OBITUARY

Michael David Fingard

July 8, 1974June 13, 2018

We mourn the premature passing in Marco of a wonderful and loving son, brother and uncle. Michael was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on July 8th, 1974 to Christine (Milledge) and David Fingard. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from Lawrence University, Appleton.

In his nearly 44 years on earth, his gentle soul and wicked sharp humor provided those who knew him immense joy! His fondest memories were time spent in nature. He loved to spend time by Lake Michigan having bonfires with friends. He enjoyed canoeing in the Boundary Waters with his family, backpacking with his sister through Glacier National Park, roaring down the mountain skiing in British Columbia, and singing songs on the chairlift back up. His love of nature extended to the smallest creatures. He would catch and release bugs found in the house, and stop to observe the beautiful details of everyday life.

In addition to his parents, Michael leaves behind his loving sister Angela Fingard, brother-in-law Jeremy Mauger, his niece Zoe and nephew Jacob, and an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins who will miss him dearly: Aunts Judith (Peter Burroughs) Fingard; Suzanne Milledge (Jay Abbass); Barbara Milledge (Cindy Sceviour); Mary Lynne (Hugh) MacKay; Judy (Bruce) Campbell; Uncles Eric (Barbara Doyle) and Kevin (Heather Cole); and cousins Clio, Sarah Lynne, Kevin, Elizabeth, Neil, Jennifer, Christine, Michael, Kimberly, Stephanie, Danica, Tessa and Haley. Predeceased by grandparents Irwin “Finny” and Susan (Hollett) Fingard, John and Margaret (Stanbury) Milledge, and Uncles Bob and Tony Milledge.

Michael loved and knew he was loved, the unflagging heroics of his parents and sister never failing him.

Celebration of life on Monday, June 18th at 3:00 PM, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1101 North Collier Blvd, Marco Island. In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to the “David Lawrence Center” in Naples, FL in memory of Michael Fingard. Donations can be made by mail to 6075 Bathey Lane Naples, FL 34116, or at https://davidlawrencecenter.org/get-involved/donate/

Services

  • Celebration of Life Monday, June 18, 2018
REMEMBERING

Michael David Fingard

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Johnny McMurtry

July 2, 2018

Dear Dave, Chris, and Angela,
I am so saddened by the news of your loss. My life was enriched beyond explanation by the generosity of your family. Angela and I met when I was attending Art School in Milwaukee. I became friends with Mike when I moved in to a house on Buffum Street where Mike got an apartment with the rest of us art school hooligans to occupy our new home. Mike lived in the apartment below me. Sometimes I would get home from one of my two jobs and wait on a hot summer day on his front stoop so we could talk about our week.
Chris, you gave me a third job tending your garden and whether you realize or not, spending money from the work. You always made me fell like a member of your family and when I got too hot in the garden you would magically appear with a diet coke and a salmon salad sandwich.
I remember fondly an afternoon when Mike and I took the family canoe with our friend Brian down to the beach. It was an awkward trip that involved three young men trying to get a really heavy canoe three blocks down stone steps to the beach.
We paddled out until we became nervous at the distance from the shore and decided to go back. This is when Brian thought it would be a good idea to take his shirt off and catch some rays. The three of us quickly went overboard as Brian dove down into the deep to rescue his favorite shirt. We spent the next hour kick-paddling the boat back to shore nervously fighting the rolling Great Lakes waves.
Back on the beach I remember Mike looking at me and smiling as Brian grumbled something under his breath.
Thank you Angela for our friendship! Thank you Dave and Chris for watching over me! Thank you Mike for giving me a perspective that will always be invaluable!
As I write this I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
-Johnny

Rick and Patti Sears

June 23, 2018

Dear Dave and Chris. I just heard from Patsy of Michael's passing. My deepest sympathies for your lose. Love ya, Rick and Patti.

Vicki Livingston

June 20, 2018

Sending loving thoughts to you all-- Chris, David, Angela and Jeremy. May you find comfort in the wonderful memories and knowledge that Michael is in a peaceful, loving place now. Our condolences and sympathy extending from Wisconsin to Marco Island. Love to you all...

Rick Smith

June 19, 2018

Dear Dave, Chris, and Angela,

My deepest sympathy to you on learning of Michael's passing. May he rest in peace, and may your grief filled hearts heal in the light of Michael's love. Rick

Jeremy Stadtmueller

June 19, 2018

As I have grown older I have realized that I tend to pick and maintain friends that bring me different ideas and have unique points of view. It is those difference that draw us closer as people and are my greatest source of personal growth. When the Fingards moved to Wisconsin and I met Mike I instantly felt that he had a new perspective to offer. It’s a little scary that the diversity I would get would be from a white kid from Canada.
I often recall nights with Mike playing games, from card games to the latest Nintendo challenges sent our way. Mike and I would spend hours in his room trying to beat Super Mario Brothers, we would chat and talk and strategize together. Mike was always supportive, he never criticized out of hand, but took ideas and supported them. He made me feel like I could be free to explore ideas without fear of ridicule. He challenged me subtly and effectively to think differently.
The Fingard family in general are an extremely supportive group. Point of fact, to this day I think I could confess all my fears, doubts and sins to Chris Fingard and she would make me feel better. I don’t want you all to believe it was all idyllic family experiences. There was many an occasion we had to banish Angela who had the audacity to try and participate in her older brother’s activities. Shame little sister, shame!
Mike and I fell out of touch as our priorities changed and diverged and he struggled with his demons. As I say goodbye to Mike I am proud to say that I am a better person for having known him. His light will continue to shine through those he met and loved.

Jeremy

Heather Hollett-Blank

June 18, 2018

I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love from Canada ❤️

Dawn Taylor

June 18, 2018

I remember when Michael came in for his interview at Bealls and I just knew he needed us therefore he became one of us. The team, especially the management staff just adored him and his witty sense of humor. There was not a thing we would ask him to do that he wouldn’t do and do well. You could always count on him. I remember one day he came in for his shift and we were both standing in front of the schedules and he handed me a frozen steak. I said what’s this? He said I want you to take this home and make it for dinner. So sweet... I learned a lot from Michael and his family during this difficult time both professionally and personally. I will take a piece of him through the rest of my career. Thank you Michael. My prayers are with your sweet amazing family.

Stephanie Klas

June 18, 2018

To my Canadian Family,

I am so sorry to hear that Mike has gone. Although I did not know him well, I think back of the time when my boys and I visited you in Marco. Mike played cribbage that afternoon, did magic tricks with us and joined us for supper. He graciously took the boys down to the pool to play with them and show them around. What a warm and thoughtful host he was! He will be greatly missed and you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Stephanie, Jim, Brandon and Hunter

James & Heike Warsh

June 18, 2018

Yesterday, Father’s Day, was a warm, humid day with a gentle breeze coming off a lake to keep things comfortable when we heard the sad news of your sons passing. We are sorry to hear of the loss of your son and wish to send you our condolences. May he Rest In Peace. Jim and Heike

Sarah MacKay

June 17, 2018

I was so sad to hear of Mike's passing. He was such a great guy - kind, gentle, and a deep soul.

I remember one time many years ago, the Fingard family was visiting us in Ottawa. I think we were in Gatineau Park - I was only about five or six at the time - and I remember Mike caught a garter snake. I was just so in awe of that. He was very gentle with it, he showed me how to touch it, and helped me see I didn't need to be afraid of it. He had a really good connection with animals.

Another time, my family was visiting Dave, Chris, Mike and Angela in Milwaukee one summer. I remember Mike was listening to music in his bedroom and he invited his kid cousin (me!) into the room to listen with him. That's when I was introduced to Pearl Jam for the first time. I still remember sitting crossed-legged on his bed with him and nodding along to the music.

He also wrote a beautiful poem, "Ode to the Mountain", that our grandmother kept framed in her home in Halifax. I used to read it every time I visited her.

The last time I saw Mike was about two and a half years ago, at my wedding. Prior to that, I hadn't seen him in a long time but he was feeling a lot better and he came to my wedding. I was so happy to have had the whole Fingard family at my wedding. What a blessing! It meant the world to me. Mike walked up to me after the ceremony and gave me such a warm hug and said, "Congratulations." I was so glad he was there.

Chris, Dave, and Angela, I'm so sorry for your loss and for what you're going through. Mike was extremely lucky to have had you his whole life long with your constant love, support, perseverance and encouragement. I love you all and I love Mike. I carry each of you in my heart.