This page is dedicated to our son Michael who died at age 40 - We miss you Michael

His light still shines through all the people he had touched.

The year was 1986. It was fall. For some unknown reason, Marie and I headed to the Lakes AMC Movie Theaters for a midnight showing of a highly questionable B-grade horror flick, “Deadly Friend.” As always, the crowd was rowdy. Before the actual movie had started, a loud voice called out a wisecrack mocking a preview. It seemed that everyone but Marie and I laughed. It wasn’t that the crack wasn’t funny; it was that we KNEW that voice. That deep, gravelly, mocking voice. Spontaneously, Marie and I turned and called, “Azzi??” Mike didn’t miss a beat. He quickly answered, “MYLER?!?”  The theater was crowded, so sitting together wasn’t possible, but we did hang out afterwards and catch up – after all, we hadn’t been neighbors in 4 years, so our meetings were fewer and further between. I remember nothing of the movie but the title – but I’ve always remembered running into Mike, and how he could always get a room (or auditorium) of people to laugh.

Helen Beavers

Mike always had the best Halloween costumes. I especially liked him as the severed head on the banquet table.  Mike sitting in his lawn chair flying his kite for hours at a time  Eating watermelon from the garden  Playing board games with Mike (he always won)  Watching "Old Yeller" and trying not to be the one who cried first. (he won at that too)  Being held down on the black top at school by the boys in his class so he could kiss me. I think we were in 2nd grade  He gave my Mrs. Beasley doll a crew cut  Melting down my sisters' Barbie dolls in my easy bake oven (I helped with that one)  And last, but not least, he really did pee on my Raggedy Ann doll 

With fond memories,

Marie Myler Bohota

From Linda with love...

A Busy (40th B-day) Week       Julia's laptop just won't work. Neither will my cell. The air conditioner's gone berserk. Our big screen broke, as well. The headlight on my car burnt out. I’m pulling out my hair! Quite frequently, I want to shout, “Mike I KNOW you’re there!”

Michael's been gone for a month now. It's supposed to get easier, yet I still find myself tearing up at mysterious moments that seemingly have nothing to do with him. I am not sad for him, as my belief system holds that he's still around. I suppose I'm sad for myself and, of course, my friends. Because even though we can still talk to him, we can't hug him. He can no longer cook us dinner. He can't show us funny videos that he found online. He can't drag slot machines down the street. Although stories of his escapades will live on for ages, he can't make any more of them. And that just doesn't seem right. I was talking to a friend about it, today.  It reminded her of a quote from her grandmother. "Don't you DARE remember me with sorrow." Words to live by. Now, if we can just get my tear ducts to cooperate!

I considered Mike Azzi to be one of my best friends, as did a great many people. He was the best man in my wedding, (in more ways than one). He had a fever of 102 and yet he was still there, as he always was for all of his friends.  

Mike enjoyed playing games of all sorts. He also liked to gamble for the fun of it. He was good at it and he understood the games and calculated the risks. He had a natural ability for it and exceptional luck. As far as games are considered, I am the complete opposite. (If it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all). My fortune lies in my friendships. That is how I ended up in a casino one night with my friends. I had already lost the few dollars I came with. But Oz still had some money to play with so he sat down at this one machine and started putting $20 dollar bills in it like I play $1 dollars and with each one I saw disappear into that slot machine I flinched a little harder. I think Oz was feeling my discomfort at how he played the game humorous.

But that is how Oz lived his life, fully completely and without fear, that eventually it would pay off. Well he was right, the machine hit BING BING BING… It wasn’t a big pay off, he might have broken even if he had quit then. So I said in a loud frantic voice “CASH OUT, CASH OUT.” At this he laughed out loud, He said every pit boss in the place was going to come over to shut me up. At that point he pulled out a few more $20 and continued to play. It hit the jackpot BING BING BING BING BING BING. It did a little better than just break even, he couldn’t retire off of it but he could have fun with it another day.

That was Mike Azzi’s approach to his life, just like he played those games. He invested so much of his love into this world, and he has received so much love in return. In this life as in that game I just wished he had a few more TWENTIES in his pocket to spend with us. This time he had to cash out too soon.   

With much love and generosity for the love you gave to me,   

Debby Cassidy

You expect those in your life that have reached a certain age to eventually die. You DON'T expect your younger brother who is only 40 to just pass away with no warning. My brother was a total character....loved Disney stuff, always went for the laugh even in very stuffy situations. He was asked in school who wrote the Star Spangled Banner....his answer was Jimi Hendrix. Another time he was told to put three of his Spanish vocabulary words into a single sentence ....he comes up with "Mi muscalo de amore es muy largo." (my muscle of love is very large) This didn't go over very well and earned him a trip to the principles office. (damn but catholic high school had NO sense of humor) He has many many friends as well as his family who will miss him dearly! One last tip of my hat to the brother who drug his sis around 'trolling' (he smacked me with a towel and when I caught it and wouldn't let go he drug me around the house like a dust mop! To the guy who dumped lemonade down my shorts in a restaurant so in retaliation, I snuck in his room and froze ALL of his underwear! To the guy who never got enough credit for being the wonderful guy he was! YOU WILL BE MISSED WUFFY! I will be looking for you the next time around!

LOVE YOU! Annette

March 16, 1968 - May 27, 2008