Mike was born October 1, 1949, in Sewickley, PA, the first son of Mike and Mitzi (Posega) Smolinsky, and raised in Baden, PA. On August 3, 1974, he married the love of his life, Jean Berton. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and worked for the Department of Labor and Industry in Harrisburg for 35 years until his retirement in 2008.
Mike and Jean enjoyed travel, some favorite destinations being Cape May, New Jersey; Assateague Island, Maryland; Watkins Glen, New York and St. John, Virgin Islands. He liked the outdoors, attending plays and concerts, reading, crossword puzzles, biking, running and anything sports.
Mike was an avid runner whose accomplishments included running in both the Boston and Pittsburgh Marathons, along with many other races both locally and in other states. In the summer of 2017, Mike qualified to participate in the National Senior Games held in Birmingham, Alabama . He participated yearly in Smith’s Challenge, a 7-mile trail race held in Lancaster County Park. A Celebration of Life gathering in Mike’s honor was held at the park on September 5, 2018. He was a sports enthusiast, both at the professional and collegiate level and attended as many games as he could in various states including NFL, NHL, MLB playoff games and the NCAA Tournament. His heart was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates along with the Pitt Panthers, his alma mater.
He is survived by his devoted wife Jean, daughters Laura and Beth, beloved granddaughter Tayten, brothers Paul (Linda), Pete (Kay), sister Johanna (Ed), nephews Mark and Todd, and nieces Amber, Heather, Holly, Sharon and Judy. He was preceded in death by his parents.
The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to Dr. Kristine Dziurzynski, the neurosurgeon whose continued care and compassion lead Mike to call her and her assistant Jane “JC”, his “cheerleaders”, to Dr. Candace Boyer and the office staff at the Lancaster County Osteopathic and Integrative Health, her nurse Janine and the office staff Melissa and Jessica for their compassionate care and support for Mike.
Mike chose not to do any conventional treatments of chemotherapy and radiation to treat his terminal brain cancer. Instead the quality of his life was preserved for many months through an extensive alternative protocol.