Obituary of Maurice John Magsamen
It is with great sorrow that we share the passing of beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother Maurice (“Whitey”) Magsamen, who passed away peacefully from a staph infection in Santa Rosa on May 8, 2020 at the age of 84, with family by his side. Maurice was born to Jerome and Theresa Magsamen on March 30, 1936 in Petersburg, Nebraska. He had an older brother Ben (on right in photo) - who sadly passed away the same week. He is survived by his brothers Cletus and Frank Magsamen, and sister Mary Kay Adams. Maurice attended Iowa State and while in Iowa, he met and married his lifelong love, Carmelita (Whitesell) Magsamen. Maurice and Carmelita moved to California in 1964. During their marriage they had three children, John Magsamen, Anna Sierra and Theresa Plyler. Maurice worked for CalTrans, helping design the massive freeway and aqueduct systems in the Los Angeles area before moving to northern California. He finished obtaining his degree in Civil Engineering from Sonoma State University and worked for the City of Santa Rosa as a civil engineer for 30 years until his retirement. Maurice loved geology, and tending to his beautiful gardens. He was an impressive athlete, completing more than 20 marathons, and many century rides. He was actively involved with the Santa Rosa Cycling Club for many years, and completed their “Terrible Two” bike ride - one of the most challenging endurance cycling events in America. More often than not, Maurice could be spotted on his bicycle throughout the beautiful rolling hills of Sonoma county. Cycling was his passion, and one he avidly pursued for decades. He fulfilled a lifelong dream by riding across the United States on his bicycle while in his late sixties, dipping his bicycle wheel into the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon coast, and again into the Atlantic Ocean in Maine a few weeks later. Fiercely loyal, Maurice was a man of great integrity, compassion and intelligence, who loved the outdoors. In addition to his three children, Maurice was also the proud grandfather of five grandchildren - Madeleine, Evan and Meredith Sierra, and Russell and Samantha Plyler. But most of all, he was a devoted husband who remained steadfast and caring throughout his wife Carmelita’s lengthy illness. His children decided that instead of wearing a traditional suit, Maurice would be buried in his biking attire, which we believe would have made him smile. Ride onwards into the sunset Dad...you will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Maurice’s name to the American Diabetes Association.
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