Michael James Daunt
October 29, 1957 – April 11, 2021
Michael James Daunt, our dear Little Buddy, passed away peacefully at the age of 63 on April 11, 2021, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Michael was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on October 29, 1957, and the bigness of his spirit was obvious as soon as he emerged—all 10 pounds 5 ounces of him! As a boy, his jet-black hair, chubby cheeks, and most precious smile helped him get away with all manner of mischief and troublemaking. The family moved to Ormond Beach, Florida, when he was nine years old, and Michael’s adolescence was shaped by adventures along that Atlantic coast with his siblings and friends. Known to many as “Thumbs” (due to the crooked thumbs he inherited from his father, Jim, and Jim’s identical twin, Jack), he attended Seabreeze High School, where he played on the ever-menacing Seabreeze Sandcrabs football team, was president of the Wildlife Club, and graduated in 1977. He relocated to Albuquerque in 1986 and soon immersed himself in the Native American culture indigenous to this area.
Always fun, jovial, and genuinely thoughtful and caring, Michael made countless friends from all walks of life. His was a life of service on the daily level. Initially a plumber by trade, an on-job injury led him to a new career chaperoning recently released prisoners in halfway houses. His own challenges gave him a deep compassion for these men, and he found great joy in helping them begin their new lives.
Despite struggles with addiction and injuries that led to physical impairment and chronic pain, Michael forged through his life with boundless humor—always quick with a joke and notorious for his pranks. He found peace, comfort, and spirituality in Native American culture and traditions. He built and participated in sweat lodges and was honored to partake in multiple Sun Dance ceremonies. Despite his large hands and famously crooked thumbs, he became an expert beader, creating beautiful, intricate work that he generously shared with those he cared for. He also enjoyed playing his windpipe.
One of Michael’s greatest achievements was maintaining his sobriety for over 35 years, which he attributes to the support he found within the rooms and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. He led a charmed life in many ways, supported by a family who loved him deeply throughout his ups and downs. He was truly a survivor with nine lives packed into his short time here on Earth.
Michael is preceded in death by his father, James (Jim) Daunt, his Native American “dad,” Louis (Lou) Redmond, and his elder sister, Janine Lascelles. He is survived by his mother Betty Daunt; sisters Kristine Blackman (Phillip) and Andrea Kidd (Dennis); brother-in-law John Lascelles; nieces Jenna Daunt, Jade Lascelles, and Veronica Kidd; nephew James Bo Kidd; great-nephew Aydin Gundogan; great-nieces Selma Gundogan and Leyla Gundogan; and dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Michael left this world surrounded by his loving family, listening to his favorite music (including Native American drum music). The family will hold a celebration of his life this summer. Fly high, Michael. Your family and friends miss you, but you are now liberated from all pain and are free as an eagle!
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Michael James Daunt
April 28, 2021
I have so many memories of Mike when he lived in Ormond Beach. Andrea and I would swim in their pool with Mike as he tortured us as young kids! But he was always a blast to be around. He will be missed for sure. Love to family and especially Noni. Love to all of you on this sad day. Dottie (aka) Dorfey.