J. Michael Langenes, 53, died Thursday, January 14, in his sleep in his Portland home. Appreciating the deep relationship Michael had with his dog, Macey, there is comfort in knowing that Michael was not alone during his last night; he was with “Number One” as he nicknamed his constant companion.
Michael was born April 8, 1967 in St. Paul, Minnesota and lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, before moving with his family to Portland in 1970. He attended Irvington Elementary and The Madeleine Catholic School. He began delivering the daily newspaper in his Irvington neighborhood at age 10 and working in a retirement home kitchen at 15.
His family moved to the south San Francisco Bay area, where he attended Cupertino middle and high school and began working in restaurant kitchens. At 19, during a cross-country travel-and-work trip, his cooking skills were further developed at Louie’s Backyard in Key West, Florida, by James Beard Award winner Norman Van Aken, considered to be the founding father of New World Cuisine. In his twenties Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts while living in San Francisco and cooking.
Returning to Portland, he cooked for Assagio, Saucebox, The Arlington Club and other kitchens. After teaching Bikram Yoga for 10 years, he purchased the Bikram Yoga Fremont Street studio in northeast Portland in 2011 which he operated until 2016.
Michael was a world-wide adventurer, including a 1991 multi-week European bike trip with three buddies, surviving a three-day blizzard at the top of a mountain pass in the Swiss-Italian alps. His cooking and yoga teaching allowed him to live and work in Canada, Sweden and Australia. He also traveled in Portugal, Wales, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, France, England, Jamaica, Borneo, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Panama and Mexico. Now he is on his greatest adventure of them all.
He was not part of any church community so no formal service is planned. An outdoor celebration of his life is expected when COVID restrictions allow.
He is survived by a younger brother, David, of Milwaukie, Oregon, and parents Bill and Marie Langenes of Portland.
To honor Michael’s life, memorial contributions may be made to Alcoholics Anonymous, 825 NE 20th Ave., Suite 200, Portland, OR 97232.
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