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Michael Haws Traynor, 82, passed away at home in Reno, Nevada on April 2, 2022, surrounded by his loving family including his wife, Karen Jeffries Traynor, and his daughters, Jill Catherine White and Stephanie Ann Traynor Kilroy. Mike was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late last year and took the news of the diagnosis in the measured way he approached nearly every aspect of his life.
Mike Traynor was born on Easter Sunday, March 24,1940 in Albany, California to John Emmett Traynor and Ora Ann Haws. Mike's grandfather, Luther Haws, was the first person to patent the drinking fountain in 1911 and his company — originally named the Haws Sanitary Drinking Faucet Company — is a 4th generation family business now known as Haws Corp. Mike attended elementary schools in Oakland and Orinda, California and ultimately graduated from Acalanes High School in Lafayette.
He spent the summers of his youth working at the family business before joining the company full time after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963. He served as a medic in the California Air National Guard from 1963 to 1969. Mike ultimately spent more than 50 years at Haws, initially in the Specification Sales office in southern California, then at Haws Berkeley, and finally as president in Sparks, Nevada which became the company's headquarters in 1996.
A devoted husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and uncle, Mike shared many of his passions and interests with those he loved, including travel, NASCAR, skiing, home-improvement projects, history, conservation, and walking his dogs on the trails in Caughlin Ranch. He was also an avid sailor, participating in many seafaring adventures, including the Windjammer's Race (sailing from the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco to the Santa Cruz Yacht Club) on his beloved Crealock 37 the Rag Doll. Mike traveled extensively through Europe and visited all 50 U.S. states and all seven continents with his first love and high-school sweetheart, his wife of nearly 60 years, Karen. Mike and Karen had a second home on 12-acres in Murphys, California where they made many happy memories with their friends, family & grandchildren.
When Mike formally retired from Haws in 2015, he was able to spend more time doing another of his favorite activities, cycling. He participated in dozens of long-distance bike rides throughout the U.S. and locally with the Reno Procrastinating Peddlers. Supporting his community through volunteering kept Mike very busy in retirement. He spent considerable time and energy helping the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail move towards completion. A true community advocate, Mike was a supporter of The Nature Conservancy, the Reno Bike Project, Friends of Washoe County Library, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, and the Feather River Land Trust.
Mike was a history buff, especially interested in World War II, a subject on which he read hundreds of books. He was a true lifelong learner, an active member of the OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. While not Catholic himself, Mike was proud to have put all eight grandchildren through Catholic schools in Reno.
Mike Traynor is survived by his loving wife Karen Jeffries Traynor and daughters Jill White (Tom) and Stephanie Kilroy (Brian) both of Reno, Nevada. He also leaves eight adoring grandchildren: Hayden, Emma Rose, Preston and Lizzie White, and Leilani, Zoey-Cate, Leo and Dominic Kilroy. Mike will be missed by his relatives Penny and Norm Scott of Placerville, California, Marilyn and Alan McMasters of Monterey, California, his brother Brian Traynor of Phuket, Thailand, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. Mike was preceded in death by his brother Dennis Traynor of Ben Lomond, California.
In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail tahoepyramidtrail.org. A Celebration of Life will be held in Reno in July.
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