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July 2, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
Michael (Mike) Amrhein passed away on July 2, 2023, at the age of 77, in his Tofino home that he and his wife Wendy built from the ground up on a secluded forest property nearly 50 years ago.
Mike will be dearly missed by Wendy, their three children, Seth (Melissa), Ilya (Chrystal), and Hannah (Stefan), four grandchildren, Claire, Salvador, Trinidad, and Alma, his brother Mark, nieces Elizabeth and Gillian, and friends.
Mike was born in Brooklyn, New York, and spent his childhood in small towns in Delaware and Ohio. He attended Ohio State University, where he completed his degree in political science and met Wendy. Fresh out of university, they married and immigrated to Canada to pursue peace and freedom from the Vietnam War.
They arrived in Ottawa and headed west to Vancouver shortly after, where they heard rumors of paradise, a tiny fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island. They made their way to Tofino in 1970, when the road was still unpaved, where Mike found work in fish camps and tree planting. He also worked as an ambulance attendant, a forestry foreman, and for the Village of Tofino.
He trained to be a certified carpenter and spent many years working for Don McGinnis Contracting. His handiwork can be appreciated in many buildings around town, including the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, Pacific Sands, Tofino Resort and Marina (Weigh West), and the First Street dock.
In the 1990s, he served two terms on the Tofino council and then worked for the Central Region Board on natural resource planning. Through this work, he cultivated his deep respect for the Nuu-chah-nulth people and their Hahuułi.
Mike had many interests and passions over the years, including silversmithing, hunting and fishing, astronomy, photography, gardening, and raising chickens, goats, and rabbits. He found great enjoyment homesteading with Wendy on their property, creating their little sanctuary.
He was a builder, fixer, and tinkerer and always had the right tool on hand. After their kids grew up, Mike and Wendy had many travel adventures all over the globe.
Mike adored his family, and his grandchildren were everything to him.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.