Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Michael P. Voolich ’65 was born and raised in Seattle to Donna (Domina Bozanich) and Sam Voolich, with siblings Sandra and Peter. He grew up in a family of salmon fishermen, working on fishing boats between Seattle and Alaska. As a young man, he dreamed of being a philosopher and made his way to Boston via SCU and then Washington University in St. Louis, where he met his beloved wife, Erica. He began his teaching career when he was studying philosophy at Boston College. But soon his interests wandered to woodworking, and he became a woodshop teacher in Arlington, Brookline, then moving to Salem High School and eventually to Norwood High School. As the world changed, so did Mike’s career, with his final teaching jobs in computer aided design and then American history in the Boston public schools. He had a penchant for building practically any furniture and obtained a builder’s license to remodel his own house and supervise the construction of a home for a friend. He was a devoted father to Cheryl, Sam and wife Gretchen, and Johanna and husband Caleb. He volunteered as a Little League and Babe Ruth baseball coach in Somerville, Massachusetts, and sometimes drove for hours to ensure he attended every basketball game his kids ever played in. Over time he had the good fortune to become a devoted grandfather to Matt and wife Britany, Leo, and Lucy, and great-grandfather to Vanessa and Sophia. In Mike’s later years he sought out his extended family in Croatia, discovering he was able to speak the language that had been spoken around him in his home growing up. He was also able to connect family members in Chile and Croatia. In many ways Mike was larger than life. Beyond his very large stature, he had a large presence in every room, was curious about the world, questioned everything, and also wanted to tell everyone about everything, always having a unique approach to life and a desire to help others. He passed away peacefully following a brief illness on May 26, 2019, at the age of 75. He was surrounded by his family and drew his last breaths as he lived, snoring with his feet up in front of the Red Sox game.