Astoria

May 25, 1943 — Oct. 10, 2019

Michael Edwin Seppala, 76, of Yuma, Arizona, passed away Oct. 10, 2019.

Mike was born in Astoria, Oregon, on May 25, 1943. He was the first-born son of Henry and Evelyn Seppala. He attended schools in Astoria, graduating from Astoria High School in 1960.

He worked for a time in Portland, for Fashioncraft Furniture, until he joined the Air Force, and was honorably discharged after serving four years.

Following his discharge, he returned home to Astoria and worked for his parents at Greenwood Cemetery. He later worked as a mechanic for Crown Zellerbach and Johnson Motors. He drove cement trucks for Gordon Perrigo, and loved telling stories of driving “The Queen.”

His passion for mechanics led him to open his first repair shop across the old Youngs Bay bridge, until he built his home and shop in Walluski. As “Sepp’s Auto,” Mike had a reputation for being able to fix anything from an outboard motor to a Caterpillar D8. He repaired many a log truck and dump truck, keeping those independent operators on the road.

In 1975, he married Linda Hill. They later divorced, but he remained close to his stepdaughters, Tammy and Kim.

In 1993, he married Patty Norman. They lived in Walluski until 1997, when they moved to Yuma, where he worked for the Yuma County Water Users’ Association as a mechanic, retiring in 2008.

His boss stated at his retirement that he had never heard anyone say an unkind word against Mike. Even in retirement, Mike had a shop at home and continued to do mechanic work until failing health made him stop.

He was an avid reader, especially the westerns of Louis L’Amour, and he had an amazing retention of anything he read. He also loved the music of Johnny Cash and other older country singers. Hearing newer country singers, he would often say, “that’s not country music.”

Michael is survived by his wife, Patty; sisters Mary Tolonen (Arnold) of Vernonia and Barbara Wells (James) of Knappa; stepchildren Brian Edwards (Jennifer) of Hurst, Texas, and Tammy Babb (Mike) of Yuma; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Henry; mother, Evelyn; and his stepfather, Ralph Williams.

A family memorial gathering will be held at a later date.

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