Michael (Mike) Henry Champine, passed away unexpectantly from a major heart attack on March 5, 2018. Mike was born on November 24, 1946, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The youngest of four children he was raised in the Salvation Army Church and was a lifeguard and boat boy at church camp. Prior to graduation from Lincoln High School, he earned his Order of the Arrow in Boy Scouts and lived his life by their motto, “Always be Prepared”.
In 1965 he joined the U.S. Navy arriving in San Diego, to 80-degree weather the 1st of December, and decided he would never go back to the cold. He completed boot camp at the Naval Training Center. During his 24-year career, he rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4. He went to Hospital Corps School followed by field medical training. In 1967 he volunteered to go to Vietnam where he earned two Purple Hearts for injuries sustained as well as a Bronze Star for his act of heroism during the Tet Offensive in Hue City. He was then sent to duty instruction where he attained his Registered Nursing degree. He served as an Independent Duty Corpsman aboard two ships, and then underwent training as a Physician Assistant. He was the Officer in Charge at the EMT school at Camp Pendleton. He was stationed in California, Panama, Texas, Las Vegas, Okinawa, Virginia, and Vietnam during his career. He was always very humble about his service and achievements in the military, always saying he was just doing his job.
Upon retirement from the Navy in 1990, he went into private practice, until his second retirement in 2012. Mike was the founder of the San Diego Society of Physician Assistants. He was an active member of the California Association of Physician Assistants and the San Diego First Church of the Nazarene.
Mike was a loving, kind, caring, and humble man. He was not one to hold grudges. He loved his country, his family, and most of all God.
Mike was proceeded in death by mother and father, Rhea and Francis Champine, and brother, Sonny Champine. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Irene, daughter, Shawna Donaldson (Ross), son, Corey Champine (Kelly), granddaughter, Cheyenne Amberg, grandsons, J.D. Amberg (Marissa), Triston and Tyzer Champine, Trevon Van Dyke, great granddaughter, Kinsley Amberg, sisters, Sherry Ellerman and Janice (Maury) Reed, his best friend and brother, Jim (Sabina) Tognazzini, 22 nieces and nephews, and 35 great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations in Mike’s memory can be sent to the Salvation Army.
Celebration of Life
- Date: March 14, 2018
- Time: 1:00pm
- Location: San Diego First Church of the Nazarene
- Address: 3901 Lomaland Drive San Diego CA 92106
- Directions: San Diego First Church of the Nazarene
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