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RIP Joanne Sharkey - The Legal Heir of Mike Mentzer

By Strength Oldschool

I was searching online a few minutes ago looking for Mike Mentzer's personal website and noticed that it was down. Upon searching online as to why the site was down, Joanne Sharkey's name popped up on google.

Unfortunately I discovered that she recently passed away last year (February 1, 1942 - June 19, 2021) which is a shame.

For anyone that is not aware of who Miss Sharkey was...she was the legal heir and Successor of the Mike Mentzer business after Mike passed away back in 2001. She kept the business going for close to 20 years until deciding to wind down and retire.

RIP Joanne Sharkey - Feb 1 -1942 to June 19 - 2021

The following message was posted on 18 Sept. 2017 by Miss Sharkey...

"I want to fully clarify that at this time there is nobody in the bodybuilding community that I plan to name as an heir or to “hand the torch to carry on” when I retire. Those that I would choose and trust are already very busy with their own businesses; however, we’ll know when I get to that stage. In the event of my death, All Rights will go to my Heirs." ~ Joanne Sharkey

It's been recently stated online (not as a fact though) that Miss Sharkey left the business to her daughter.

Would be really nice if the site could be brought back online as the Tributes page was really nice with many people from around the world posting their stories regarding Mike & Ray Mentzer. Adding a section dedicated to Joanne would also be nice I think.

Mike and Ray Mentzer Tribute Page

The following message was posted on the Mike Mentzer website by Miss Sharkey on 21st July, 2019.

"This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one that is necessary. I continue to thank each of you who have made it possible for me to carry on with the Mentzer Legacy through your devotion to the Mentzers’ memory, your support to MikeMentzer.com, and for your inspiration and friendships you have given to me. It’s truly been an incredible experience to have communicated with tens of thousands of you throughout the world.

My dedication, passion and loyalty will always be there!

Thank you,

Joanne Sharkey, CEO/President

Obituary for Joanne Sharkey

Joanne Sharkey, daughter of Salvatore & Angeline Napoli, passed away at Torrance Memorial Hospital on June 19, 2021. She was born February 1, 1942 in Duquesne, PA. Joanne was the youngest of 9 children and grew up in a loving Italian Catholic home.

Joanne moved from Pennsylvania to Redondo Beach, CA with her high school sweetheart Tommy Poljak, where they married in 1960 at St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church. They had their only child, a beloved daughter, Tamala in 1969. Joanne mastered single motherhood until 1977 when she married her second husband Tom Sharkey.

She and Tom were deeply admired in the community and enjoyed much success with their shipyard, Commercial Marine Services, in Terminal Island. Joanne was quite a business woman, always respected and appreciated, while managing the shipyard. After many successful years at the shipyard, Joanne took over her friend Mike Menzter’s business, “Heavy Duty”, whose work in the body building industry was of particular interest to her.

She was a devout Christian and a deeply empathetic and compassionate person who took care of many people in their time of need, including her mother, her first and second husband, before they each passed away.

She is survived by her daughter, Tamala Poljak, her siblings Teresa Palestra, Carmella Marko, Joe Napoli and Yolanda Marcase, and her brother in-law Bobby Poljak. She will be deeply missed by her large extended family and long time neighborhood friends and caregivers.

More details can be read here. You can also leave a special tribute if you wish.

I did not know Joanne Sharkey personally, I briefly made contact with her a number of years ago and she seemed a really nice person who took great pride and professionalism in her work related to keeping Mike Mentzer's memory alive. May she rest in peace and my thoughts go out to her close family and friends.

* NOTE: If close contacts of the Joanne Sharkey family would like me to remove any of the content above, please contact me and I will do so immediately.

If anyone would like to comment on this post and share any stories on the life of Joanne Sharkey, please use our Facebook link.

If you're a Mike Mentzer fan and love "Old School Bodybuilding" in general, then check out my Vintage Muscle Magazine videos on Youtube!


Strength Oldschool

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