Wesley Miga of Endicott, NY, died unexpectedly on Friday, September 23, 2022 at the age of 63. Although his passing was much too soon, his family is comforted by the fact that he died peacefully in his sleep, at the family’s summer home in Cedar Lake, NY—a place that Wesley had loved dearly since he was a child, and a place that holds many, many happy memories for his children and his grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents, Doris and Walter Miga, of New Hartford, NY, and his father-in-law, Frederick Stonebraker, of Kenmore, NY.
He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Karen Stonebraker, of Endicott; son Ryan (Merryn) Miga and grandsons Miles and Ronan of Ithaca, NY, and son Glenn (fiancee Kelsey Ray) Miga of Burlington VT; his brother, Wester (Lorraine) Miga of Newcomb NY; his mother-in-law, Joan Stonebraker, of Kenmore, NY; his brother-in-law Lee (Robin) Stonebraker and nieces Lily and Rachel of Farmington, NY.
A full accounting of Wesley’s work and service would fill a book. In addition to being a loving and committed husband, father, and grandfather, Wesley was tirelessly dedicated to community service—an active member of a constellation of organizations that stretched across upstate New York, from his home in Endicott to his birthplace in New Hartford, and beyond. While he technically “retired” in 2015, he never actually stopped working; instead, he traded one full-time career for a roster of volunteer roles, both official and unofficial, helping out various organizations as well as friends and family.
Wesley graduated from Syracuse University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer engineering. He spent a successful 35-year career working for IBM in both engineering and management. Following his retirement, he continued to mentor younger employees in their professional development. He also maintained the friendships he had built with his coworkers, going out for regular lunches and taking a sincere interest in the company’s progress.
Wesley was active in the Boy Scouts throughout his life. Growing up in Utica, he was a member of Troop 100 and reached the rank of Life Scout. When Ryan and Glenn joined Troop 201 in Endicott, Wesley served as treasurer and also a troop leader, eventually helping both sons achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. During his time with Troop 201, he learned to (giddily) pilot the troop’s old school bus, driving it on trips that took them as far away as the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He participated in troop campouts almost every month of the year, no matter the weather. After his own children had moved on, he remained active as a leader and advisor for Troop 201 for several years.
Wesley joined the Union Center Volunteer Fire Company in 2008 and, up until his death, served the company in various roles throughout the years—as an interior firefighter, line officer, board member, and president of the company. He poured his enormous enthusiasm, energy and meticulous attention to detail into both firefighting and running the business aspects of the company, answering every emergency call he possibly could.
While he lived in Endicott with his own family, he still maintained deep roots and a firm commitment to the place where he grew up. Wesley graduated in the class of 1976 from New York Mills High School; later in life, throughout his retirement, he returned to New York Mills to tutor students in math, making the four-hour round trip once a week during the school year. He administered the Doris Miga Scholarship in honor of his late mother, assisting graduates from New York Mills to pursue higher education. He was also actively involved at Utica College (now Utica University) where he undertook a number of philanthropic projects in honor of his mother’s teaching career at that institution.
At home in Endicott, he was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church and was involved in helping out with any number of projects and events. During the summer months, while spending time at Cedar Lake, he took an active interest in the upkeep and restoration of the historic Cedar Lake Methodist Church building.
Above and beyond all his other commitments, Wesley never failed to make time for his family. From summer camping trips at Rollins Pond in the Adirondacks to weekends spent at Cedar Lake, to science fairs and swim meets, he was a constant and encouraging presence in the lives of his children. His grandchildren were a source of immense joy. He had boundless energy for playing with them; he also spent many hours patiently discussing whatever they were interested in, no matter how repetitious their questions were. He was always ready to help out both family members and friends with financial questions, household repairs, computer problems, or anything else; nothing was too minor to receive his attention. He was a hopeless cook (except for mastering the grill) so he always, always, always washed the dishes.
His presence in the lives of his family and friends was remarkable, and the absence left by his passing will always be felt.
Friends may call at the Allen Memorial Home 511-513 East Main Street, Saturday November 5, 2022 from 1 to 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the following organizations: Union Center Fire Company, Broome County Humane Society, Mom’s House of Johnson City, or World Central Kitchen.