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IMG_7813On November 2, Mike wrote in his blog, “Some day soon I expect to do something great.” He was right.

On Tuesday, January 21, Mike won. He ended his 8-year fight with cancer and left us a life lived with passion, incomparable courage, unending optimism, love, and laughter to the very last minute.

But not before he finished a book,
Inspired many, taught us all a thing or two

Told his wife all that needs to be told and squeezed a lifetime full of love into his daughter’s hand.

No stone unturned, no treatment untried

He didn’t leave us in spirit, ever. And not with a quote from Plato or a Biblical verse, but more like a line from familiar song:
“…good times never seemed so good….” and/or “Don’t stop believing….”

But mostly he left us this:

Everything you need is right in front of you.
Go ahead, sweat the small stuff, but you can’t control it and it doesn’t really matter.

Here’s what does.
Friends, family, the perfect cup of coffee, a good Cabernet, a great burger, all preferably in front of a game.

So go ahead, kiss your nearest and dearest, pat the dog, and root for the Red Sox and the Giants. Just don’t take any of it for granted or too seriously. Enjoy your life, just like Mike did, everyday.

A memorial service and celebration of Mike’s life will be held in Los Altos, CA in February. A date will follow soon.




18 Responses to “ “Mike”

  1. Siobhan says:

    Dear Jen, Charlotte, Joyce, Dennis, Shannon and the rest of Michael’s Family,

    There are no words so I will not try to find them. There is only the “breathe, step, breathe, step” of grief, of loss, of missing someone you love. Of missing Michael. Of a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend who should still be here – but is not. It almost seems as if the world should stop for a moment, as if everyone scurrying about getting their Starbucks and reading their papers and smiling their smiles should freeze and take a moment to understand the profound loss that has occurred. Yet life goes on. We breathe in. We breathe out. Our hearts pump – although we can almost feel them beat a bit slower with the force of such a staggering break. Somehow life does go on. And, with lovely, beloved Charlotte – the piece of her daddy’s heart that he left here on earth – Michael lives on too. He was one of the best! I will miss him too. So many times I’ve come to this blog to read his humor, his poignancy, his take on life with cancer of the stage iv variety. I’ve got it too. It’s a beast. But Michael’s love, strength, humor and kindness always shone through on these pages. And the beast seemed more tame because of him. Thank you Michael for inviting the beast in for a spell. To sit with us all, have a cup of coffee (or an savory, expensive red, if it’s past that hour) and show us that even in the midst of cancer there is joy and love and many, many dear friends and family. He who collects the most, wins. Michael won. He definitely won!


  2. Constance Sharpe says:

    Dougherty’s-you are in my thoughts & prayers.

  3. Jan Irons says:

    RIP warrior cousin!

  4. Linda Lydon says:

    Love and Prayers!

  5. Bonnie Fredricks says:

    Dear Jennie and Charlotte…Ray and I are so sorry to hear about Mike. Words can’t convey how sad we are for your loss. We send you our biggest strongest hugs…you are in our hearts.
    xoxo Bonnie and Ray

  6. Mary Schrady says:

    Our daughter-in-law, Cheryl Schrady, just emailed me of Mike’s untimely death. All of the Schrady family will keep you in our prayers and hearts during this time. Mike certainly was the largest fighter known to man and will always be around if only in spirit.
    God bless Jen and Charlotte.
    Mary and Dave Schrady
    (Peter’s mom and dad!)

  7. Jonathan Finn says:

    It’s not the number of years you have, but what you do with the time that you’re given. What an amazing example of living and loving. I’m in awe.

  8. Jennifer Grannis says:

    Heartfelt condolences to Mike’s family,
    he was a lovely fella… I hope that you may find solace in memories of happier times, and in the knowledge that Mike’s love is with you always.

  9. Laura Henderson says:

    Beautifully written!

  10. Sarah says:

    Michael, I’ve read your blog ever since you started it. You fight well and have a great attitude. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Please continue to make your presence felt and known. And peace be with you and yours. xoxoxo

  11. Elizabeth Childers says:

    How fortunate we were to share Mike’s courageous journey through his blog. He was an inspiration and example to us all. We are holding Jennie and Charlotte and everyone who loved him in our prayers.

  12. Susan Wayne says:

    Jennie – May you be surrounded by love and peace at this tender time. May you know Mike’s presence and “touch.” Please know you continue to be in my prayers. Sending you light , and I’m sure Mike is bathed in it and bathing you too. Much love, Susan

  13. Carine Stouffer says:

    You touched so many lives with your wisdom, positive attitude & infectious laughter. You will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  14. Janine Karras says:

    When I think of you it will always be your smile, your laugh, and your strength that will resonate. Prayers of peace for you family and friends.

  15. David Allen says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. I knew him when he was in San Francisco, through Pete Schrady and Steve Scofield. We had some fun times back then, and Mike’s smile was the same back then as it is in many if not all of his current blog pictures.

    I believe that Jennie and ultimately Charlotte’s presence and love kept Mike going. He had a indomitable hope along with a tenacious zest for life that is quite unique. I have re-read many old blog posts, and they are filled with Mike’s spirit and passion, and hopefully we can all learn something from his actions and the way he lived and fought so very hard.

    M Dougherty will be missed but not forgotten!

  16. John Beyer says:

    Thank you, Mike… for doing it right.

    I am so saddened by the hardship of your journey on you and your family. Yet, inspired and a believer in you and your way. I just heard about your passing and send my love to your family. I wasn’t aware of your illness. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are and will remain an inspiration to me.
    With love,
    John Beyer Awalt/MVHS ’82

  17. Bob Tramo says:

    Words can neither express my sorrow at Mike’s passing nor the level of my sympathy for Charlotte and Jennie. Deepest condolences, too for Mike’s family and closest friends, all of whom were sensational during his long battle.

    Mike was inspirational, graceful and courageous – I am lucky to have known him and will miss him. He is also proof that a man needn’t be famous to be great. Rest in peace, Mike; God’s perpetual light surely shines upon you.

    Love is immortal.

  18. Michele Waters-Suro says:

    Dear Kokie & Dougherty Family,
    I just heard about loving Michael. I’m so sad. I’ve read his blog intermittently over the years, and let me say, there is no one finer. What a wonderful man. I know you will miss him but he will still be in your life. Forever in spirit he will be there. Sending my prayers & blessings.
    Love, Michele Waters-Suro

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