On May 20, 2021, Michael P. Stegina, Sr. went to join the love of his life, his wife Gail, in heaven. He left behind a loving family who will miss him very much. He left a legacy of three children: Sandra McNatt, Carrie Smith and Michael Stegina Jr., their spouses: Kyle McNatt, Larisa Stegina and Scott Wilson, four grandchildren: Kristen Reeves, Joshua McNatt, Danielle Butler and Nicole Kirkland, two step-grandchildren: Tayver and Jayden Wilson, and two great grandsons: Brody Butler and Wade Reeves.
Mike was born in Connecticut, and soon after returning from his time in Vietnam with the Army he took a chance and moved his family to Arizona. He quickly fell in love with Arizona and never wanted to live anywhere else. Mike spent the next 30 years of his life in the car service industry as a Service Director before retiring to the community of Sun Lakes. He and Gail established many friendships along their journey in life. They always surrounded themselves with good people.
Throughout his life, Mike had an interest in photography, space/astronomy and geology. Moving to Arizona gave him a chance to experience some fantastic landscapes to photograph. The Grand Canyon was probably his favorite place; a place he took everyone who traveled to see him and his family. As a young man he loved hunting and camping and as he got older he loved hunting for the perfect rock specimens to cut and polish and display. We all have a famous “Mike Stegina bear or bison” on the shelf in our own home or office. He loved making these and sharing his hobbies with others.
As his children were older he decided he and his wife, Gail, were going to see the world and see the world they did. Mike and Gail visited every continent in the world enjoying beautiful landscapes and meeting amazing people. There was nothing they loved more than planning a trip and retelling the stories of their many adventures.
Combining all of his interests, he became an “eclipse chaser”, travelling to places like Russia, Africa, South America, Antarctica, China, and Australia to experience and photograph this amazing phenomenon. He perfected his techniques and became good enough to have several pictures published in Astronomy magazine over the years.
Although we are all very sad to see you go, Dad/Grandpa/Great Grandpa/Friend, we are happy that you are now with the love of your life, Gail Stegina. We all know how much you missed her. We love you and will cherish the memories of so many family times with you and mom.
Visitation will be at Buehler Funeral Home, 14 Hulet Drive, Chandler, Arizona at 4:00pm, June 2, 2021
Immediately following this will be a celebration of life with food and drinks at Mike Stegina’s residence in Sun Lakes. Please join us.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to: Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. 2323 S. Hardy Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282 www.LostOurHome.org (His dog has been adopted by family friends who are giving her a great home.)
Mike and Gail will be interred together as they wanted at the National Memorial Cemetery in Cave Creek at a private family service.