Mike Jr. at The Loleta Fire Pavilion on July 23, 2022, at 3 p.m., during the annual Auto Expo in Fortuna, an event special to both Mike and Mikey, which they enjoyed attending together. Family and friends are also welcome to enjoy the Auto Expo cruise the evening prior together, as we plan to do a lap in Mike and Mikey’s honor.
The obituary above was submitted by Michael Anaya’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.