Michael Azzi’s kindness touched all of our lives. But, I am a BIT concerned about his wicked sense of humor, now
that he may be able to play tricks on all of us simultaneously. He’ll probably be busy adding color to the other side,
now, heckling the harp players. But, I’m sure he’ll still make time to help Daphne find another job, unplug my dust
buster, and hide all of your remote controls. Because he knows that we miss him already. We love you, Mike! Now,
in the words of a wise man named Terry, “Go that way (both hands pointing upwards) !”
When that happens, I will try to stop crying or cussing long enough to appreciate the bittersweet memories. I will pause and think of my mischievous friend Michael, who probably helped guide me to that movie, web site, or song…or broke my computer…just to say, “hi!”
Now, as we go our separate ways, we’ll all have moments when we see movies or web sites that Michael would have loved and catch ourselves picking up the phone to call him. We’ll hear songs that make us think of him. Our computers will act up in the strangest ways, just to taunt us, because he’s not around to come to the rescue.
think he would change a thing. His life was short, but he didn’t back down and he didn’t waste a minute of it. Whether he was bringing the Looney Tunas together for Christmas, brewing a new beer, or whisking his dream girl off on a surprise vacation, he sucked the bone marrow out of life. He was a photographer, a husband, a son, a comedian, a movie reviewer, a handyman, a chauffeur, a music lover, a tortoise whisperer, a web site designer, an organizational hub, an event planner, a gardener, a genius, a gentleman, and the life of the party. He packed an incredible number of adventures and life experiences into his 40 years. And, in a sense, he did bring hats back, by wearing so many of them.
Those who knew Michael well know that he had a stubborn streak. A while back, he was told by a doctor that, if he refused to have a certain operation, he would die. Mike didn’t want the procedure. So, he gave himself a “virtual surgery.” Using a Sharpie, he drew stitches along the would-be incision line. He decided that he had the will power to control his own health problems. Michael didn’t want an invasive operation to buy him an extended warranty. He wanted to live his life on his own terms. And he did. Despite the way that things played out, I don’t
Oz placed great value on friendship. His parties are legendary. But, beyond that, friends were welcome to stop by unannounced, if they happened to be passing by. If you tried that in my neighborhood, you’d probably be shot. But, Mike would cook you dinner. And if he happened to be visiting your place, he could fix the clothes dryer, retrieve lost data from your computer, and return to his seat before dinner was served. Generally a man of integrity, he’d even lie and say it was delicious if you served burnt fish sticks. Or so I’m told.
Daphne and Michael shared the kind of love story that most people will only see in the movies. A true romantic, Michael would do anything to make Daphne smile. It was usually pretty easy. He just had to walk into the room. Every girl wants her best friend to find a soul mate. Michael made me very happy, too, because thirteen years into their marriage, he could still make Daphne’s eyes light up. It was mutual. Their relationship inspired everyone. It still does.
After high school, we lost touch for some time. I assumed he spent most of it studying gourmet cooking, becoming a ninja, and reading books on the kama sutra. Because when he ran into Daphne at The Improv, after her divorce, he was ready…and she didn’t stand a chance.
Michael was never afraid to stand out in a crowd. In high school, where we met, he was already a funny, honest, intelligent non-conformist. Like me, he wanted to bring hats back into style. It didn’t work, but you can’t say we didn’t try! He had creativity and chutzpah to spare. He also had a crush on Daphne. She was taken, but he was patient.
Gravesite Eulogy given by Linda Lieberman
Michael Azzi was the duct tape that held our group together. Looking around at the amazingly colorful circle of friends and family that have come from all over to pay their respects, one can’t help but notice that this isn’t the typical service. People driving past the cemetery might look out the window at the way we’re dressed and wonder if we’re lost. Some of us are. But, Michael wasn’t.
Three shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. 1-2-5 no three sir....
March 16, 1968 - May 27, 2008