On Saturday, August 17, 2019, Michael E. Siska, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, passed away at the age of 88. Mike was an honorable, hard-working man of great integrity. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure to know him, but especially by his wife of 68 years, Audrey Sulin Siska, whom he married on June 9, 1951.
Mike was born April 24, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Michael and Ludmila Feranec Siska, both of whom preceded him in death. His older siblings and their spouses, Stephen and Bernice, Joseph (infant), Mildred and Ernie, Joseph and June also preceded him in death. In addition to Audrey, Mike is survived by his children and their spouses: Michael and Mary Siska of Vinton, Jane and Tom Dowdy of Bent Mountain, and Jim and Sherry Siska of Salem. He was a wonderful grandfather and is also survived by his grandchildren Jason Dowdy, his wife Melissa, and their children; Byron Dowdy, his wife Melissa, and their children; Kyle Siska; Matt Siska and his wife, Taylor Stoltz; and Lindsey Siska. Additionally, Mike was a much-loved uncle and will be missed by his many nieces and nephews.
After their marriage, Mike and Audrey lived in Hawaii while Mike served as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps Air Group, Unit 13. After his discharge, he and Audrey lived in Chicago, Illinois, where they started their family. During this time, while working full-time, Mike earned his degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1971, a new job took the family to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they lived until 1975. It was then that they transplanted to Salem, Virgina, so that Mike could begin his career at Hubbell Lighting, from which he subsequently retired in 1993 after many years of dedicated service.
Mike was a proud parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Salem. He faithfully served his parish for 44 years, successfully spearheading a number of building and renovation projects. He was hard at work, still leading the way on several new projects up until his death. Mike was also a member of the parish council, and previously served on the board for St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery. Mike’s volunteer efforts extended beyond the parish. He was a former member of the New River Community College Board of Directors, and a proud member of the Salem Knights of Columbus. For the Knights of Columbus, Mike headed up a number of projects, including the KOVAR drive. A fourth degree Knight, Mike was awarded the Legion of Honor Humanitarian award in 2017.
Mike lived a wonderful life, demonstrating to all what it means to be a true Christian servant. His dedication to and love for his family, his church, his community, and his country was surpassed only by his love for God.
A period of visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 from 6 until 8 pm at the John M. Oakey & Son funeral home in Salem.
A funeral Mass to honor Mike’s life will be conducted on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 11 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church with Rev. Ken Shuping officiating.
Inurnment will follow on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 10 am at the St. Andrews Diocesan Cemetery in Roanoke, where military honors will be rendered.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help; c/o Building Fund, 314 Turner Rd, Salem, VA 24153.