Remembering Michael David Lay

   Everyone who met Mike, knows what a personality he was. His humor was in direct relation to his wit and intelligence. His fondness of animals a measure of how big his heart was. If you had a connection with Michael, it was life long. So of course it come as a shocking discovery to log on to Facebook and find a few messages stating that Mike had passed. My first impression other than disbelief, was that if it could happen to him, it could happen to me. Losing someone like Michael really brings in to focus the importance of your relations with others. Not just those people you see everyday, but also those whom you actually want included in your life.

Michael David Lay 03/12/1969 ~ 01/01/2014

Michael David Lay
03/12/1969 ~ 01/01/2014

Mike had contacted me last year, and we talked on the phone for a few minutes. He tried to encourage me to meet up, but as much as I desired to do so, my day to day stuff took precedent, so it just didn’t happen. I guess, we all may have a serious misconception that there will be adequate time in the future for such occasions. The last time I recall seeing Mike was when I stopped by his home on McCullough Road late one night, what year that was escapes me, but I do remember how it was like we hadn’t had an interval of time apart. That is the kind of man he was, always a friend. We hung out that night talking about strobes and lighting ratios, drinking espresso and then eventually wine. And I can imagine that I left there glad for the time well spent.

I was introduced to Mike by Jeff Cox through my Sophomore Drama class in High School, and although I didn’t achieve much from that experience, I can honestly say that getting to know Michael has left an influence on me to this day. He introduced me to photography and it was a passion for me as much then as it continues to be now. Many of my fondest memories I have are those numerous times of assisting him on a shoot and us then staying up all night in the darkroom, processing the images. I remember how we once called it quits for the night, about five o’clock in the morning and he slipped off to bed and I fell asleep on the couch. It must have been around 10 am when I woke up, went to his room and found he and Moose sleeping side by side, on that small twin mattress, with Moose taking up most of the bed. Scattered all about them, could be seen legs and tails of so many other dogs. That was when I truly realized how deeply he loved those animals. I think at that time he had seven dogs.

Mike wasn’t afraid to take chances. Such as the time he drove his small truck through construction barricades, and very nearly demolished that vehicle. But somehow, he thought in his own cracked way, that it would be a fun thing to do, bashed in head aside. And then there was November 25, 1993.  In the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day. We had made prior plans that he would be there with my wife and I, when our first child was born. I tried unrelentingly to reach him, only to find out from Jeff that he had parked himself on the railroad tracks. Not many people survive an incident such as that, but Mike did. I guess you can’t really say you’re living unless you put all your cards on the table now and again. I’ve had a few such moments, but they were beyond my control, Mike was more courageous than I, that or just more crazy.

When Michael wasn’t busily employing himself as a Stuntman, He earned an Anthropological Degree from The University of British Columbia and achieved impressive success in the very competitive field of Information Technologies. His expertise provided for an outstanding eighteen year performance record as an IT Architect/Analyst/Administrator/Consultant, for several very large Corporations. But Michaels’ long time goal was humanitarian work in International Aid of some sort. He did work in a State level social services agency managing computer systems for Food Stamps, Welfare and Medicaid, but I believe his genuine interests were focused on an international realm.

Tragically, Michael did not yet realize the dream, regardless of his capabilities.

Once, while we were attempting to clean his room, he instructed me to take a seat. He took a hurricane lamp from the window sill, then lit it and placed it in front of me and told me to “contemplate the flame”. I was like “what ever, Laughing Boy“, but he insisted stating how he just saw something, that gave him an idea. I finally obliged, while he grabbed his camera, and the result was this image of me.

121591 MDL_Self

I can only assume that his intention was to give me something for helping him, it is still a significant image and it means even more to me now that he is gone.

I’m certain Michael impacted literally hundreds of lives. Those who knew him will miss his presence, but we are all a bit richer for sharing his company. Even though it has been many years since I’ve  seen him last, I will continue to cherish the time we spent as friends. And Mike, I’ll add an extra candle to my birthday cake every year, in remembrance of you… (Mike was only about 12 hours older than myself).
Until we meet again… Vaya con Dios mi amigo

Please help Wanda with the expenses of laying her beloved son, Michael, to rest. – See more at:


~ by myVelleity on January 5, 2014.

7 Responses to “Remembering Michael David Lay”

  1. That’s a very heart felt tribute Scott. I knew Mike only a little bit, we were in drama class together also. I remember him as positive enthusiastic person. One summer while still in highschool, I saw him again at Brackenridge Park. He was on a bike (I can’t remember if it was a motorcycle or a bicycle) with a girl and they were laughing and having fun. He saw me and said hi to me. I remember admiring how he was out and about enjoying life.

  2. I haven’t seen Michael since high school (we were also in theatre class at Mac) and he opened me up to many life experiences. I moved away at the end of the school year for a semester in Germany and didn’t ever go back to Texas but he is certainly someone who I thought about many times over the years and have retold a few stories of our adventures together. Not too long ago I found a note he wrote me that I cherished enough to save. He is one person who so impacted many lives and his loss on the planet is a great loss to all those he knew.

    • Thank you for your comment Bethany, and keep on recounting those stories! Michael still has a presence amongst us, as long as we continue to share the many ways he touched each of our lives. He will live on in our hearts forever…
      Peace be with you.

      • Dear Reader:
        If there are any stories you would like to relate about Michael , please take a few moments and do so here in the Comments.
        There are many people around the globe, who won’t be able to attend his Memorial Service, and that might like to know more about him.

  3. Sorry for the loss of your friend, Scott.

  4. Today he would be 45. I am glad he had so many people who loved him in his life.

  5. Hi Scott- I don’t remember if we ever met. In any case, I was the one who took that photo and I am just broken hearted to find out about Michael. I’d sent a friend request on FB about a year ago and never heard back for obvious reasons… We were very close for a while a long time ago but he’s never left my heart. Could you email me? I’ve been in europe the last 20 years and I’ve lost touch with so many people…I would really like to know what happened to Michael. What memories are flooding back… all the best to you, Jill

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