8/23/1930 – 6/12/2020
Michael H. Libera passed away on June 12, 2020 in Carpinteria, California. He resided in the general Santa Barbara area since 1962 and lived in Carpinteria since 1987. Mike was born in Winona, Minnesota on Aug. 23, 1930 to Michael J. Libera and Eleanore (Hartford) Libera. He attended Cotter High School in Winona, St. Thomas University in St. Paul, and graduated from California State University, Sacramento where he also played basketball. He taught briefly in the Sacramento area before serving two years in the Army Counterintelligence Corps in Japan.
After discharge in 1955, he began a two-year program at the Pasadena College of Theatre Arts with the intention of becoming a television sports announcer. He was also a substitute teacher in the Pasadena City Schools. After completing drama studies, he obtained his first television acting role, and became a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He went on to have parts in television series, including a year-long co-starring role in “Squad Car.” He also did theater, television commercials, as well as modeling for Kodak and other different print mediums. Mike spent forty years as Vice-President and Director of Sales for surgical implant products. Locally he was one of the first employees with Heyer-Schulte Corp., and as the product line was bought out by American Hospital Corp., Baxter International, Neuro-Care and Integra, he continued to direct international business.
He traveled the world extensively and made life-long friendships in many countries around the world. He was married to Jo Ann Woodruff from 1958 until 1972, and they had four children, Kevin Libera, Karen Libera, Stacy Ryan and Kristin Hamor. He was married to Pamela Aiello (Libera) from 1974 until 1987, and they had one son, Brian Libera (Candice) of Solvang. Besides his surgical care work, they had a popular farm and apple orchard in the Santa Ynez Valley. Mike continued his interest in film, theatre and sports. He was an active golfer, and between the ages of 50 and 60 he finished 13 marathons including Boston, New York, The Twin Cities, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Big Sur. His greatest pleasure though was in his relationship with his family. On holidays, birthdays and many other occasions Mike and his five children, both wives and 11 grandchildren would get together to party and celebrate.
Mike enjoyed and loved life to the fullest. He believed and trusted in God, and thought of himself as a Zen Catholic, having practiced meditation for the last 40 years, and attended many silent retreats. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, sister Cate (Linda) and daughters Kristin and Stacy.
A Christian Burial Service will be held at the Carpinteria Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Santa Barbara Catholic Charities. Condolences may be posted online at coastalview.com.