One name with so many meanings to so many people: Dad, Honey, Mikey, Grampa Mike, brother, uncle.
How can you possibly communicate to the world how incredible, important, and multifaceted one person is?
Michael was a man of great intelligence with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He was a scientist, a life long learner, and an excellent teacher. Education was one of his highest values, demonstrated in the attainment of two master’s degrees. His M.S. in Clinical Chemistry was granted from Iowa State University in Iowa City, IA and his M.B.A from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He additionally gained a vast amount of experience through his work on a M.S. in Computer Science.
In his professional life he was an accomplished author and speaker. He has written or been a contributing author to more than 20 different computer books, and has written more than 200 technical magazine articles and editorials. He was involved in every Microsoft Access Beta program since the inception of Access 1.0 at the Windows World Conference in 1992.
His recreational activities were wide ranging, dabbling in everything from programming fractals, reading, learning to play the guitar, collecting watches, and remodeling his house. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of World War II history and old movies like Ben Hur. He could build a computer, or a deck for the house, or the tallest, most structurally sound tower of cardboard drink coasters at Outback Steakhouse.
Just before Christmas in 2010, he was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. Each diagnosis was different. First Melanoma, then prostate cancer, and finally pancreatic cancer. This last diagnosis proved to be the most difficult and intimidating. We intimately understand pancreatic cancer as the most devastating disease. He endured many hardships throughout his treatment, but Michael was a formidable opponent. He faced this adversary head on, without complaint, and never flinched. Not even once did he consider that defeat was an option. However despite all this, on Friday November 4, 2011 the cancer took his life and changed all of our lives forever. We will so miss his humor, his vast wealth of knowledge, and his subtle but deep affection for those he loved.
It is baffling to imagine a person who, aside from cookies, had no vices in terms of abusing his physical body. He really had no negative impact on his environment at all. So why? How could this happen? What could he, or we, have possibly done to deserve this? As human beings, we always strive to understand the world around us. It has been an extremely difficult lesson for us to accept the fact that cancer defies all reason. Nothing about it is fair, or rational. The only things that we can take away from this is our renewed and intensified love and caring for one another, and a new passion to change the outcomes for other people diagnosed with this horrible disease.
Please help our family, as well as thousands of others, heal by contributing to a cause that would be very near and dear to Michael's heart. Michael was a scientist, and a very active proponent of medical research. Michael survived two other types of cancer before his pancreatic cancer diagnosis Christmas of 2010. Each time he participated in studies aimed a improving treatment outcomes and quality of care for patients battling the disease. Despite the fact that his cancer overcame him, he would still want for the research to continue. There is a cure. We ask all of you to support the search to find it. Any contribution will be so gratefully accepted, as the highest honor of Michael’s memory.
With love and gratitude,
Pam, Sarah, and James