People talk about a passion for life. Michael embodied it. Whether he was defending a roadside elm from the county’s chainsaws (the tree still stands), swooping down the Fraser River in a helicopter shooting commercials for the Canadian Tourism Commission, or making his granddaughter giggle, Michael always cherished life, always dove right in, determined to relish every moment.
Michael often said he felt he’d lived forever. Yet he was so youthful and strong in his sixties he thought nothing of climbing onto the roof to fix it or snowshoeing across miles of white fields. His love of young people inspired students from all over the world to stay with us, laughing till they cried as they listened to his outrageous stories. Michael was nothing if not a master storyteller.
Bladder cancer took Michael by surprise in 2011. Nevertheless, he carried on, accepting radical treatment that altered his life. Within weeks of surgery he flew to Quadra Island in BC to meet his beautiful new granddaughter, Ione.
Two years later the same cancer took his life. Although Michael was painfully ill for seven months, his greatest frustration was his loss of energy. Michael’s energy used to fill the room, igniting everyone around him. His prodigious creativity flowed from it. Whether he was storytelling, ad making, cooking, poem writing, woodworking or gardening, Michael’s enthusiasm was uncontainable.
On Friday, May 17, 2013, Michael George Edwards of Lakefield, ON (formerly of Toronto, ON and born in Clayhanger, England) died at home surrounded by his family. He was 69. The prospect of death gave him just one fear: that he would miss the priceless moments of their lives.
Beloved husband, companion, colleague, creative director, partner, playmate, best friend, soulmate of Stephanie Richmond Edwards. Adored father, poppa, daddio, mentor, inspiration, friend, teacher, clown, hero of his four children, Sanchia Edwards (Blair Melton) of Toronto, ON, Rebecca Edwards of Edmonton, AB, Liam Edwards (Laura Feyrer) of Victoria, BC, and Zoe Edwards of Lakefield, ON. Dearly loved grandpa of Ione Mae Feyrer Edwards, Victoria, BC. Adored son of the late Lily (Alice) Edwards of Brownhills, England. Cherished younger brother, Mikey of ArpyMikey, and oldest friend of Arthur Edwards (Penny) of Brownhills, England. Loved and respected older brother of Pat DiGiacinto (Guido) of Teramo, Italy, Robert Edwards of Shelfield, England, Brian Edwards (Glenys) of Delta, BC, and Maria Smith (John) of Brownhills, England. And dear uncle of many wonderful nieces and nephews in England, Italy, BC, and Ontario.
Michael will be keenly missed by his family, and by his many friends, neighbours, clients and colleagues. He’ll be especially missed by Jim Ryan, his business partner of 24 years, and a dear, dear friend.
We would like to thank every angel who looked after Michael (and Stephanie…) in the Palliative Care Unit and Cancer Care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. The difference they made is beyond description. We also extend enormous, heartfelt thanks to Dr. Jennifer Gillis-Doyle and Jamie Flannigan, RPN, for making Michael’s final days as pain-free and precious as humanly possible. Those two were godsends.
Following Michael’s wishes, there will be no funeral, but a celebration of Michael’s life will take place in August. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. Michael requested that any donations in his memory be made to the YWCA Peterborough, Victoria & Haliburton or to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Thank you so much.