Michael Thomas Strandquist
Michael Thomas Strandquist
  • January 19, 1957 - November 2, 2016
  • Annapolis, Maryland

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John M. Taylor Funeral Home

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Annapolis, MD 21401
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Michael Thomas “Mike” Strandquist

Michael Thomas Strandquist, a 49-year resident of Annapolis, lost his heroic battle with pancreatic cancer on All Souls Day, November 2, 2016. He was 59. “Mike,” as his many friends and family called him, died at home with his wife of 22 years, Karen Nelson Strandquist, by his side.

Born to Mary Gabrielle and John Herbert Strandquist at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N. C., January 19, 1957, Michael, was the third child in a close-knit family of eight children. They arrived in Annapolis in 1967.

Mike and his siblings attended Annapolis public elementary and junior high schools, but transferred to St. Mary’s for high school. Mike loved football and started playing when he was very young -- too small to be assigned a uniform. At St. Mary’s he excelled in football and lacrosse, and was in his element when named captain of the football and lacrosse teams in his senior year.

As a 14-year-old, Mike earned a job at the Annapolis Sailing School. Too young to be an instructor, Mike worked the dock as a tiger, launching and receiving the boats. He learned to sail with his father, and worked his way to become an instructor. Soon he was teaching beginners how to sail.

Experience gained at a young age was a true character-builder, and helped earn Mike a reputation as an indefatigable worker and leader – a reputation he maintained all his life. His expertise and dedication were evident as he rescued a boat and sailed it back during the infamous hurricane Agnes in June 1972.

After graduating from St. Mary’s, Mike briefly attended college, yet was eager to enter the mainstream of life as an adult. Mike worked a series of construction jobs, laying pipes in snow and other miserable winter weather. He proved his grit and perseverance again and again. He went to work at Breezy Point Marina in Chesapeake Beach, MD where his amazing work ethic and ability to manage a large marina, eventually led to his becoming the manager, and ultimately owner, of the marina.

Mike epitomized the idea of the self-made man. Enduring tremendous challenges and hardships connected with running his marina, Mike was virtually a one-man operation. Marina clients and employees alike recognize Michael as an honest owner, one sincerely interested in their welfare.

Michael’s family was always paramount in his endeavors. A devoted husband and father, he believed family came first. Mike is survived by his wife, Karen, and his daughters, Dana (and her two daughters, Lucy and Daphne), Kirah, Maggie, Lily and his son, Thomas. Mike was the beloved brother of his large family of four brothers (Jack, Mark, Blaise, Peter) and three sisters (Julie, Bridget and Skye) and a loving and supportive son to his mother, Gabrielle. Michael’s father, John Strandquist, predeceased him on Fathers Day, 2016.

Mike was a valued member of the Annapolis community, and was proud to call it his home. All who met Mike knew the kindness he had in his heart. He was truly dedicated to his family and every aspect of his children’s daily lives. Mike’s entire family is grief-stricken over the loss of their family hero. He was an amazing man who will be missed by everyone whose life he has touched.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Andrew by the Bay Catholic Church, 701 College Pkwy, Annapolis MD, on Tuesday, November 8, at 11am. Friends may also call at Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester St. Annapolis on Monday, November 7, from 5 to 8 pm.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at www.pancan.org.