- 66 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 14, 1949
- Date of passing: Jul 25, 2015
|Let the memory of Michael be with us forever|
We will never forget him and we know many of you won't either. Help us to honor and continue his memory and legacy by sharing your memories, stories and sentiments. It will help us to see him through your eyes.
"Up to ten or fifteen years ago, my wife and I estimate we only attended a funeral maybe every five years. In the past year, it was seven with three of those in the last three months! All of these were friends, not family. Every one of these mortal events carried great sorrow for us over a number of days. However, both Carol and I agree, we continue to mourn the demise of our good friend Mike Olivotto many months ago. Seldom does a week go by when he and his family are not in our thoughts and prayers! We truly miss him!! Al and Carol McMichael"
"Feb. 14 no longer Valentine's day, it will always be Think About Mike Day.
"Thinking of you on your birthday. You are with us in our thoughts daily. Doug continues to play the guitar you gave him, self taught just like you! We will always have you in our hearts and thoughts."
"Dr. O. loved his family, and I feel blessed to have been included in that circle through my friendship with Kelley. The Olivottos always treated me like family. I will never forget all the kindness Dr. O. showed me over the years. He and Mrs. Olivotto made me feel welcome in their home, which meant so much to me during those college years when my own parents were far away. And they always thought to bring the comforts of home when they came to visit, whether it was snacks and things to make our dorm room cozy at Holy Cross Hall, trips for gelato during our time in Rome, or even a beautiful bowl (that I use every day!) when they came with Kelley, Dan and Molly to dinner at my home in Denver.
He was generous, loving and happy just making others happy. And he was such a good dad. His father-of-the bride speech was the best ever. I can't remember a single word of it, but I remember that there wasn't a dry eye in the house when he was done.
But my favorite memory of him was during our amazing trip to Playa del Carmen (amazing because it was a beautiful place, and amazing because he and Mrs. O. treated us to the vacation). We roommates decided to go parasailing one day. I could tell that Dr. O. didn't want to intrude by coming with us, but I also could tell that he wanted to be a part of the adventure. He waved goodbye and we took off on the boat. One by one we flew up into the air in the parachute. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the water was gorgeous and calm. When it was my turn, I climbed high into the air and looked down. There was Dr. O! He had rented a kayak and paddled far off of shore so he could watch us do our thing. (Now that I'm a parent I realize that he also wanted to make sure we each returned to dry land safe and sound!) I know that in reality I was probably too high up to see his face, but in my memory, he was smiling.
Kelley and Mrs. Olivotto, I'm so sorry. I'm sending lots of love to you.
"Dear Nancy and Kelly,
Mike and I have been tennis buddies for 25 years or more. During that time of athletic(mostly on his part) and social enjoyment, Mike gave me a level of respect and admiration far above that of any other individual I have ever met! And as a 2 million mile world traveler in my business career, I have enjoyed meeting so many wonderful and a few "not so wonderful" people. Let me tell you of just one instance contributing to his high ranking in my experience.
A good number of years back my wife Carol had a troublesome root canal procedure situation performed by a local surgeon in our area. Afterwards she experienced drainage and pain despite multiple return visits for additional treatment. All to no avail regarding a solution to the problem. This went on for three years!
One day after tennis Mike asked how Carol was doing with her tooth problem and I gave him the three year story. He asked if I could bring her into his office first thing the next morning along with any information we had so he could take a look at it, which I agreed to do.
I remember arriving early that morning thinking he would take a quick look and let us know what he thought and I would be an hour late for work. After sitting in the waiting room for several hours Mike came out and said he found the problem and she should be fine! Needless to say after a follow up visit to remove something and check her progress, she has had zero problems ever since but that is not the end of the story!
Two months later, after tennis I noted to Mike that he forgot to send us the bill. He said "you already paid somebody and I don't charge friends for doing it right"! In all my travels, there is no way I can top that!
Mike, we all will miss you so very much!!
Al and Carol McMichael"
"I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads its white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. The ship is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch until, at length, it hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, he is gone"
Gone from my sight. That is all. He is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as he was when he left my side.
And, he is just as able to bear the load of living freight to the destined port.
His diminished size is in me -- not in him.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, he is gone,"
there are other eyes watching him coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here he comes!"
Henry Van Dyke (adapted)"
"Dear Nancy and Kelley,
How hard it is to express heartfelt gratitude and awe through such sadness!! From our first meeting you in Rome while our daughters were there for their sophomore year at Saint Mary’s to the fun times we shared at the Notre Dame game and visit in your lovely home afterwards to the gracious hospitality you have showed to our darling daughter through the years (especially during holiday times when she couldn’t make it home) and the generous invitation to Abbie to join you in Playa Del Carmen over their spring break we are so grateful for the wonderful and hospitable friends you have proven yourselves to be to us and to our daughter.
As the years have gone by how many times we have been regaled with stories of fun times our precious Abbie has had with your family and what a comfort it has been knowing she was within a few hours drive of the welcome of such friends. Sadly, she has also kept us apprised of Mike’s health challenges. You have been in our prayers these many months during his illnesses and we are so sorry for your great loss.
Rest assured that our door will always be opened for you Nancy and you, Kelley and your precious family--just say the word and we will be honored to show you our little corner of the world here in North Carolina.
We are sending many prayers for our Divine Lord to show His nearness and His love to you in ways both great and small.
With much love and many prayers for your comfort and healing,
Leslie and Chris Fleming"
"I have known Mike for nearly 30 years and consider him one of the closest friends I have ever had. We met playing tennis, but the friendship turned into many other areas including about 10 vacations either fishing or with our wives at tennis resorts or National Parks. Some of the trips had little adventures associated with them and they are the memories I will remember the most.
Our greatest adventure was hiking across the Grand Canyon with Jim McQuillian in 1992. At our first lunch stop, Jim cut his finger on a can of meat and bled profusely. Dr. Olivotto pulled out his First Aid Kit, and “sewed” Jim up using “Super Glue”. Only a Doctor would carry Super Glue in a first aid kit.
When on a Club Med tennis vacation with Mike and Nancy in the Bahamas, we played tennis every morning for the week, but at dinner they were always reminding the guests to come to the beach in the morning for sailing lessons. Finally on Friday morning, Mike and I decide to take sailing lessons. When we got to the beach we found that it was the final day and that there were no lessons, only a sailing race for those that had taken lessons to see what they learned. There were only two boats (it was a slow week) and we were not going to sail unless we entered the race. I told Mike that I had sailed at another Club Med a couple of years before and that we should try it. After two legs of the race, we were in last place by just a boat length. It turned out that the finish line was up on the beach and you finished by dragging the catamaran up on the beach to the finish line. As we approached shore, Mike said “we still could come in second” if we jumped off and pulled the boat the rest of the way in. “we can outrun them”. We jumped off in four feet of water and pulled the boat in and up to the finish line before the other boat knew what happened. It was our own little victory.
While on another tennis vacation in Sedona, AZ, Mike and I went out for an early morning hike to climb to the top of the mesa near our lodge. On top of the mesa were a couple of rock spires, like in a Road Runner Cartoon. When we got to the top, just below the spires, Wyle Coyote or someone dislodged some rock from one of the spires and I got caught in the rock slide. Mike was far enough back to avoid even a scratch. The first thing Mike did was ask if I was OK and I answered “yes”. The second thing Mike said was “Don’t move, I want to get a picture”.
I went on a number of fishing trips with Mike to his Army friend Scott Minnich’s house in Colorado. Scott knew all the great local places to fly fish. On our last trip, we took Scott’s camper to a “secret” location west of the Royal Gorge and camped and fished for 3 days. The surprise of the trip was that Scott’s neighbor, basketball player Rick Barry, joined us for a day.(Rick was the last underhand free throw shooter in the NBA (90%)) Not only was it interesting conversation with a famous personality, but Mike and Rick each caught 50 fish that day.
I will miss you forever Mike."
"My sincere sympathy to all of the family and all of those who knew & loved him. I have a deep heartfelt sadness knowing he has left us here on this earth, but I know I will see him again in heaven and I thank God for that.
There are many memories of our work days that come to mind. He was a caring and thoughful human being. He has left a special love in my mind for the time I had with him and all the staff at Hammond Oral Surgery.
Prayers of comfort for each of you Mrs. Olivotto and dear daughter Kelley. A special family indeed."
"We know Mike and Nancy, as neighbors and friends on the lake. We would love seeing him out in his fishing boat, just as dawn was breaking, fishing in solitude.My husband, Doug said he had never met anyone who enjoyed fishing as much as Mike did! They spent a lot of time being fishing buddies and later on,friends. .We wish we would have met him and Nancy sooner but are so grateful for the life lessons he taught us "fighting the fight". RIP, no more cancer, no more Parkinsons. Prayers to Nancy, Kelley and family for comfort in the upcoming days."
"Dr O removed my wisdom teeth when i was 16 then I started working for for him in 1999. He never demanded respect but he earned it. He treated all of us girls as equals. He was a very compassionate person and a great listener. I always knew when I was overstepping boundaries because he would look at me over the top of his glasses. He had more faith in me then I did in myself. He could encourage and teach without you even realizing it. As much as he inspired me in such a short time, I can only imagine how phenomenal it must have been to have him in your life daily. God bless this precious family. May you find comfort and love with friends and family"
"I am sad to hear of Mike's passing. He deserved more time with his family and his friends but I believe he did all that he could to get the most out of life. He would never shy away from a challenge nor leave it half way done. He is surely now at peace.
Mike was a mentor to me in so many ways. He hired me right out of training and he encouraged me to stretch my legs and take advantage of everything our practice and community offered. He treated people right and ran the office with evenhanded authority. And he was always respected without having to demand it. He was sage and could make you laugh with his wisdom. He could empathize without being judgmental. He would never abide unfairness, so he was one of the most trustworthy people I have known. He was a strong man who never tried to intimidate. He was a role model.
I will miss having Mike around to consult but his advice is always there. I wish Mike and all who new him peace and love."
"My Uncle Mike was one of the most wonderful, caring men I have ever known! I have so many memories of him I don't know where to start. Kelley and I have always been close and I remember growing up and our family going to their house which I was always so excited about! :) My aunt and uncle always made it so special. Uncle Mike would take my brother Sean, Kelley and I fishing on the pond behind their house with our cane poles and was always so patient with us as we would attempt to put the worm on our hook (actually I think he just did it for us). We would have so much fun swimming in their pool and some nights we would camp out in the backyard. He and my aunt were great hosts , always making sure we had a great time while we were there. I am so lucky to have these memories that i will forever hold close to my heart. One of the best vacations was when he took my brother and I on their family vacation out west. It was so much fun we even made a video about it. He was so generous and kind and it showed in everything he did, and also shows in his wonderful, beautiful daughter Kelley and her mom, Nancy, who will always make sure that his light will burn brightly in not only those who knew and loved him but others who didn't. I will miss you every day Uncle Mike but I know that you are at peace now and that I will see you again one day. I love you."
"I never met Michael. I met Kelley through an esophageal cancer support group. Her and I have shared the positives and negatives through our fathers' battles this last year. We've shared a year filled with hope and love and sadness. An almost exact same year for our fathers fight to live only to both end in loss. I'm so sorry to know that she and her family have lost a very loved father and husband and grandfather. He must've been a wonderful man from what I can tell from the outpour of love I'm seeing. It breaks my heart to know how they must feel. I'm sending my love and prayers."
"Dear Dr. Olivotto,
It is so surreal to write this message knowing you are not on this earth anymore. But it is comforting to know that you are in so many people’s hearts and minds and will be for a very long time, and probably more importantly, you are in a peaceful, comforting, painless place called heaven.
I remember when I first met you at Saint Mary’s College when I became friends with Kelley and I always thought you were the kindest, most gentle man that would do anything for his daughter Kelley (and her friends). I saw the special bond that you both have. And I have numerous memories of laughter and fun with the girls: Kelley, Jovonna, Natalie, and Mrs. Olivotto. Two come to mind. Playa del Carmen, and Rome!
I hold vivid memories of our junior year spring break trip that you so generously took us to Play del Carmen, Mexico for some great beach fun. (I actually just mentioned that trip last week to someone in a conversation!) A year before that, we all made wonderful memories in Rome, Italy together, an experience I will never forget. My mom and dad also joined in on the fun and got to know you both. They really enjoyed spending time with you there. My dad has a specific and fond memory of attending one of the Notre Dame football games with you that next fall. I also know my grandparents had the opportunity to meet you and visit with you as they were also in Rome at the same time with all of us. One big Italian party! My grandparents, whom I called Nonnie and Poppie so enjoyed meeting you and Mrs. Olivotto. And as I write that, I am glad to know that now, my own Poppie has another Poppie with him in heaven now.
Another memory I have is our college graduation. You were such a proud father of Kelley! That was a very special day for all of us SMC chicks. The last memory I have is about 5 years ago when we stopped by your house after our 10 year college reunion in South Bend. It was so great to see you and Mrs. Olivotto then. Little did I know that would be the last time I’d see the wonderful, kind, smart, loving Dr. Olivotto. But now you have left a special legacy and hold a warm spot in so many people’s hearts. I love the friendship that Kelley and I have maintained over all these years and that it has extended to her wonderful husband Dan and their beautiful children Molly and Sam. I look forward to many more years of sharing memories and laughter together with all of them. You have a very brave, loving, daughter and it is a privilege to know her and her parents.
Rest in peace, always, Dr. O.
Have a suggestion for us?