Our beloved Michael died at home in Ottawa on Friday, March 4, 2022, leaving a huge Michael-sized hole in our hearts. Although he lived with ALS for more than two years, Michael was unflaggingly generous, optimistic, energetic and helpful. He loved and was adored by his spouse Laurie, his children Geddy and Carly, Scott, Sarah and Kieran, Stuart and Veronica, Iain and Anne; his sisters and brothers Valerie and Brian, Trevor and Chantone, Stephen (his bro) and Janine, Celia and Whitney, Reid and Luc, Matt and Catherine; his parents-in-law Tom and Mary; his late parents Joyce and Gordon; his late wife Sandi; and nieces and nephews including Gordon, Harrison and Annie, Kathleen and Josh, Rachael and Jeff, Sarah and Julien and their children. He was sustained and entertained by his wide circle of colleagues, family, friends and neighbours, including Mike, Joanne, Toni, Katie, fellow painters, the SOK Forum, and the Ottawa Mennonite Church. Many thanks to the doctors, nurses and friends who supported us – Tara, Jill, Ariel, Belinda, Jayson, Benjamin, Ezgi, Lianne, Trish, Sheila and the beloved Meal Train ladies, among many, as well as friend and flight instructor Mike Lamb, who helped him soar. “And if we’re lost, then we are lost together” (Blue Rodeo).
Michael was born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England in 1953 and came to Windsor, Ontario with his family in 1969. He worked for the Ontario government for 32 years, starting as a geologist and ending as the director of Archives Ontario. He loved his Corvette, his Yale, his Aerocoupe, his sailboats, his cats, his chickens and his two acres of paradise at Groveton. While Michael wasn’t initially able to adopt a cat, he proved throughout his life that he was more than capable of caring for others, ensuring that those around him always had his utmost support, and sharing his free-thinking outlook on the world’s possibilities.
In Michael’s memory, please consider a donation to the ALS Society of Canada, the Canadian Aviation Museum or the Ottawa Mennonite Church refugee group (OMRA). We will gather in the early summer, when the asparagus comes up at Groveton, to celebrate Michael’s life.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of…”
(John Gillespie Magee)