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Mike Mailander - December 17, 2010


Michael Peter Mailander, 56, was born in Denver Nov. 20, 1954 and died Dec. 17, 2010 at his home in Baton Rouge, La.

He was the fifth child of Leo and Marie (Ortner) Mailander. Mike attended Holyoke Grade School and was a 1973 graduate of Holyoke High School. He was a member of National Honor Society and lettered in football, wrestling and track.

As a recipient of the Boettcher Foundation Scholarship, he obtained a B.S. in engineering science and mathematics from Regis College in Denver in 1977. While at Regis, Mike attended the University of Regensburg, Germany. During that time he traveled to Gallneukirchen, Austria to renew his friendship with his great-aunt Mary and other relatives.

While attending Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Mike obtained an M.S. in engineering in 1979 and a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering in 1985 and was a graduate instructor in research.

In 1985 Mike accepted a position as assistant professor in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at Louisiana State University (LSU) Ag Center in Baton Rouge, La. In 1991, Mike was promoted to an associate professor where he specialized in sensing, precision farming and bioenergy. He taught a variety of engineering classes and completed research projects.

Mike held patents for the automatic control of a combine threshing cylinder and feeder conveyor, as well as for an automatic ground speed controller.

Mike was active in Christ the King Parish, LSU’s Catholic Center, where he was a Communion minister, lector and an RCIA catechist. He participated in missions to Mexico where he helped build a school and a church. He was the advisor and willing worker for LSU Habitat for Humanity. In addition, Mike was a regular volunteer, preparing and serving food at a men’s shelter.

During visits to Holyoke, Mike enjoyed preparing Cajun meals for his family. Mike’s hobbies included cooking, movies, reading and international travel.

Preceding Mike in death were his father, Leo; infant sister, Mary Ann; infant brother, William; and niece, Erin.

Survivors include his sister, Joan of Minneapolis, Minn.; brothers, Jim and wife Marlene of Brisbane, Australia, Bob and wife Rita of Denver, Paul and wife Teresa of Holyoke and Leo of Holyoke; 10 nieces and nephews; and three great-nieces. He was the proud godfather to his nieces Laura Mailander of Chicago, Ill. and Heather Mailander of Sydney, Australia.

A family vigil service was held Dec. 22 at his mother’s home. The Mass of Christian Burial was held Dec. 23 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with Father William Jungmann presiding. Interment followed at Holyoke Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to the RCIA Program, Christ the King Parish and Catholic Center, P.O. Box 25131, Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5131. The link to Mike’s memorial website is www.michael-mailander.memory-of.com.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.