Mike was born in Viroqua, Wisconsin, on July 27, 1951. His family moved to Orange County, California, in the mid-1950s. From a young age he had an affinity for wanting to know how things work and building things. For fun he would take apart lawn mowers and other engines, improve their efficiency and put them back together.
In high school, Mike started building drag racing cars. After graduating, he joined the pit crew of Don Prudhonme Racing, which allowed him to travel the country and visit 49 states. When he was finished with the racing lifestyle, he went to work customizing offshore fishing boats. He fell in love with the ocean and fishing. He felt at home on the water. Mike started his own welding and custom fabrication business, Sands Welding, in 1982. He said that he loved taking things people dreamed about and making them real.
In the fall of 1995, he moved to the Methow Valley to raise his family and continue his welding business. He was fortunate enough to have a group of his best friends from California move to the Methow as well. In the 22 years that he lived here he developed an amazing network of friends, did work he loved, and raised two men he was very proud of.
He will be remembered as a wonderful father and a loyal friend to those who knew him.
Mike always told his boys: “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and “A job worth doing is a job worth doing right.”
Mike Sands passed in his sleep on May 27, 2017, at the age of 65.
He is survived by his two sons, Jimmy and Kyle, and his granddaughter Naomi.
A memorial service will be help at the Winthrop Barn on July 1 at 3 p.m.