Michael Perry Preston
Michael Perry Preston, born January 8, 1962 in Cleveland Ohio, passed away suddenly on December 15, 2017 at his beloved Breitenbush Hot Springs. Breitenbush was a place he visited as a child and attended retreats as an adult, bringing his sons there for the first time in April of this year so they too could experience the healing powers of a magical place and community.
Michael is loving father to Garrett Preston, 21, and James Preston, 18 (Portland), older brother to sister, Marcy (Tucson, AZ) and brother, Joe (Winlock, WA), and son of Fred Preston (Ashland, OH). Michael is a native of Oregon, moving to Corvallis as a young child, leaving Oregon to attend high school in Boston at Milton Academy (1979), and finding his way back to Oregon to attend Reed College (1983). He headed east again, stopping at the University of Cincinnati where he met Kristin Seeberger, whom he married in September 1993. Michael and Kristin made their home in Baltimore Maryland for 19 years, where both boys were born, where Michael taught, played music, became RE director of First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, but most importantly was a dedicated father to his boys.
In 2012 Michael moved back to Oregon to help his mother Sally Pagen Baber care for her husband who had ALS. Michael's deep calling to help others in need or suffering was called upon six months after his stepfather's passing when Michael's mom developed pancreatic cancer. The combination of Michael's care for those suffering and his Buddhist practice brought him to study to become a chaplain.
Everyone who met Michael felt his passion for presence, his generosity of spirit, his humbleness, his love of deep and long conversations, his humor, his ability to accept and love, and his commitment to fatherhood. Michael touched so many lives, through his teaching, his passion for music (he played anything with strings), his meditation community, his church community, and his recovery community. Michael led meditation and mindfulness at the Oregon State Prison, and he was committed to the Buddhist Recovery group, Refuge Recovery.
A memorial service to honor Michael will be held Saturday, December 23, 2017 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Refuge Recovery in Michael's honor. http://www. refugerecovery.org/donate/