In Loving Memory
Michael “Myke” Gregory Komarnitsky, born Oct 22, 1978 in Bellevue Washington, passed away peacefully at home on March 8, 2020,18 months after being diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.
Myke was the fifth of five children, a surprise bundle of joy with a mop of light brown hair and goofy grin. As the youngest, he endured years of good-natured teasing and at times wondered what he did to deserve six parents: mom and dad and four opinionated siblings. Myke was thoughtful, sincere and a true listener while also being confident with the drive, intellect, and courage to go after his goals in life.
After graduating from Bellevue High School in 1996, Myke left the Pacific Northwest for the University of Colorado at Boulder where he got a degree in Aerospace Engineering, made lifelong friends, and became an avid rock climber. In 2000, still the early days of the internet, he helped businesses in the Boulder area build their first websites. At the same time, he dreamed up ClimbingBoulder.com, the first crowd-sourced site for climbing routes which grew exponentially and blossomed into what is now called the Mountain Project owned by REI.
Looking for an opportunity to grow from his experiences with his small businesses, life took him East in 2004 to Washington D.C. to earn a master’s degree in business from Georgetown University, where he sadly had to sell his beloved Nissan Pathfinder. While there he met Li-Ming Ueng, who was probably his complete opposite, but it worked as she became his future wife and partner in adventure. Part of the Georgetown curriculum took Myke and several good friends on an adventure in Southeast Asia where one of his favorite experiences among many was to explore remote parts of Vietnam by motorcycle.
After grad school, the two moved to New York City, where Myke took a job with then Booz & Company’s Aerospace Division and the pair enjoyed city life (when not in different cities for work) while living in a tiny 5th floor walk up. During this time, work took Myke across the world to Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
With a desire for more of the West Coast lifestyle, the two moved to the Seattle area in 2009 where Myke joined the Arnold Consulting Group and ultimately became a partner. The partners also invested in Myke as he worked on another start-up idea, Gomiles.com, a site for frequent travelers to track their rewards miles which he ultimately sold. He and his partners also supported various startups with investments.
While Myke was successful in consulting and business, he first and foremost valued the time spent with family and friends. He enjoyed humorous as well as meaningful conversations about life, politics, and more – particularly while enjoying a nice glass of pinot. He always encouraged others to go after their goals and genuinely felt joy when those close to him succeeded. He had written in 2006, “May all you continue to find the right things in life for you, and have the courage to go do them,” which is a true reflection of what he wished for others.
He also loved adventures with family and friends, especially in the mountains. When younger, he loved skiing, climbing and motorcycle adventures in Colorado. An avid snowboarder, Myke would not hesitate to hike up a ridgeline or even jump in a helicopter when the brothers got together for epic ski trips. He added to his list of adventures even after kids – running a 50-mile relay race with friends in the Seattle area, climbing Mt. Rainier, and in 2018, he ran his fastest marathon yet.
He would, however, consider the biggest adventure in life raising three girls, Kaelyn, Adeline and Evelyn with Li-Ming in an all-girl household where even the cat was female. A dedicated father and husband, he learned a sense of responsibility from his dad, and compassion and a sense of calm amongst chaos from his mom, and raised his kids with those values in mind. As an outdoor lover, he wanted to encourage the same of his girls (and his wife), and he got them out for hikes, bike rides, and skiing at an early age. An avid reader, one of Myke’s favorite pastimes was to read to or with the girls and it shows in their passion for books. He loved to travel and one of his life goals was to take the family on an around the world trip – Li-Ming plans on honoring this wish.
Typical of Myke, he responded to his cancer diagnosis with grit and his deep spiritual faith. He did not let the disease define him and never once asked “why me”. In the midst of the harshest of treatments, he walked several miles every day and looked for ways to get the most out of life, including skiing and trips to Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica, and the Olympic Peninsula and others with his family.
Myke’s smile, positive energy and wit will be sorely missed by his loving wife, Li-Ming, and his three daughters, Kaelyn, Adeline and Evelyn, his mother Betsy, his sister Stephanie and brothers, Alek, Kris, and Kurt. He was preceded in death by his father, Oleg. Myke will be in our hearts forever.
The funeral will take place at Sacred Heart Church at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kaelyn, Adeline, and Evelyn’s college funds. For more information, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also in honor of Myke, consider donating to your favorite charity, taking a risk to accomplish something you’re passionate about, or shredding some lines at your favorite ski or snowboard spot.