LAVELLE, Michael John - (1936 - 2018) - Michael John Lavelle best known as “Big Mike”, passed away October 3rd, 2018 peacefully after a brief battle with cancer.
Mike, a widower (47yrs) to Frances Lavelle and survived by his wife Dr. Diane Malinowski, was surrounded by love from his family and friends in his last hours, his brother Pat Lavelle, his children, Cathie (Dr. Mark Smith ), Janine, LeAnne, Christine (Doug Martin), Michael (Jodi Harold) his stepchildren, Christina (Tim Crowe) and Mike (Marisa Ricci) and his greatest joy, his grandchildren; Jordan, Geoff, Luke, Sophie, Georgia, Josh, Joe, Mathew, Ben, Ethan, Connor, Ella, Matteo, Anthony & Sofia.
Mike’s preferred name Big Mike could not have been more suited – Mike had a BIG life, Big family, Big Heart, Big laugh and a Big love of learning and life.
Born September 8th, 1936 in Toronto. Michael was an all-star athlete and scholar in his youth. He brought his love of sport and love of learning to his career when he began teaching and coaching at St Michael’s College School in 1958, which led to a lifetime of championship wins, scholarly awards and accolades. Mike would go on to teach, coach and lead at; The University of Waterloo, McMaster University & The University of Toronto for the next 40 yrs.
His awards and achievements were numerous, including the Paul Fox Alumni Award. His residence program at UTM did more than house students, his passion, commitment and courage, brought the spirit of greatness to everything he touched. When Mike retired from the University he began a new adventure in the world of business. He brought his wealth of experience and extraordinary leadership to the boardroom, working with business executives as a motivator, speaker, mentor and coach.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” St-Exupery.
Big Mike (Dad) was above all else a family man. He loved his family, discussions, and books and as all of his children, stepchildren and grandchildren will agree was most happy when he was combining them all. For all who knew him he left a legacy of reading and exploration that will continue for generations to come and a life dedicated to love.
Mike’s career spanned 6 decades, with a breadth and depth that is truly remarkable. He accomplished and contributed so much to life in his 82 years. He taught us all the meaning of friendship, the value of laughter, the strength of commitment , the joy of people and a love of life.
Father, Husband, Friend, Teacher, Mentor and Coach
“We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can chose to live in joy “ Joseph Campbell
We are forever grateful for the Joy you bring Mike Lavelle, you will live on in our hearts. We love you.
A Celebration of Life will be held, on Tuesday October 9th, 1 - 5pm, at The Boulevard Club, 1491 Lakeshore Blvd. W, Toronto.
Contributions may be sent to: The Lavelle Leadership Foundation, 415 Newdale crt. North Vancouver, BC V7N 3H3. Arrangements entrusted with Smith's funeral home, Burlington, ON.