Michael Humphrey '81 November 14, 2023 4:15 PM updated: November 14, 2023 4:29 PM
Michael Lewis Humphrey
May 26, 1956 - October 27, 2023
Michael Lewis Humphrey, 67, passed away on October 27, 2023 in Ventura, California, at home in the company of his beloved wife, Nelly Humphrey and children.
Michael was born in San Angelo, Texas on May 26, 1956, to William Lewis Humphrey and Barbara Josephine Humphrey. He went to high school in Houston, Texas and went on to graduate from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering after a brief pit-stop at the University of Texas, Austin; he always considered himself an Aggie first and foremost. He made progress on two Master’s degrees in Engineering and Business Administration, however his career and travels precluded him from finishing. He worked for Chevron USA for over 35 years, retiring in 2015.
Michael was a towering presence, physically and personality-wise. His 6’5 and over 250 pound frame made him stand out everywhere he went. He had a quick wit, always joking with others. He was kind, generous, and an eternal optimist, always seeing the glass half full based on his favorite verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Hebrews 11:1, 3)
He loved to read and cultivated a large book collection filled with more books than he could ever read, a habit he passed on to his children. He was a lifelong learner, always striving for more knowledge, even going so far as to buy “The Great Courses” mastery on many different topics such as math, history, and science. He used MIT’s open university courses to enhance his learning as well. He was an amateur astronomer, waking up at all hours of the night to see the International Space Station fly over, or Mercury transiting the sun, or when Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus were all visible in the night sky.
Michael enjoyed traveling, aided by his various assignments overseas. He lived in the United States, Canada, Spain, Angola, and Russia. He traveled to almost 100 different countries, on six continents. He very much enjoyed exploring quaint and boutique hotels in various destinations. He was a food connoisseur, trying new things all the time, and always insisting on the best each place had to offer. He loved to visit national parks, his favorites being the Grand Canyon, Big Bend, and Death Valley, all of which he visited many, many times. He traveled extensively with Nelly after retirement, constantly on the go until Covid slowed them a little. He took his final trip to Hawaii in July of this year, one of his favorite locations.
One of Michael and Nelly’s favorite pastimes was walking on the beach in Ventura, watching the sunrise or the sunset or the surfers, either walking or simply sitting in the parking lot.
Michael enjoyed exercising, walking or hiking up to “The Cross” in Ventura when he was able to. Michael’s favorite exercise was swimming, and he always ensured that he brought along his swimsuit and goggles on trips in case he found a public pool open for lap swimming.
Michael was an avid pilot, taking flying lessons in college and getting his pilot's license in the ‘70s, before letting it lapse as his career and family grew. After retiring in 2015, he resumed his lessons and again became a certified private pilot. He flew single engine planes out of Santa Paula Airport after stopping for a nice breakfast at Flight 126 Cafe.
Perhaps his biggest passion was for investing, having started at a young age. He followed the markets closely and adhered to the old adage “you only lose money if you sell.” He read the Wall Street Journal every day and followed the advice of Warren Buffett and John Bogle.
Michael was steadfast in his faith, a true Man of God. He read his Bible consistently and prayed constantly for himself and his family. He was active at every Church he attended everywhere he lived, and cultivated many friendships. He was very generous, supporting many organizations and charities throughout the years, and never turning down someone in need, whether with financial help, or advice, or simply listening.
Michael had a soft, kind and generous heart. Thank you for your selfless love, your faithfulness, your deep genuine love for our Lord, life and our family. Thank you for protecting us, supporting us, and always uplifting us, and showing us the true qualities of a righteous God. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)
Michael was preceded in death by his parents William and Barbara, and his siblings William, and Catherine. Michael is survived by his wife of 37 years, Nelly Humphrey; his four children and their spouses, Ashlee and husband Ben, William and wife Adriana, James and wife Cindy, and Kyle; his six grandchildren, Sarah, Elizabeth, Michael, Cirdan (Corkle), Thorin (Thorky), and Luthien (Lupee); his sister Barbara, and his brother Mark and wife Doris; and his many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made to Higher Vision Church Missions.
A private burial service will take place on November 9, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park in Ventura, CA. A memorial service for his friends and family will be held at Higher Vision Church (346 N. Kimball Rd. Ventura CA, 93004) on December 27, 2023, at 11:00 A.M.
Arrangements are under the direction of the JOSEPH P. REARDON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, Ventura.