Boyd Michael (Mickey) Strazzo

November 17, 1930 - March 26, 2024

Boyd Michael (Mickey) Strazzo

Our dearest father, grandfather, and great grandfather Boyd Michael (Mickey) Strazzo of Fair Oaks California, sadly passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at the age of 93. He was predeceased by his wife of 71 years Eleanor Strazzo (Traversi), who passed away last month, mother Marion Strazzo (Collier, Ramsey), father Rolland Ramsey, adoptive father Michael J. Strazzo, and sisters Jacquiline Strazzo (Hackett) and Robyn Strazzo (Boatwright).

Mickey was born in Sacramento, CA on November 17, 1930. He grew up in the Land Park area where he enjoyed his days playing with friends in the neighborhood and at William Land Park down the street. In 1949, he graduated from C. K. McClatchy Senior High School and went on to attend Sacramento City college, where he met Eleanor Traversi, his future bride. He was a member of the Phi Lambda Epsilon Fraternity.

Mickey and Eleanor, forever his loving wife whom he constantly referred to as “my precious one,” were married in 1952 in Carmel, California and began raising their family in Broderick (now West Sacramento). Mickey converted to the Catholic Church and was baptized in 1953. He and Eleanor became members of Holy Cross Church in Bryte CA (now West Sacramento). Mickey helped build the school, one wing of which doubled as the church for Sunday Mass and other holy services until the new church was built in the early 1960s. He also was involved with building the school cafeteria, which also housed the gym and event center, and later the construction of the permanent Holy Cross Church that stands today at the corner of Anna St. and Todhunter Ave. He was a very active parishioner as a lector for Sunday Mass, by supporting his three kids who attended the school, and was the chairman of the annual Holy Cross Festival one year.

In 1968, the family moved to Fair Oaks, CA, and became members of St. Mel Church. Mickey and Eleanor believed in the importance of a Catholic education and sacrificed much to ensure this legacy. All five of their children went through grammar school at either Holy Cross or St. Mel. After graduating from grammar school, the four boys – Michael, Timothy, Richard, and Robert – attended Jesuit High School, and their daughter, Kathleen, attended Mercy High School until it closed her senior year. He also helped with coaching several of Kathleen’s soccer teams in grammar school and high school. In addition, he and Eleanor loved to cheer on their children and grandchildren in their sporting events as much as possible. Mickey and Eleanor were absolutely devoted to their Catholic faith and attended daily Mass at St. Mel Church for many years until recently adjusting to a weekly schedule.

Mickey began his career as an insurance agent while working with Acacia Insurance Company and State Mutual of America, where he was an insurance specialist with the Donald A. Saner Agency and Associates. He was a natural salesman and earned several Sales Leader of the Month awards. Between strategically scheduled meetings with his clients, and because he always had his golf clubs and fishing gear in the trunk of his car, Micky often found time for 9-holes of golf at Land Park Golf Course or a quick fishing trip on the Sacramento or American Rivers! He later became a distributor for Appollo Home Products, which garnered him and Eleanor an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii for the annual sales convention.

In addition to his structural work for Holy Cross, Mickey also employed his construction skills at home. He designed and built an intricate brick and concrete patio and topped it off with a beautiful louvered lattice patio cover. He also landscaped the backyard, built a brick planter with a concreate mowing strip at its base around the perimeter of the backyard, and installed an above-ground swimming pool for the kids. He later replicated these concepts at the Fair Oaks house where he again designed and built a brick and concrete patio with a translucent patio cover, installed a partially in-ground swimming pool, and surrounded it with a huge redwood deck that was a central gathering spot for frequent family BBQs.

Since the early 70s, the family believes he invented the original lighter fluid-less charcoal fire starter he used for grilling delicious steaks, fish, and vegetables. He started with a five-pound coffee can and removed the bottom, used a can opener to punch vent holes around the base of the now cylindrical can, cut a piece of chicken wire fencing and arched it in the bottom of the can to create space for several pages of newspaper and separate them from the charcoal that was poured into the top of the cylinder. He’d then strike a match to the newspaper kindling which would then ignite the charcoal within minutes. You can now buy these charcoal fire starter chimneys at your local hardware store. Oh, what could have been!

Mickey had a life-long love of fishing which he enjoyed doing whenever he had free time, or between insurance calls. He would take his young kids fishing for bluegill and catfish in the sloughs in Yolo County and later, fishing for rainbow trout on summer camping trips and weekend getaways. He culminated his fishing experiences when a couple of his sons took him on several guided salmon fishing trips on the Feather and Sacramento Rivers. His most harrowing fishing experience occurred while striper-fishing with his son Richard on the rain/snow swollen Sacramento River in the spring of 1982. The boat suddenly flipped over and they were tossed into the river. Luckily, they both survived, but Mickey lost his fishing pole and tackle box during the ordeal.

Mickey and Eleanor went with their growing family on frequent weekend picnics to their favorite swimming holes and various rivers and lakes in the foothills, as well as several camping trips each summer. They delighted in the company of their kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and extended family and friends on these adventures. Eventually, the rugged camping excursions evolved into annual two-week retreats at several large, comfortable cabins around Lake Tahoe. And because of their large immediate and extended family, there were numerous celebrations for weddings, baptisms, birthdays, graduations, Mother’s and Father’s days, July 4ths, Christmas’s, Easters, Thanksgivings and just about any other reason to come together. They always made sure everyone who attended the festivities felt welcome and appreciated. While the entire family will sorely miss their warmth and wisdom, they left a legacy of love that will last for generations.

Until their last days, Micky and Eleanor generously contributed to many charities including St. Mel Church, Loaves and Fishes, The Coming Home Network, National Catholic Charities, Clara’s House, KVIE, Sacramento Food Bank, American Red Cross, and several others. In lieu of flowers we invite you to donate to a charity of your choice in Mickey’s honor.

Mickey is survived by sons Michael and wife Phyllis Marquez, Timothy and wife Colleen, Richard and wife Sharon, and Robert and wife Gillette, daughter Kathleen and husband Kyle Pestaluky, honorary son Wendell Haase, 14 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A visitation will be held on Friday, April 12, 2024, from 5:00-8:00 PM, with a Rosary at 6:00. A funeral Mass will be offered at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 13, 2024. Both services and a reception following the Mass and burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery & Funeral Center, 7101 Verner Ave, Citrus Heights, CA 95621 (916) 726-1232. The visitation and funeral will be in the mausoleum near the East border of the property, and the reception will be in the main building’s reception center.