La Grande, Oregon
Michael James Armato, 51, of Heppner, died Feb. 19 of natural causes in La Grande. Burial will be at 3:30 p.m. March 3 at the Pioneer Masonic Cemetery, Heppner. A Rosary will be read at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church during the regular 5 p.m. mass. A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. March 4 at the Heppner Elks Club. Arrangements are under the direction of Sweeney Mortuary of Heppner.
Mr. Armato, known as Mike, was born June 27, 1955, to Frank and Catherine Armato in San Francisco. He grew up in San Rafael, Calif. He graduated from San Rafael High School in 1973 and attended the University of California, Berkeley.
Mike married Pamela Waterhouse in 1978, and they had two children, Phillip and Gail Armato. In 1990 he married Kim Cutsforth of Heppner, and they had two children, Maggie and Joe Armato.
Mike lived in Heppner for the past 12 years. He was most recently employed as a conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad, based out of La Grande. He was a member of the Heppner Elks Club and St. Patrick’s Parish, where he directed religious education and taught first communion classes.
Mike loved to help people and was a tireless volunteer for Hospice. An avid chess player, he taught “Chess for Success” at Heppner Elementary. He served on the budget committee for the Morrow County School District and was a member of the Morrow County Board of Property Tax Appeal. He had also been a Little League umpire.
Mike was well known for his culinary skills and occasionally taught classes. He loved history and followed current events with great interest. An articulate man, he never shied from controversy.
Survivors include his wife, Kim; children, Joe and Maggie of Heppner and Phillip and Gail of Danville, Calif.; siblings and their spouses, Peter and Kathy Armato of Seward, Alaska, John and Laura Armato of Santa Rosa, Calif., Cathy and Bill Silva of Novato, Calif., and Elizabeth and Robert Price of San Francisco; stepmother, Frances Armato of Petaluma, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Pioneer Memorial Hospice, P.O. Box 9, Heppner 97836.
The Observer – Obituaries for the week ending Mar. 3, 2007 Published: March 3, 2007