Sad Passing

Posted Sun, 06/13/10

My cousin Mike O'Toole passed away last Wednesday evening (9 June 2010). Most of us knew it was coming because he's been suffering from cancer for quite some time, but losing someone dear and related by blood is still a shock.

Mike was four years older than me, and one of the cleanest-living people I ever knew. He never smoked, and never drank. He didn't abuse his body in any fashion. I realize that genetics sometimes plays a part in our futures, but Mike's death does not make any sense to me.

Since online newspapers don't keep classified links active for very long, below is part of Mike's obituary and photo from the Salt Lake Tribune:

Michael O'Toole was born July 20, 1957 in Bountiful, Utah. He was one of the strongest, bravest and most generous men who ever walked this earth. When cancer entered his body it may have thought it had an easy fight but it had no idea it was messing with such a stubborn Irishman. He finally lost his fight on June 9, 2010 surrounded by his wife and children.

Mike O'Toole (1957-2010).

He lived to spoil his family, especially his wife to whom he was married for 31 years. Mike had one of the biggest hearts and could make anyone's day better. He was constantly teasing everyone and making funny jokes. He never knew how many lives he touched and how many people love him. We will miss our smiling Irishman who always had a nickname for everyone and a soft spot in his heart for his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Gayle O'Toole, his sisters, Maureen O'Toole, Karen O'Toole (Doug Jensen) and Nancy O'Toole (Laurie Silbulkin) his children, Brandis O'Toole, McKell and Shiloh Vedaa, Alexa O'Toole (Jordan Lindeman) and Michael and Rochelle O'Toole. And most importantly his grandchildren, O'Klyn Vedaa, Sullivyn Vedaa, Saylor Vedaa and Dayzi O'Toole.

He is preceded in death by his sister, Shelly O'Toole, his father William George "Mike" O'Toole and his mother Regina O'Toole.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 11 a.m. in the Clinton 17th Ward Chapel at 1828 N. 3000 W. Clinton, Utah. A viewing will be held Sunday June 13, 2010 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Myers Roy Mortuary, 5865 South 1900 West, Roy, Utah.

Interment to follow at Clinton City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the "Mike O'Toole" donation account at any Wells Fargo Bank to help the family pay for medical bills. Send condolences to the family via the Myers Mortuary.

Mike was a naturally droll and gifted man, but also sincerely compassionate and intelligent. My heart goes out to his sisters, his wife, children and grandchildren.

He will be sorely missed.

*POSTSCRIPT 06/14/10: Mike's daughter Brandis wrote the following on her Facebook page, which I think aptly describes life in general: "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it."