Mike Levine’s Dad always said, “Don’t say you don’t like something unless you’ve tried it.” Well, as you’ll realize after reading this profile, Mike certainly has tried a lot!
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Mike was a Navy brat as a youngster, moving from Virginia to Japan to Houston to Hawaii and finally to California when his father retired from the Navy. Mike graduated from Reseda High (about 23 miles northwest of Los Angeles) where he played baseball for the Regents. He then joined the Air Force and served a six-year tour including a year in Vietnam where he was a Loadmaster on a AC-130 gunship. Stateside he was an Inventory Control Specialist. In that position he was instrumental in helping convert their inventory system from the old Cardex system to a computer-based system.
After his discharge he joined his father in running the family business, J & M Automotive Parts. He also earned a Manufacturing Engineering degree from Pierce College in Los Angeles. After the family business was sold, he worked for McDonnell Douglas for five years before accepting an engineering position with Boeing in Everett, Washington, north of Seattle. After eight years there, he tried his hand as owner/operator of a big rig.
Never one to not try something new, he briefly ventured into the restaurant ownership business before rejoining the corporate world in a sales position for NWT Transportation. That was followed by a position with Yellow Freight. After his divorce, he started anew, relocating to Lincoln, Nebraska and getting into the fast food franchise business. When that “didn’t go too well” he joined Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad where he was a road conductor and yard foreman. In 2001 he moved back to Washington and rejoined Yellow Freight. He retired and relocated to Arizona in 2010.
Now if you think Mike’s professional career was diversified, his hobbies have been even more diverse. He’s been a professional drag boat racer (where he topped out at over 215 mph), a recreational drag car racer and he also enjoys mountain biking and kayaking. He’s also tried parachuting, paragliding, surfing in the Pacific and tobogganing in the mountains! You can also add in more everyday sports like bowling, golf and horseback riding to his list of hobbies and activities. Mike also enjoys traveling; he’s taken eight cruises and has been nearly everywhere including the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the Far East.
Mike lived in Queen Creek before being drawn to Sun Lakes by our softball program. This is his rookie year but he’s played in our recreational program and in other area leagues since he retired. Previously, he played in the Air Force and in industrial leagues and has always loved the game. He’s now looking forward to playing in our competitive league.
Mike’s Dad had another favorite saying: “Live life.” Based upon the many things Mike has tried and the many places he’s been, he certainly followed that fatherly advice!