Mike and Louana, a 79-year-old ceramics historian and archaeologist, married in May, and she was later diagnosed with cancer as well. Both had entered the Gilchrist Center in recent months. Mike underwent treatment for a type of melanoma three years ago, but the disease resurfaced this past spring.
He retired from Northern Illinois University in 1998 after 28 years at the university but continued to live in DeKalb until earlier this year. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 45 years, Margaret L. “Peggy” Salovesh.
Born May 6, 1931, in Chicago, Micheal Z. Salovesh served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. He earned his Ph.D. in 1971 from the University of Chicago. A social anthropologist, he studied social organization and inter-group relations in Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. He also conducted research on Attention Deficit Disorder, having overcome learning disabilities himself, said his son, John Salovesh of DeKalb.
Friends and relatives remember a man of many talents, with an intellectual sense of humor, an innate curiosity about life and a storyteller's gift.
Mike first became interested in Lions after his first wife Peggy became a member many years ago. Both Mike and Peggy would go on to serve terms as our club president, Mike serving during the 2003-2004 program year.
Mike was a retired professor of anthropology who spent nearly three decades at Northern Illinois University. Even when conducting his academic research, he found time for Lionism. While conducting research in Guatemala, he visited a Lions Club in Guatemala City. In August 1997 Mike worked to establish a twinning program between the DeKalb Noon Lions Club and the Club de Leones de Guatemala-Quetzaltenango; Guatemala City.
Mike served on Northern Illinois University’s faculty senate. He was a past president of the Central States Anthropological Society and served on the governing boards of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Latin American Anthropology and the Chicago Anthropological Society. He also was among the founders of the Illinois Society of Latin Americanists.
He was a talented folk singer and musician who played classical guitar and jazz piano. Besides DeKalb Noon Lions Club, Mike was also an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Radio Watch and the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker-affiliated social-justice organization.
Let me do this while I still can. I'm cut off from E-mail, talking on the phone exhausts me, and I never was any good at making marks on paper. I still want you to know that I'm thinking of you.
1. Louana and I got married May 17th, right on schedule. It was a lovely ceremony, historic too! It was the only one ever held in the Baltimore City Law Museum, a former courtroom once devoted to children's court.
2. I started treatment for stage IV melanoma on May 18th. The doctors guesstimated that I would last until just about Christmas, and they haven't changed their guess much yet.
3. Louana developed a brain tumor around the end of July. Further details are forthcoming as diagnosis proceeds.
4. We were both admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital on October 17th, when it became clear that we couldn't fully take care of ourselves or each other. We share a room (!!!!!!!!)--but it's a helluva way to spend a honeymoon.
So, that's where we are now.
I just couldn't, and can't, move on without thanking all of you for the chance to live up to the Lion motto, "we serve". I've taken it as an honor and a privilege to serve with you ever since Peggy and Sue Montague pulled me into membership.