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Michael Gaines '57 September 9, 2021 3:35 PM updated: September 9, 2021 3:45 PM

Michael Ridge Gaines
December 24, 1934 - August 5, 2021

Michael was born Dec. 24, 1934 in Hollywood, Calif., to Arthur Myers Gaines and Lois O'Hearne Gaines. He spent his childhood in Los Angeles. Upon the untimely death of his mother, his father married Hannah Deutschman Morris and Michael became the youngest of a blended family of six boys. The boys were all close in age and became good friends throughout their lives.

Michael attended Texas A&M College where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and upon graduation joined the U.S. Army Reserve. He began his graduate school career at the University of Denver where he earned his MBA and after graduation became a CPA. He then matriculated at the University of Washington where he earned his PhD, majoring in accounting and finance. He sold computers for IBM, practiced as a CPA, and on completion of the PhD began a long career as a professor of accounting at Portland State University (PSU). He was active in the local community, serving on the boards of Oregon Episcopal School, the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School, as well as on the board of our local homeowners association for our much-loved cabin on Swift Lake.

While a doctoral student at the University of Washington, Michael met his to be wife Barbara Conway, a graduate student in the school of nursing. Their daughter Cynthia Gaines (Cindy) was born in their early years in Portland. They were married for 55 years.

Michael's passion for adventure and good times in the great out-of-doors began with his achievement of the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 14. During his sojourn as a doctoral student, a fellow classmate convinced him they could spend less money one summer than they earned as teaching assistants if they went to Europe and camped and learned to "really mountain climb"-which they did summiting the Matterhorn without a guide after serious instruction from a retired climber turned teacher. Michael loved flying, especially his Cessna 170. He and Barbara flew down the Baja peninsula in 1965 spending Christmas in La Paz and Cabo San Lucas when it was only a handful of buildings. But Michael's favorite partner in adventure was daughter Cindy, who he taught to sail in the Caribbean, cruise in the American and Canadian San Juans, backpack throughout the Northwest with and without the family dogs to complicate matters, ride dirt bikes and drive a car in the Gifford Pinchot, and to experience all that nature had to teach us.

Michael also loved to travel just for the sake of it. The family was fortunate to travel on several continents enjoying the different cultures encountered as well as spend several winters motor homing in Mexico and around the USA.

Michael was quick to make friends with his easy-going personality, ready smile and wicked sense of humor. He loved his bridge, boat, and golf buddies who stuck with him over many years.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother; and five brothers. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter, Cindy; and a large extended family.

A celebration of Michael's life will be held as soon as Covid-19 precautions permit.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Portland State University Foundation for scholarships for students in the School of Business.

Please sign the online guest book at

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