Michael "Mike" Travis Black
December 28, 1958 – June 10, 2019
Cobb County architect and builder Michael “Mike” Travis Black passed away suddenly on Monday, June 10, 2019 at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia after suffering a heart attack.
He was 60 years old and is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Jo Ellen “JoJo” (nee Crozier) Black; their son, Marshall Tyler Black; his mother, Ernestine “Tina” (nee Loudermilk) Black Kucy; his mother-in-law, Sylvia Snyder; his sisters, Beth (Tim) Farist and Jill (Todd) McCurley; good friend Derick Echols, an uncle, aunts, nieces, cousins and many friends who had become his family. His father, James Travis Black, predeceased him.
Mike was born December 28, 1958 -- also at Kennnestone Hospital. He and his parents moved to Ducktown, Tennessee, where he spent part of his youth. Later, his family moved back to Cobb County where he graduated from Osborne High School, excelling at guitar and baseball. After finishing high school, he attended Southern Technical Institute (now merged with Kennesaw State University) and earned a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering Technology degree. During college, Mike did take one year off to pursue a survivalist quest along the Salmon River in Idaho with his buddy Ronny Brock, sleeping in lean-tos and living off the land.
After graduating, Mike began his building career as a superintendent for a subdivision builder in Charlotte, North Carolina. He soon realized, however, that he would prefer being his own boss and formed Legacy Builders Group in Cobb County, building numerous subdivisions and dental offices. He developed a reputation for quality, reliability and professionalism and soon became a builder in demand. His projects can be found mostly in Atlanta and Cobb County and are monuments to his vision and skill. As successful as Mike was, he modestly referred to himself as “just a carpenter.”
Mike met JoJo through his cousin Alicia Ellenburg’s matchmaking efforts. Alicia organized a “group cookout” that turned out to be a barbecue just for two because JoJo and Mike were the only ones invited. They connected immediately and remained inseparable thereafter. About a year later, on September 24, 1994, they married in the library of a cruise ship docked in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. After the ceremony, the happy couple honeymooned on a romantic cruise, which sparked a lifelong passion for the natural wonders of the Caribbean. They became certified in advanced scuba and frequented many of the tropical islands for amazing deep-water adventures.
A romantic at heart, Mike sometimes played the guitar while JoJo relaxed in a bath. From their wedding day forward, he always regarded her with the same loving admiration. Both were lifelong classic rock-‘n’-roll enthusiasts and enjoyed taking time off from building to attend concerts. Favorite artists were Tom Petty, The Eagles, Bob Seger, Bad Company, Def Leppard, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and The Beatles. The beginning of one of Paul McCartney’s hits captured for Mike his adoration for his wife: “Baby I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time …”
Mike and JoJo’s pride and joy was their son, Tyler. In their son’s infancy, Mike often played the guitar to sing Tyler to sleep with James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.” Mike enjoyed Tyler’s activities including proudly watching his then eight-year-old son become a first-degree black belt in Choi Kwon Do. But baseball was Mike’s true sports passion. He coached Tyler and his teammates for a number of years at the Acworth Baseball Association. Mike’s style was encouraging, kind and gentle. He was in a class all by himself: calm, cool and collected. At the end of the season, he enjoyed hosting a party for the boys and they loved and respected their mentor. For the boys, “keep your eye on the ball’ has been more than good baseball advice; it has become a lasting metaphor for their lives.
Mike personified understanding and compassion. He hired challenged persons that other employers considered marginal and helped them to turn their lives around and become successful. His outreach was quiet and unassuming while he taught unskilled men a trade and assisted them in eventually forming their own businesses. His legacy may be seen more in the lives he helped rebuild than in the buildings he and his company constructed.
JoJo would like Mike to be remembered as a kind and loving family man with a heart of gold. He helped friends and family regardless of whether it would be reciprocated. He left us too soon and will be missed by many people.
A celebration of Mike’s is scheduled for July 6, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 895 Cobb Place Blvd., NW in Kennesaw, Georgia in the Veranda Room. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or to your favorite charity.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, July 6, 2019
Michael "Mike" Travis Black
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June 28, 2019
We met Mike around 1993, when he and my cousin JoJo were dating! We all took a instant liking to him, very kind and a little quiet and perfect for JoJo! We grew to love him over the years, and it will be a great loss in our family! Until we meet again Mike!❤️❤️
June 28, 2019
I was so fortunate to have met Mike right after Jojo and he got married. Mike really was a genuinely funny, kind-hearted , hard working and loving kind of guy. He certainly loved Jojo, he had to be pretty special to get along with her! I'm just kidding ,they were perfect together. When Tyler was born, there was nothing he wouldn't do for his family. I am grateful I got to meet him I only wish I had had more time to get to know him even better. Cheers Mike! Heaven got a good one