Michael Sean Geary, 77 of Duluth, Georgia, and Fort Myers, Florida died on Sunday, July 26th, 2020 after a short illness.
Mike was born in Superior, Wisconsin, and is survived by his wife, Diane Geary; son Kevin (Katharine) Geary; brother, Edmund Geary; sister, Nancy Church; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Edmund and Garnet Geary.
Before retiring, Mike worked as a Design Engineer for Motorola, Medtronic, and Sonitrol followed by a part-time Sales Associate at Staples.
A Private Goodbye will be held in Florida for the family on Wednesday, July 29th.
A celebration of life will be held in Atlanta, Georgia at a later date.
Family and friends may leave a condolence message by visiting https://baldwincremation.com/obituaries/michael-sean-geary/
Baldwin Brothers Funeral Home and Cremation Society is honored to serve the Geary family during this most difficult time.
Kevin & Mike at the Georgia Acquarium
For 16 years, Mike has been a part of my life. I’ve known him for nearly as long as my own father!
He had some entertaining stories. He was bit by a rattlesnake in Arizona. He chased a drunk Native American Indian intruder out of his house with a gun when he was a bachelor.
His dad was a mechanic they nicknamed “Red” because of his red hair.
He spent a substantial amount of time in the hospital when he was 9 years old due to Rheumatic Fever.
Mike could fix anything. He was the handiest of Handymen.
When I was in school for Medical Assisting, I chose to do a project on ectopic pregnancy and it was Mike who helped me construct a model of it utilizing his tools and gadgets.
When I gave birth to Chloe in my bedroom in October of 2017, I came downstairs to him vacuuming and cleaning out an air vent that no doubt Diane had put him up to.
Long before I met him, he had designed the blueprints for pacemakers as his career. After he retired and for something to do, he worked at Staples.
I never had a problem once with mike. He was just easy going. Laid back. He had a calm demeanor that I recognize in my husband as well. He cracked jokes and talked politics, sports and drank beer. He loved movies and has a huge dvd collection.
When Diane and mike bought a vacation home in south Florida, I truly imagined that the kids would be raised going to their condo every year, making memories.
I NEVER imagined him gone this soon.
In the last year, kevin and I noticed he had aged a lot. His legs had ongoing blood circulation problems, causing him to slow down considerably. He was cold all the time, wearing a jacket even in summer. We’d crack jokes to him about how it’s alright to take your coat off now
We were out to dinner the last time I saw him. Father’s Day at Longhorn’s steak house. During a previous trip to this beloved restaurant, Mike was shivering and I took off my jacket and put it around him. He was an even keeled guy, but the way he gave me a heartfelt thank you, I knew it meant a lot to him.
The last time we spoke to Mike, kevin and I got on FaceTime with him. Laying in the hospital bed, he saw us both and a huge smile came across his face. I told myself I’d remember this smile.
I joked to him that I was going to come punch the doctors and nurses that kept prodding and picking at him. I made him laugh. Another memory to keep close to my heart.
Knowing he may never make it out of surgery, I covered the phone and whispered to Noelle, “tell Papa you love him and get better...he may not make it out of surgery.” Her eyes got huge but she did it. And I took a Screenshot of it. I had shiloh and Chloe do the same and screenshot them as well.
I went yesterday to see Mike before they took him off life support. I told him I was sorry for arguing with Diane. Intubated and asleep, he tried to move his mouth and he curled his nose a little. He heard me! My voice cracked.
I told him thank you for being a great dad, grandfather, dad to kevin, grandfather to the girls and FIL to me. Again he curled his lip up.
I promised him that we will take care of Diane and it’s ok to go.
When Diane was in the room with me, I told him the girls had been to the pool and had a great time.
And after he passed and I was at the pool with the girls, a really beautiful light was caught shining down on the kids in the pool. I feel like this was him.
I will miss Mike greatly. He meant a lot to our family.
Your mom asked me to write something to you in remembrance of your dad. I said I would be happy to do so for many reasons, not the least of which is how easy it would be. I am sorry for “our” loss. We will all miss your dad very much.
Everyone liked Mike.
I really liked him. When I was young and first met your dad, I was filled with envy. I was in my early teens when your mom began dating him. One of my first memories was a time they both brought me over to his house in Scottsdale. An older home, but to me, the epitome of a bachelor pad. A beat-to-hell Chevy in the driveway, a dune buggy in the carport, a pellet gun by the door, and…. SCUBA STUFF! I was in awe. Your dad would eventually regale me with stories of the things he used to do including taking the sand rail on dives down in Mexico with his buddies. I so wanted to be that guy.
Once he brought the scuba stuff over to my parent’s house in Tempe and let me put everything on and just hang out at the bottom of the pool for what seemed like hours. Needless to say, from that point on, he had a friend for life.
The next thing I learned about your dad was he could seemingly do anything. My father had many, many fantastic qualities, but when it came to engineering, he lacked the ability to do much beyond changing a light bulb. Your dad on the other hand, would go on to show me, or explain to me, so many things about home repair, car repair, appliance installation and repair, the list goes on. Most importantly, your dad was the person that taught me how to properly swear at inanimate objects that did not want to cooperate. An important and necessary skill for any handyman worth his salt.
I remember when he “helped” my dad put in a sprinkler system in our backyard. I thought, how does this guy know all this stuff. One of my favorite memories is when I watched him change the motor on our pool filter. At one point, he needed to use a power tool. I can’t remember if it was a drill, or a jig saw, or what but what I do remember is when he plugged it into the 220 volt socket, used by the pool equipment, rather than the 110 socket. When he pulled the trigger on that thing it went absolutely crazy, flew up out of his hand, and scared the crap out of him. That was the day I received my PhD in cursing.
As I got older, I wondered why he drove that beat up Chevy. At one point, I had an opportunity to be an extra in a movie being filmed in Arizona. However, I needed a beat up used car. It was actually that car that got me the part. When I told him about the opportunity, he did not hesitate to let me use his car. I told him I would be driving it though some rough desert and through brush. He told me that car had been wrecked twice and totaled by the insurance company both times. Each time he just cashed the check and kept driving it. Genius! What a guy!
I remember him taking us to the lakes when he had his boat. I remember him teaching me how to water ski. I remember his Scotties. I remember that he liked all the same movies I liked. I remember he was not that great at golf. I remember listening to all his stories. I will always remember these things because they are in no small measure significant to who I became.
There is one remarkable thing that I cannot remember. In over 40 years of knowing him, despite the family that he married into. Despite what always seemed inevitable with my father, my sisters, and my brother. I cannot remember ever arguing with Mike, getting mad at Mike, or fighting with Mike. Perhaps that is just another reason why I liked him.
Perhaps that is why everyone liked him.
Mike fell sick on June 30th in Florida while we were on vacation. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where he was admitted and diagnosed with Bacteremia, a powerful blood infection.
The Septic Shock took a toll on his organs, especially his kidneys and liver. He fought valiantly for 27 days with the help of many of today's heroes - the doctors and nurses.
As you can imagine, it was especially hard to deal with because of COVID and the fact we were away from home. Visiting hours at the hospital are reduced to two separate 2-hour windows per day and only one family member designated at admission is permitted on the list for entry. Thankfully, I was able to go every day for both visits including July 14th, the celebration of our 42nd wedding anniversary.
Kevin came to Florida to be with us - once for surgery and again at the end of life phase. We removed the life support and Mike died at 4:35 p.m.
Many of my friends have lost loved ones and I now personally understand the heart-wrenching grief you experienced. How do I move from we to me? It will be best to focus on the wonderful memories and the blessed life I have with my remaining family especially Kevin and the grandchildren who bring such joy!
For those of you who knew about Mike from the beginning and have been offering your support, prayers, and comforting messages, you were more helpful to me than you could ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Love and hugs from me and Mike!
Yesterday, at 1:45pm, my mom and I took him off life support and sat with him until he passed at 4:35pm.
While it was incredibly sad to hear about what he was going through – and then see it first hand when I came to be with him the week before last – I also got to see a lot of what made him who he was.
With each passing day, as he was subjected to test after test, treatment after treatment, and procedure after procedure – as his organs were shutting down and his brain was becoming confused – he never complained, never stopped making snarky jokes, and never gave a single hint of giving up.
My dad was a lifeguard, a scuba diver, a guy who liked to drive dune buggies and water ski, a draftsman who helped design pacemakers, and a guy who could – and would gladly – fix or build almost anything for anyone.
Ten years ago I sat in St. Joseph’s hospital in Atlanta with my mom while doctors replaced his heart valves, a procedure to fix complications he suffered from rheumatic fever when he was a child.
Three years ago he started to suffer from veinous insufficiency in his legs and had to deal with constant wounds, leg wraps, and weekly trips to a wound center.
While these issues forced him out of doing many of the things he loved and caused extreme discomfort on a daily basis, he dealt with them quietly and continued to show up with a smile on his face and a beer in his hand.
Last year we all went to Disney and he walked around, legs wrapped, for hours and hours with us in the Florida heat so his three granddaughters could have an amazing experience.
That’s who he was – someone who was always eager to tag along, who everyone liked, who made life easier for the people around him, and who always had your back.
I’m thankful to the doctors and nurses who did everything they could for four straight weeks to save him and for the hospital staff who bent the rules so I could be by his side. I’m also thankful to the outpouring of love and support we’ve received every step of the way.
He said he didn’t want a big formal service with speeches and everything else – he just wanted everyone to have a beer and a good time. If you knew him, feel free to join in on that from wherever you are in the world.
Mike & his sister Nancy
Family - August 2014
South Carolina - 2010
Brother & Sister in Law - Destin FL
Ft. Myers Friends - 2017
Diane & Mike - July 14th 2018
Ft. Myers Happy Hour Group