When Mike Eklund interned at Portland Radio Project in 2015, he was a friendly, cheerful young man coming of age – with a very full head of red hair. He was always up for any assignment, and carried out all his duties responsibly.
At the time, we were trying to expand the on-air team and invited Mike to take an air shift reading news, but he was simply too shy.
Now, our hearts go out to Mike’s family upon news that his life was tragically cut short.
Looking back on Mike’s work, writing blogposts for our Community Voices series on local nonprofits, it’s easy to see what a good writer he was, and how Mike’s empathy was crucial in his coverage of organizations and individuals. Mike was a caring, kind and generous person whose work lives on through the stories he told.
Here are links to the archive of Mike’s articles:
We thank Teresa Delaney and Steve Eklund for their generous gift to PRP in honor of their son’s memory. They also encourage donations to Lines for Life, the regional nonprofit Mike wrote about, dedicated to preventing substance abuse and suicide.
From Mike’s obituary:
“As a youth he was a cub scout, a lacrosse player, a referee, and the winner of two National Geographic Geography Bees.
The Eklunds moved to Lake Oswego where Mike attended Lake Oswego Junior High and Lake Oswego High School. For athletics, he ran cross country and played lacrosse. He was also a People to People Student Ambassador during high school, traveling to Japan and China one summer, and Fiji, New Zealand and Australia the next. Mike was the 8th Oregonian to win the Congressional Award Gold Medal, which he proudly received in a ceremony in Washington D.C. He volunteered for Cheetah Conservation Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Oregon Food Bank and other non-profits.
After high school Mike attended University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, earning a BA in International Relations. His study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic was just part of his vast experience as a language-loving citizen of the world. He was a seasoned traveler who visited every continent except South America and Antarctica. Mike was a graduate of the School of International Relations at UOP, with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Political Science. He was a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity – PSI Chapter. Mike was a co-host of the Mike and Mike radio program on KPAC, and played on the Pacific Men’s Lacrosse Team. Mike always looked forward to receiving his copy of the Pacific Review. During college Mike was an intern at Towers Watson in Madrid and at The WILD Foundation, creating case studies for WILD’s Nature Needs Half program.
After college Mike worked as a “Get Out the Vote” Coordinator for Hubbell Communications, a Sales/Stock Associate at Columbia Sportswear, and most recently at Vacasa, where he was the Insurance Program Coordinator.”
Rest in peace, Mike. Thanks for sharing your gifts and talents with us.