Mike Barva, 97, of Payson, died Dec. 30, 2003. He was born April 24, 1907 in Lithuania.
He became head of the family when his father died of a heart attack. As a bookkeeper, he helped support his mother and his three sisters.
He also managed a sports club where he trained young men to play basketball and table tennis.
Mr. Barva married at age 18. His first daughter died of crib death; his second daughter was afflicted with multiple sclerosis and died at age 16 in Germany.
He served in the World War I and World War II. He lived under Stalin, Hitler, and finally emigrated to the United States, where his father had been as a young man.
Other family members joined Mr. Barva, and they all lived in Omaha, Neb. After the plant where he worked closed, he and his wife moved to Colorado where they lived for 20 years. He retired and became manager of a liquor store. He was active in the community.
Mr. Barva's wife died in 1998, at which time he moved to Arizona to be nearer his sister.
He is survived by his sister, Joan Lasys of Payson; nephews, Raymond Hilton of Phoenix and Thomas Jaudzemis of Omaha, Neb.; niece, Neola Christensen of Omaha, Neb.
He was preceded in death by two sisters.
Graveside services were held at St. Francis Cemetery in Phoenix.
Donations can be made to St. Philip's Church, in care of Father Joe Knauss, 511 S. St. Phillips St., Payson, AZ 85541.