Michael Rocco Insabella made his untimely departure from this world on the morning of July 31, 2022, only five days shy of his 75th birthday while recovering from a major surgery. Family and friends have shared an outpouring of love at his sudden passing describing him as strong, generous, compassionate, fun-loving, and a bit of a wise guy.
God broke the mold after Mike was born on August 5, 1947, in Newark, New Jersey. His father was Orazio “Harry” Insabella, a Navy Seabee and boiler maker, and his mother was Rosaria “Sally” Abbate, the ultimate loving Italian mother who retired after many years with the U.S. Postal Service. His parents, as well as his brother, Harry, and sister, Judy, have preceded him in death.
As a young boy, he learned how to play the piano and accordion. He performed at church, at family gatherings and eventually with a doo-wop band called “The Epics.” As an adult his musical gifts entertained at family gatherings and inspired similar gifts in his children and grandchildren.
In 1965, he graduated from Saint Joseph College Preparatory School. He maintained life- long friendships with many of his classmates known as the “Band of Brothers” who considered him the “class warrior,” “a legend,” and a “real stand-up guy!”
Next, he attended Biscayne College in Miami, known today as St. Thomas of Villanova, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. One day, as he lay passed out on the beach slathered in iodine and baby oil, he was saved from ‘heat exhaustion’ by a surfing beauty named Toni who became his college sweetheart. They wed just before he graduated and were married for 32 years until she passed suddenly in 1998.
His first job out of college was as a patrol officer for the North Miami Beach Police Department. After three years there, Michael was hired in 1971 as a special agent with the Miami Field Office of the United States Secret Service. From there, he was part of the White House detail and protected Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan.
His service to the country and community didn't end there. Michael worked as a special agent in Miami, Florida, and Washington, D.C. He finished his career in the Albuquerque, New Mexico field office where he investigated counterfeit currency cases and worked undercover. He also acted as the chief liaison between the Secret Service and the FBI foreign and domestic terrorism cases, between the Sandia National Labs relating to the Strategic Defense Initiative and held top secret security clearance with compartmentalized clearance above top secret.
After 23 years of service, with retirement on the table, Michael started his own security consulting firm in 1994 called “MRI Associates.” He was hired to do security planning for Presidential inaugurations as well as conventions, and other high-profile gatherings. A few years later, he became the Director of Executive Protection for Office Depot where he conducted security planning for the Chairman and CEO, and other corporate executives.
In 2017, Mike married Marion Calbough in Pico, Azores in the church where many generations of her family had wed. Her loving and playful nature quickly earned her the nickname “Mimi” and her healthy and adventurous spirit brought many extra years to Mike’s life. They filled these years with loads of adventures including a honeymoon, with friends, across Europe and a 4-month cruise around the world, while all along being sure to spend precious time with beloved friends and family.
In his spare time, Mike loved boating, saltwater fishing, snorkeling, diving, cooking, and helping others. Family, friends, and neighbors could always count on him to swoop in whenever they had a problem. He was always ready to suggest the best way (his way, of course!) to complete a task or provide a timeline, agenda, or directions to get things started. At the same time, he would roll up his sleeves and work tirelessly beside you to complete the job. In other words, rather than making 20 phone calls, everyone called Mike “The Fixer” because he always “had a guy” or in most cases, he was “the guy.”
He enjoyed traveling and recently said he had “been everywhere he ever wanted to go and seen everything he ever wanted to see.” He was looking forward to sharing his love of travel with family. In June of 2022, Mike gathered 23 members of his family for a Caribbean adventure. During this cruise he had the opportunity to dance, sing, dine, reminisce, and bond with everyone. This included his wife, 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. He later referred to this as “one of the greatest events of my life.”
He leaves behind his wife Marion Insabella of Jensen Beach, Florida, three daughters: Annamarie Insabella Schaeffer of Jupiter, Florida, Andria Insabella Keene of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Angela Insabella Dean of Jupiter, Florida, and his son Michael A. Insabella of Rockwall, Texas. He relished his role as “Grandpa Mike” and “Papo” and will be remembered for his Cordovox dance parties, stubble-tickling kisses, occasionally inappropriate stories and sing-alongs, machine gun sound effects, and advice about always remembering “Rule #1.” His grandchildren include Brianna Byers and Britany Lovins, Jeffrey and Toni Keene, Adalyn, Laynie, and Michael Rocco Insabella, his namesake, and Jonah P. Dean. His great-grandchildren are Olivia, Mason, and Jack Lovins.
There will be a funeral mass held at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church 2555 NE Savannah Rd, Jensen Beach, FL 34957 on Saturday August 6th at 11:00am.
As per Michael’s wishes, instead of a mournful gathering at this time, he preferred a joyous “Celebration of Life” to be held one year from now on Saturday August 5, 2023, on what would be his 76th birthday.
The funeral can be viewed via livestream at http://www.stmartindp.com/funerals.html
In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to share a favorite picture and/or memory on this “Obituary Page.” Pictures and stories may also be brought and shared at the memory table that will be set up at St. Martin de Porres.
Please also consider a charitable donation to an organization that was very dear to Mike:
Kids Cancer Alliance, PO Box 24337 Louisville, KY 40224 www.kidscanceralliance.org/donate