Ronald “Mike” Earl Garen, age 79, of Clearwater, Florida, died Sunday night, February 4, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family. Born September 23, 1938, in New Orleans, Louisiana, he was the son of the late Helene Lalumiere Garen and the late Anthony Garen.
Mike was a commercial airline pilot for Eastern Airlines upon retiring in 1990. He began his career at the airline as a baggage handler in 1957. As he worked hard to achieve his goal by becoming an airline mechanic, he decided his true passion was in flying and began his journey to becoming an airline engineer, a co-pilot and finally an airline captain of L-1011 and Boeing 727. He enjoyed 33 years of service to the airline and always believed that God was his co-pilot as he flew to far-away places. He enjoyed traveling, genealogy, football and a good political debate.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Ellen Louise Garen; along with two daughters; Susan Asciutto (husband Vincent Asciutto Jr.) of Largo, Florida and Cynthia Freed (Tad Leach), of Clearwater, Florida. 7 grandchildren, Debra (husband Nicolino) Dapice, Rachel Rivers, Michael Asciutto, Garen Freed, Vincent Asciutto III, Robin Crane (husband Matt), and Audrey Asciutto. 7 great-grandchildren Olivia Dapice, Alexander Dapice, Sidney Rivers IV, Matt Crane, Micah Bright, Raenbow Bright and Leonard Bright; one sibling, Toni Posey of Weatherford, Texas; and many other loving nieces, nephews and relatives.
Services for Mike Garen will be held at 10:30am, Thursday, February 8, 2018 at David C. Gross Funeral Home at 830 N Belcher Rd, Clearwater, FL 33765. Burial will follow at the Florida National Cemetery near Bushnell, Florida at 2:30pm. Serving as pallbearers will be Vincent Asciutto, Garen Freed, Michael Asciutto and Tad Leach.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Empath Health, Yellow Team of Pinellas County, 5771 Roosevelt Boulevard, Clearwater, FL 33760.
Prayer of the Pilot
By Cecil Roberts
Lord of the Sea and Earth and Air
Listen to the Pilot’s Prayer -
Send him wind that steady and strong,
Grant that his engine sings his song
Of flawless tone, by which he knows
It should not fail him where he goes;
Landing, gliding, in curve, half-roll-
Grant him, O Lord, a full control,
That he may learn in heights of Heaven
The rapture that altitude has given,
That he shall know the joy they feel
Who ride Thy realms on Birds of Steel.
David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Belcher Road Chapel in Clearwater is serving the family.