Michael Olexa peacefully passed to the Realm of Ancestors on the morning of July 1, 2015 at the age of 96. Michael was born in the township of Nanty Glo, PA, on October 5, 1918, the third child and third son of Andrew and Anna (Mehalko) Olexa and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1959. He worked for the Balsz School District in Phoenix and also enjoyed a 50-year career as a barber where he honed his incomparable people skills. He retired from his employment in 1982. Michael was a cherished son and brother, a devoted husband, a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and the beloved of his family. He was a WWII Veteran with some great stories to share. Michael was also a barber, a craftsman, a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, a small project architect, a painter and a musician. And there are probably a host of other talents that he had but was just too busy with the ones mentioned to give expression to the others. Just a short time in his presence and you could not help but to fall in love with him and to feel better about life and just about being alive. His smile was radiant and intoxicating! His enthusiasm about life was contagious! His energy was limitless! His gentleness and graciousness towards everyone he met was unparalleled. He was the personification of unconditional love and gratitude for the Divine Gift of Life. Most of all, Michael was a joy and will be forever missed by all who were fortunate to know him! He leaves behind his daughter Alexis Sharif and husband Umar, granddaughter Julie Vu, and husband Alex, and three great-grandchildren, Caitlin, Andrew and Emma. His brother Charles and wife Bonnie and his brother John. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Helen (Reborchick), parents Andrew and Anna, brothers, Nick, Pete, Andrew and Raymond, sisters, Ann, Mary, Rose, Eva, Catherine and Margaret and more nieces and nephews than can be counted. Visitation will be on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. A graveside service will follow at 1:30 p.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Reflections Hospice, payable to Sunrise Points of Light Foundation, 1840 E. University Drive, Suite #2, Mesa, AZ 85203. Personal condolences can be left for family at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
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