Michael J. Brewer, DDS
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April 27, 1940 - October 18, 2019
Michael Brewer, Oregon Duck lover, dedicated skier, guacamole maker, dental genius, lifelong learner, dispenser
of little known facts, devoted husband and father, died peacefully at home on Friday, October 18, 2019. He
leaves his wife of 57 years, Carol Brewer; his daughter, Kirstin and her husband, Mark Buckland; his son,
Michael Brewer and his wife Tracy Brewer; his grandchildren Paige, Mark, Katja, Michael and Lauren; his
brother Patrick Brewer and his wife Elizabeth. Mike carried out with him an unconditional love for family and
friends. He lived a full and good life and was well loved in return.
Born in Pasadena to John and Marjorie Brewer and raised in Monrovia next door to his grandparents, Frank and Doris Higgins, Mike's grammar school teachers taught him to learn to write with his right hand, despite being born left-handed. Mike worked with his father on construction sites where lunch usually consisted of a quart of ice cream and a quart of 7-UP. His mother was an accomplished artist who worked as a librarian at the Monrovia Library. Summers included family trips to the Twin Rocks Ranch on the Pistol River in southern Oregon, canoeing on the Boundary Waters in Minnesota and road trips deep into Mexico.
Upon graduation from Monrovia High School, the University of Oregon recruited Mike to play football. After a
season in the trenches as an offensive and defensive lineman, Mike realized his future was brighter in dentistry than on the football field. At USC School of Dentistry, while serving as a hasher at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Mike met the love of his life, Carol. They married six months after they met and moved to Fairfield where Mike was stationed at Travis Air Force Base during the Vietnam War. Their daughter Kirstin was born at Travis AFB and their son Michael followed three years later.
Mike and Carol moved to San Diego where Mike joined the dental practice where he remained for the rest of his career. His large hands spooked patients early on, but he quickly established the reputation for excellence in dentistry and attention to the smallest detail. He was a Founding Father of the San Diego chapter of the Tucker Dental Study Club. He did all of his own gold castings in the 40 plus years he practiced. He also used his gold casting skills and artistic talents to make jewelry for family and friends.
In 1977, Mike and Carol moved to El Cajon to build their dream house on what was originally an avocado
orchard. Their shared love of gardening led to planting a variety of citrus, macadamia, pomegranate dozens of varieties of tomatoes and his personal favorite, hot chilies. He could tell you the number of Scoville units or heat rating of every pepper he grew. Mike was a longtime and active member in the San Diego Horticultural Society, San Diego Macadamia Club, and other gardening groups. Mike and Carol served as perennial radish judges at the Del Mar Fair. Besides gardening, Mike enjoyed taking the family on rock collecting expeditions throughout San Diego County, with one trip culminating with lunch in Tecate. He used the rocks to build a streambed, waterfall and a cobblestone path around the perimeter of the house.
Mike and Carol caught the skiing bug in their early 30's following a ski train trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. Most
family vacations were spent skiing in Tahoe, Colorado and Utah. On the drives to and fro, Mike would include detours to the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations where Mike and Carol started their Navajo basket and Hopi Kachina collections. The family also spent many winter weekends at Mammoth Mountain. Mike made an annual trip with friends knows as the "Boys Ski Trip" Details of those trips remain a secret. Summers brought tennis matches, tennis trips and tennis friends. Mike also took the family house boating on Lake Powell and boat camping on Lake Mead where he earned the nickname "Grandpa Grape Nuts. He also took the family to the Twin Rocks Ranch and taught the kids the finer points of trout fishing and how to light a wood stove.
Mike always maintained his hallmark sense of humor and strength in a never complaining approach to life, even as it came to its end. He was a favorite to family, friends and almost everyone he met. He will be remembered with a big smile and a full heart.
In lieu of flowers, Mike asked that donations be made to the San Diego Humane Society.