Mike Evans, longtime owner of Sea Coast Exclusive Properties, is remembered by friends and family as a community leader and hardworking businessman. Courtesy photo
SOLANA BEACH — Mother Teresa once wrote, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Michael Evans lived such a life.
Mike, as he was affectionally known, showered those around him with love and kindness. Leaving a legacy on every community he embedded his imprint upon, he made the world a better place.
On May 27, the 77-year old Solana Beach resident succumbed to a long battle with COPD.
He is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Jenny, stepdaughter Chamaine Rietman and her husband Bill, his three grandchildren Haley, Makaela, and Julia, and his brother Greg.
Touting a 40-year history as the owner of Sea Coast Exclusive Properties, Mike logged in hours of community giveback as he successfully ran four offices — two in Encinitas and two in Carlsbad.
Winning multiple real estate awards including the Centurion, Double Centurion, and several Gold Medallions, the hallmark enterprise encouraged its customers to “Relax … We’ll handle the details.”
“Mike had an admirable work ethic,” said wife Nancy. “He was a leader and mentor who took pride in doing a good job. He believed in success and inspired others to be their best, no matter what they chose to do.”
The Burbank native fell in love with San Diego’s coastal communities and they fell in love with him.
“Everyone loved Mike,” continued Nancy. “He was intelligent, witty and friendly. Mike was the first to extend his hand and say, ‘Hi, I’m Mike. How can I help?’”
“Mike knew how to pay it forward,” added stepdaughter Chamaine Rietman. “He was wise, funny and great with one-liners.”
Greg Evans described his older brother as the ideal role model who taught him the finer things in life.
“Mike was big man on campus,” he said. “Athletic and popular, he was the high school quarterback while I was the cartoonist. I looked up to him. He was one-of a kind. I’ll miss him dearly.”
Generous to the core, Mike donated to many local charities and youth sport teams.
“My father sponsored youth athletic teams, donated used office furniture to the school district, paid summer camp membership for those who couldn’t, and bought meals for diners eating at the next table,” explained daughter Jenny. “He’d help then add more to make it even better.”
The avid reader and history buff began his career in the United States Navy working on a nuclear submarine. He then attended the University of Colorado and graduated from Cal State Northridge with a degree in Mathematics. Computer science preceded his real estate career.
Evans would complete the Dale Carnegie Leadership and Management Professional Course at the International Management Academy shortly thereafter.
Loren Sanders worked alongside Mike as his vice president and general manager for almost 30 years. Friends first, business partners second, Sanders noted how Mike cared for his employees, his clients and his community.
“Mike cared about everyone,” he said. “He believed in giving more than you get, working hard and having fun. Kindness is the word I would use to encapsulate Mike.”
And yet, despite a thriving real-estate business, Mike was most proud of his 49 years of sobriety.
“He learned so much in AA,” said Nancy. “He actively practiced the 12 steps and brought many others along with him.”
Jenny admitted to often teasing her father about the two As of AA, saying that he only owned one because he wasn’t anonymous about his sobriety.
“My dad’s sobriety as a young man made him more aware as an adult,” she said. “Armistice Day, 2019 would’ve marked his 50th AA Birthday. Humbled by his AA success, he encouraged others. He admitted to being ‘confused by how I got here, but if I can show up, so can you. You don’t have to knock it out of the park, just show up and be consistent. Even when it’s hard or messy. Be present.’”
“Struggles made my dad wise,” she continued. “He learned from every mishap and bump in the road. He believed in never wasting a good mistake. ‘Don’t sweat it,’ he’d say. ‘Learn from it, grow from it and get right back up.’”
Jenny noted that father’s work ethic stemmed from growing up with a dad who worked through the Depression.
“Little things meant a lot to my father,” she said. “He knew that if not for the kindness of others, his life could’ve been very different. So, he was always looking for a way to give someone else a leg up”
Jenny described Mike’s early years as adventurous.
“He lived a million lives,” she said. “He played the trumpet in the Burbank Boys Police Band, worked in Algeria and lived in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.”
As the community mourns “a good member of society who wanted to make the world a better place,” the family remains proud of Mike’s “generosity.”
The Celebration of Life for Mike Evans will take place on June 29 at the Loma Santa Fe Country Club from 2 to 4 p.m. The celebration is open to everyone.
In leu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to be made to the YMCA, Kids Camp Program.
Lucia Viti is a seasoned journalist, photojournalist and published author who covers all regions in feature and news reporting. Sporting a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of West Virginia, she spent 20 years in New York in the fields of Public Relations, Advertising and Medical Communications. Her love for outdoor sports landed her in Carlsbad in 1999 where she segued into news and feature reporting. Her photographs are sold locally in artisan shops throughout the County.