Bikers from around Central Washington are gathering Saturday morning (July 21) for a ride from Yakima to Ellensburg to honor loyal Unforegiven MC member James Michael "Mike" Olivero, who died this week at the age of 63.
More than 100 riders plan to meet at Owens Cycle Inc., 1707 N. First St. in Yakima, at 9:30 a.m. They'll leave Owens at 10 a.m., head to Brookside Funeral Home in Ellensburg, then to the Ellensburg IOOF Cemetery, where an 11 a.m. service is set.
Olivero, an Illinois native who held a master's degree in criminal justice and a Ph.D. in sociology, was a favorite professor at Central Washington University, where he taught in the Criminal Justice Department.
As a longtime sports official, he refereed numerous local football, basketball and baseball games. And he'll be remembered by many for playing Santa Claus each Christmas.
He was also a favorite in the biker community. "I really loved him," Unforegiven MC president Ogly Ray Matthews said Friday.
Mike is survived by his longtime companion, Stephanie Carlsen; three children, Leticia (Lety), 26, Jacob, 23, and Layla, 19;  and two stepchildren, Stephen and Kelley. Two younger brothers, Jeff Olivero and Joseph Olivero, also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Here are some images of Mike's life, courtesy of Ogly Ray: