Michael Gary LaSala, age 69, passed away at home in Ocean Shores, Washington on April 30, 2018 after a two and a half year battle with colorectal cancer.
Gary was born in Queens, New York on September 21, 1948 to the late Michael Joseph and Sara Jane (White) LaSala. His family moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1958. He graduated from North Eugene High School in 1966 where he had served as senior class ASB Treasurer and played Center on the basketball team which won the State Championship in 1966.
A basketball scholarship sent Gary to Southern Oregon College in Ashland where he graduated in 1970 with a degree in Accounting. He was a starter for the team that made it to District Finals in 1968 and was selected to play in the NAIA tournament. The team was inducted into the SOC Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gary worked for various accounting firms in Medford, Portland, and Longview before being transferred to Seattle where he met his wife Cyndi in 1979. The couple was married on June 13, 1981 in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington.
In 1986, they purchased a home in the Fairwood area of Renton, WA. Gary was a partner at Searing, Gitelson, & Keeslar until he started his own business, LaSala Financial Management, Inc. in 1992. In addition, he was CFO for J.R. Hayes & Sons, Maple Valley; CFO for Hood to Coast Relay, Portland, for over 20 years; and served on the Board of Directors for San Juan Airlines, Friday Harbor and Shuttle Express, Seattle.
Sailing was a passion (he purchased his first boat in 1975) and family summers were spent in the San Juan Islands. Other interests included fly fishing, golf, classic cars, and sports.
Gary’s battle with ulcerative colitis led him to volunteer with the Crohns & Colitis Foundation (CCFA). In 1994 he was named Washington State Chapter president, serving for 3 years in that position and bringing it to be recognized as a Premier Chapter by the national CCFA in 1997. In 1999, Gary was elected to the National Board of Directors and appointed to the National Finance Committee. He was most proud of his accomplishment in lobbying Congress for insurance coverage of colonoscopies before the age of 50.
Other organization memberships included Maple Valley Chamber of Commerce where he served as president from 2005 to 2006; Maple Valley Rotary; Ocean Shores Kiwanis.
After retirement, Gary and Cyndi followed their love of water to Ocean Shores, WA.
Gary will be remembered for being a leader, and a social, fun-loving guy who prided himself on being generous.
Gary is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Cynthia Lou (Gump); daughter Morgan Bree LaSala, son Michael Justin LaSala (Miranda), grandson Michael Ryan, brother Ronald William LaSala (Elaine), sister Mischelle Mowrer (Robert).
Celebration of Life information and online memorial book available at www.colemanmortuary.net.
Donations may be made to the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America, information at www.ccfa.org