Michael Anthony Olenak

October 12, 1965April 8, 2020
Obituary of Michael Anthony Olenak
Michael Anthony Olenak, or "Mr. O" as he was known to his students, passed gently from this life on April 8th surrounded in love by his wife, Lynne Olenak (Hoshi) and his two daughters, Mikalie and Danielle. He was 54 years old. Although a resident of San Jose, Michael was born and raised in Santa Clara by his parents Fred and Virginia Olenak. He attended St. Lawrence the Martyr School and later graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Teaching Credential. His first job was rising before dawn, folding, and delivering--by bicycle--the newspaper you are now reading. Much later, he followed his calling and became a teacher in the Santa Clara Unified School District. Mr. Olenak taught at Buchser Middle School, in the same classroom, for 30 years. He was a passionate educator who instilled in his students his own core values: honesty, courteousness, kindness, humor, and respect. "Mr. O" loved his students, was constantly striving to advocate on their behalf, and always had his students' best interests at heart. Countless former students would come back to visit his classroom and many became family friends. Two former students, who met in his class and later married, returned on Back to School Night when their son became his student. He often taught multiple generations in the same family. He loved his students and they, in return, loved him. Michael was also a much-loved friend and confidant to many and enjoyed an abundance of activities. He relished daily walks and bike rides around his Naglee Park home and was close with many of his neighbors. He was an avid sportsman, swimmer, kayaker, hiker, and conservationist. He is preceded by his grandparents and father-in-law, Robert Hoshi. He is survived by his wife Lynne Hoshi-Olenak and daughters, Mikalie Olenak and Danielle Olenak. Also his parents, Fred and Virginia Olenak and siblings (spouses), Mary Kay Olenak (Bryan Guilbeau), Dan Olenak (Dana) and Denise Harris-Olenak (Brooke). His wife's mother, Jan Hoshi and brother Scott Hoshi (Desiree). In addition, many nieces and nephews who looked up to their Uncle Mike: Daniel Widlowski, Lauren Widlowski, Jake Olenak, Keianna Hoshi, Robert Hoshi, and Zachary Hoshi. Due to current circumstances, a small family gathering is planned. A much larger Celebration of Life will occur at an undetermined later date so that family, friends, students, teachers, parents, and his entire community can come together to commemorate the life of Michael Olenak. In lieu of flowers, please share stories and memories with his family as these will sustain them in these difficult times.

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