“If your nose runs and your feet smell, you’re built upside down”. A wacky yet fairly astute observation from a beautiful guy who lived his life inside out and upside down but always with compassion.
On Friday, February 1, 2019 at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Mike “Mikey” Lorriman passed away surrounded by family, love and light.
Mike was born in Windsor, ON, on February 25, 1950. Early in his life, Mike’s parents (Hugh and Helen Lorriman) moved the family to Montreal where he spent most of his childhood before settling in Toronto for his teenage years. A lover of nature and the outdoors, he enjoyed spending time at the family cottage in The Laurentians where he and his brothers would relish a cool dip in the lake after a hard day of work chopping wood or clearing brush. In high school, at Lawrence Park Collegiate, he excelled in sports and was on the football team and enjoyed skiing.
Trent University took Mike to Peterborough, where he met Arlene Cedilnik while both working at the Trent Inn. Mike and Arlene married and had two daughters, Amy and Kate. It was also in
Peterborough, while working at The Bookstore, that he discovered his lifelong love of books. Mike would always speak of books in a wistful way, as if they were his friends and allies in this life adventure of his and looked after each one with exacting care. First editions and antique or unique books held a special place in his heart and until the last few weeks of his life he could be found
regularly combing the racks of markets, random book stores and second hand stores searching for a diamond in the rough. He had an uncanny ability to absorb and then recall much of the interesting information he read in his books…and he read voraciously!
Mike held several different jobs, including a handyman (“Mike the Handyman” in fact), a trapper (it wasn’t unusual to hear scratching sounds coming from a trap in the back of his truck of a critter being lovingly relocated to a more suitable park habitat), a superintendent at an apartment building and finally, up until retirement, many years in the Lumber Yard at Home Depot.
A lover of music, he played piano as a child then later in life picked up the guitar and harmonica, which he would play energetically while stomping his foot and side smiling. You’d regularly hear jazz and blues belting out from his vinyl record player (he had an extensive record collection) or perhaps even Honkey Tonk if he was in the mood.
Although all this information is interesting and wonderful, what you really should know is who Mike was as a person. His warm, bright soul infused all who met him with a glow of love and kindness. He lived his life with an unimaginable wholeheartedness that was infectious. If you were in his presence you were likely smiling. He told “Dad jokes”, made up complicated puns and generally made you giggle, in spite of yourself. He had a very unique sense of humour, sometimes baffling, the punch-line might hit you much later…or sometimes not at all, but his authentic joy at telling you the joke and jolly delivery would be enough to make anyone crack a grin. That twinkle in his eye was a carefree, child-like perspective Mike had which inevitably explains his pure and authentic connection with his grandkids.
He made you feel seen. Every person he encountered responded to him. He was disarming, gentleand friendly. And he was kind; genuinely, authentically kind. If you wanted to make Mike happy, let him do something for you: help you move house, pick you up from the airport/a party/the bus stop, lend you money, take you to dinner, feed your cat/dog/guinea pig, water your plants, buy you a beer or just listen quietly to your woes. He exuded generosity and found joy in helping others, every day of his life.
He is sorely missed by his daughters Amy and Kate, his grandchildren Sophie, Sebastian, Oliver and Willem, his friend and ex-spouse Arlene and her family, sons-in-law Shane and Chris, brothers John and David, sister-in-law Pat, niece and nephew Anne-Marie (Chris) and Fraser, his many friends, neighbours and acquaintances and all his newly found family. Mike’s family would like to thank the wonderful service, care and compassion provided by Eldercare Home Health.
The silvery strands of love and kindness that connected us all to Mike will continue to bring us together with warmth, affection, tenderness and friendship.
If you wish to remember Mike, please consider donating to your favourite charity in his honour.
Celebration of Life
A celebration of Mike’s life will be held in Toronto in the spring. Details will be forthcoming closer to the date. If you wish to be notified by email of the details, please contact: