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Community Mourns Death of Former Napa County Undersheriff Mike Loughran

The 61-year-old was on vacation in Maui with his family when he died in a snorkeling accident.

Mike Loughran Patch Photo Archive
Mike Loughran Patch Photo Archive
By Bay City News—

Michael Loughran, a 32-year employee of the Napa County Sheriff's Office, died Monday while vacationing in Maui.

Loughran, 61, was snorkeling at the Ka'anapali Beach Club when a current carried him away from shore, according to media reports. He later died after being brought back to land.

Napa County Undersheriff Jean Donaldson said Loughran, who retired about four years ago, was dedicated to his community and family.

[Related Patch Article: Loughran Looks Back on Cop Career]

"He was a great guy to work for. He was one of my mentors. He'll be missed by all," Donaldson said.

Loughran rose through the ranks during his time at the sheriff's office, and was undersheriff when he retired.

"He was the sheriff's department's Santa Claus, and he visited children in Napa and department members' children," Donaldson said.

Loughran was a member of the Napa Rotary Club and a volunteer with The Pathway Home in Yountville, which provides residential treatment services to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Mike was a larger-than-life character. His smile was his signature and he was immediately likable by all those he met," a post on The Pathway Home's Facebook page states.

"He was often the first person Pathway residents met at the airport when they arrived to begin our program and frequently the man who saw them return home. We'll miss him terribly. This isn't farewell, Mike; rather godspeed," the post concludes.

Loughran was on vacation in Maui with his family. He is survived
by his wife Denise, two children and two grandchildren, Donaldson said.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
Matthew Conley February 06, 2014 at 06:35 PM
What a tragedy! He was a great fixture in Napa county law enforcement, and was a great man.
Mary Pisor February 06, 2014 at 10:37 PM
Larger than life. He gave so much of himself to the community and lent his energy and support to many non-profits in the Napa Valley. Thank you, Mike, and God bless you.
Jan Myers February 08, 2014 at 12:44 PM
Recently moved back to the area and was looking forward to reaching out to Mike. So very saddened to hear this news. Mike's smile was almost as big as his heart. He graciously supported me while tackling a difficult job task with his spirit and down to earth bantering. RIP, Brother.
Gregg L. DesElms February 08, 2014 at 06:55 PM
Well, this, of course, is very sad. My condolences to his family and friends. The article stated that "Loughran ... was snorkeling ... when a current carried him away from shore... [and that h]e later died after being brought back to land." So then... what... it was a heart attack from the stress of it or something? He didn't drown? I wonder if the cause-of-death will ever be published; and I only ask and wonder about it because as someone who grew-up on the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan, and so who learned about "undertow," and what to do about it, from his pre-school days more than 50 years ago, it would be sad, indeed, if all that prevented Loughran's being alive right now was his not knowing what I was taught as a child about how to recover from an undertow carrying one out and away from the beach. For those interested (as long as I have the readers's attention about it for a moment, here), all you need to do is stay calm and don't fight the current carrying you out; all the time calmly -- even leisurely, to conserve energy -- swimming parallel to the shore until you finally feel yourself out of the undertow current. Then just swim back to shore normally. It is unbelievable how many people who deign to swim just off the beach in either an ocean or a sea-sized body of water (like any of the Great Lakes) don't know that. There should, in my opinion, be signs explaining it on every such beach in the world. RIP, Mr. Loughran: You served well, and left too soon. From your labors may you now rest.

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