Michael “Mike” Loughran, 61, died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, while snorkeling in Maui with his wife, Denise.
Born in San Francisco, the son of Army Col. John Loughran, Mike learned to speak French while his father was stationed in Versailles for four years. The family later settled in Marin County, where Mike attended Marin Catholic High School and met his future wife, Denise Judnick. He began his law enforcement career in 1972 as a dispatcher for the Fairfax Police Department.
He joined the Napa County Sheriff’s Office in 1977, where he rose through the ranks and served as undersheriff until his retirement in 2009.
In 1993, Mike attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. After graduation, he became a member of the FBI Academy Alumni Association. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Golden Gate University.
Mike was an active Police Academy Instructor, teaching classes to cadets at Napa Valley Community College. Mike was a member of the Napa County Parole Board, the California State Sheriff’s Association, and both the Napa County and California Peace Officers associations. Mike was also very involved in implementing the Napa D.A.R.E. program.
Mike was a big guy with a big heart. He loved his family and was always willing to help others. He knew how to make everyone in a room laugh.
He was a caring person who was genuinely committed to his community.
Mike was an active member of the Rotary Club of Napa. He was also a volunteer and board member at the Pathway Home. He spent his Monday nights bowling with the men of Pathway and loved being a mentor and friend to the veterans.
Mike was proud of his dual Irish and American citizenship, and was an original board member of the Emerald Society of San Francisco. Mike was honored to be an ambassador for the World War II Museum in New Orleans. Mike served on the boards for Napa Emergency Women’s Services (NEWS) and Leadership Napa Valley (Class of 2011) for many years.
He volunteered for many events that took place in Napa County, including Cycle for Sight, Napa Valley Marathon, Napa Valley Wine Auction, Grad Night, and the semiannual Silver Oak Winery release parties. He also volunteered at the Napa Valley Welcome Center. He knew the valley inside and out and loved being a resource for tourists and locals alike.
For decades, Mike donned his Santa suit, bringing joy to the children of friends, neighbors and the community. One of his proudest moments as Santa was being able to delight his granddaughter on her first Christmas this past December.
Mike enjoyed researching family history. His hobbies include winemaking at Murphy Creek Winery, cooking, barbecuing, gardening, scuba diving and camping in McCloud with his family. He devotedly attended nearly every ballet recital and NHS spiritleader performance for his daughter Erin. He loved rooting for the Tennessee Volunteers football team with his son Kevin every Saturday in the fall, either on TV or attending the games. During his youth, he was involved in rodeos. He even won a steer wrestling championship at a Lodi event in 1972.
As much as he loved contributing to the community, above all Mike was dedicated to his family. Mike was an enthusiastic traveler, and enjoyed traveling the world with his wife. Countries they visited include Italy, France, South Africa, Ireland, Mexico, Panama and the Caribbean.
One of their most memorable trips was a three-month cross-country drive in 2009, where they visited many national landmarks. New Orleans, where his sister Laura lives with her husband, Tom, was a frequent and favorite destination.
Mike is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Denise; son, Kevin; daughter, Erin Hastings (Jim); granddaughter, Josephine, sister, Laura Symmes (Tom), mother-in-law, Joan Judnick; brother-in-law, David Judnick, and stepmother Betty Loughran.
Mike was an incredible husband, father, grandfather and a great friend to all. His family loves him dearly. He will be greatly missed. Friends are invited to attend a funeral service at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Hillside Christian Center in Napa.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Pathway Home: 100 California Drive, Yountville, CA 94599.