Michael Wayne “Mike” Bieniek was born February 19, 1959. He was the third of four children. He attended Wishkah Valley School in Aberdeen for 13 years, Grays Harbor Community College in Aberdeen for two years, and studied forestry at Washington State University in Pullman for four years. He returned home to work in local lumber mills, where he advanced to the lumber grader position.
Mike enjoyed people. He was a member of the Northwest Vanning Club for over 40 years. Throughout each year the club raised money for Toys for Tots for Christmas presents for disadvantaged children. With his gray beard and happy demeanor, Mike was the natural choice to be Santa Claus at the club Christmas party.
At the time of his death, he was self-employed, selling and delivering bagged, crushed ice to several family-owned convenience stores on the north and south beaches of Grays Harbor County. He logged hundreds of miles in his delivery van to deliver ice for the tourist trade. Even though he was not feeling well, he would not let the business owners down. They had become his friends, too.
When Mike graduated high school, he joined the Wishkah Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Aberdeen. He served the department and the area for over 42 years. He was able to assist other fire departments, responding to fire and aid calls. He loved driving the different fire trucks and using the sirens on the two-lane country roads.
Mike leaves behind his family and the community who misses his smiling face, easygoing personality, and positive attitude to lend a helping hand when needed.