Passed away peacefully at the Bayview Centre, Pointe Claire, May 13, 2020. Michael was the much loved son of the late William Carley and Margaret Connolly, the friend and loving husband of Beverly Smith for more than fifty-seven years and the proud father of Susan (Jim Thorne) and Michael John (Jessica Parrish). His grandchildren, Carley and Cate Thorne, filled his last years with pride and wonder and amazement. Michael was the loving brother of Moira, Brenda and Brian and the late Peggy, John, Willie and Eileen. Uncle Michael’s gentle presence and humour will be missed by many nieces and nephews.
Gifted with curiosity, intelligence and a rich sense of humour, Michael shared these gifts as an educator, a gardener, a hockey player, and a creative video artist. He was kind and gracious and fondly remembered by those friends he worked and laughed and played with. He was proud of his Irish heritage and thoroughly researched both the living conditions of our ancestors in Ireland and our parents’ experience as they settled in Verdun, Quebec in 1924. The history of Margaret and William’s family of eight children that Michael gathered for us is shared today with their 21 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.
We are grateful to the Third Floor Nursing and Medical staff at the Bayview Centre for the kindness and compassionate care he received. A memorial service celebrating Michael Carley’s life, love, and death will take place at a later date.
“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.” W.B. Yeats
Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Voluntas (514-695-7979, voluntas.ca).
Carmen and Terry QuinnMay 15, 2020 at 10:41 am
Mike my friend,
What was a great friendship has now come to an end. Unfortunately we have no control over what obstacles life presents us.
Carmen and I will not forget you. We will remember all the good times, dining out, community dances and your sense of humor. I will especially keep fond thoughts of you always being available to help with my many house improvement projects, the hockey games we played together, you and I being amongst the 2 most talent challenged golfers and all the fishing trips that always brought many laughs, pretty good food and alcohol, and varying degrees of successful catches.
Rest comfortably, Michael.
Mary CondieMay 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm
Uncle Michael was very special to all of us. He would always make us laugh with his amazing sense of humour .My mother would look forward to him and Bobbie visiting her every Sunday. Rest In Peace . You will be missed .
Susan CarleyMay 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm
My whole life people commented to me how funny and entertaining my father was (boy did he love to tell a great story!). I will remember him a little differently. He could be a quiet observer at times. Too many times to mention he would( without being asked) fix something in my home and surprise me at the end of a long hard day. When I was 16 he was showing the whole family plans for the bureaus that he was going to make. I looked at them and said casually” Can you make me that armoire one day?” Ten years later he presented that Armoire to me as a wedding present. I was overwhelmed, speechless and brought to tears. He listened to me, he really listened and he remembered. I could always depend on him to rescue me time and time again from myself. And he believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself (actually especially when I didn’t believe in myself). Then there is my dad as a Grandfather. He spoiled my kids rotten. He choreographed dance numbers to do with them while singing along, he built them death defying snow slides in the backyard in the winter and set up the slip and slide at just the right angle for speed in the summer. He spent many hours playing with them and could even make getting a toy off our roof and adventure. All these memories make me smile and will live on through myself, Jim, Carley and Catie.
Julie IafrateMay 19, 2020 at 11:41 am
Hi Susan, I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your dear father. Reading about him really moved me. You will always have these special memories to cherish and they will help you get through some of the tough times that will follow. Wishing you and your family strength and comfort during this time.
Susan CarleyMay 20, 2020 at 9:35 am
Thank you Julie. It was because of my talk with you in January, that I took that leave of absence. Those months that I spent hours everyday alone with him have made dealing with this a little easier. So I know I have said this before but “Thank you”
Carley ThorneMay 15, 2020 at 6:27 pm
Grandad was one of my first (and best) playmates. I will always remember him as I did then, an adult that wasn’t afraid to sing, dance, play, and get a little dangerous. Even then he wasn’t afraid to give into that child’s intuition, which meant every day we spent together was filled with screams of horror and laughter, usually in that order. He taught me that slip-n-slides could always be a little faster, tomatoes could always be a little bigger, and goodbyes could always be a little longer. I am grateful for a lot of things in my life, but the two that stand out right now are the fact that I got to spend so many years with my granddad, and the fact that I get to carry his name with me for the rest of my life. When I was little, we would constantly dance to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, so whenever I think of my granddad I always think of the lyric “good times never seemed so good”. We had some good times together, and they always seemed so good.
Catherine ThorneMay 15, 2020 at 8:30 pm
My grandfather always knew how to make a good thing so much better. Whether it be constructing toboggan runs that my sister and I would ride for hours, or letting me “fish” in his birdbath or making us a custom bagel cutter or posting beautiful videos about me and my family. Grandad was always there to give me a carrot, fresh from the garden, or to see me in countless school shows. No matter what, he made me feel important. Some of the videos he took of me are still up on youtube and it means the world to me to be able to watch them and know that he was proud of whatever I did. My grandfather was always there whenever someone needed anything from a cage to keep the squirrels out of your garden or just someone to listen. Whenever I think of Grandad I will think of that person who was so selfless, who dropped everything to make me feel special and who loved me so much. I am so grateful to have shared this time with him.
Jim ThorneMay 15, 2020 at 9:32 pm
The saying goes, the most precious gift that anyone can give is his time. Family is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Michael over the years set an example for all of us on what giving, caring, and the importance of strong family connections mean in life. The void Michael leaves could never be filled. But the memories we have of him will always be with us. Jim Croce one of Michael favourite singers wrote “after all its what we’ve done that makes us what we are” these words describe how Michael lives his life to a “T”.
Cathy and Yves SimardMay 16, 2020 at 8:25 am
Michael was a great guy and a gentleman as well as having an excellent sense of humour. R.I.P. Michael
Fátima FariaMay 16, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Our sincere condolences to the falimy. I have fond memories of Michael with his great sense of humour, and always a gentleman. Rest in peace.
Beverley CarleyMay 17, 2020 at 6:13 pm
Thank you Fatima, I really appreciate your reaching out to us.
Beverley CarleyMay 16, 2020 at 8:35 pm
My Dearest Michael, it’s been 57 years of learning, loving, working together and laughing together. You were who I depended on to fix everything, whether it was a broken pipe, or an upset child.
Susan and Michael John, you remember your pride and joy. The older they got, the prouder you were of the people they became.
I took such joy in the last 20 years when you decided to join your grandchildren in the quest to just have fun. No discipline just fun stuff with them.
You indulged my whims and showed you loved me everyday. I still look for you. I miss you and surely always will. Remembering the laughter softens the pain.
Charles JeannotteMay 18, 2020 at 8:43 pm
I shared many moments with Michael through the years, as a teacher, as a consultant, playing hockey, lunches together, then after work having a beer when he could always take and defend the opposite position. Mike was an original, a sense of humour without compare. I’ve lost a good friend. Rest in peace, mon ami!
Joan O’GradyMay 18, 2020 at 10:31 pm
Carley I’m sorry for your loss of your father at this time. Please know he and your family are in my prayers.
Prayers and Blessings be upon you and your family love always Joan O’Grady
Jessica ParishMay 19, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Thank you for welcoming me into your family, and for the warmth, generosity, and inquisitiveness you offered every time we met. I remember the way you squeezed my hand at your 50th wedding anniversary: you were so happy, and also so genuinely bashful and overwhelmed that so many people had gathered to celebrate you and Bobby and your life together. I was deeply moved by this gesture and I am so grateful that I was able to be present for such an important milestone in your life. In the grand scheme of things we didn’t know each other for very long – it has been just under a decade since I met your son, Michael. But I know that I will often be reminded of you in the years and decades to come, for he has inherited not only your name and physical characteristics, but also your playful sense of humour and gift for storytelling. I thank you and Beverly for raising such a lovely human into the world, and I hope that you rest peacefully in the knowledge of a life well lived.
beverley carleyMay 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm
Jessica that was beautiful, he just adored you and you gentle manner toward him, especially in these last few years.
Joan Montgomery-RoseMay 19, 2020 at 11:53 pm
Sue… so sorry to hear about your dad. Sounds like you share many of his gifts. Please accept my prayers and thoughts for your family and especially for you at this difficult time my dear. luv
Chantal GagnéMay 21, 2020 at 1:52 pm
It was with great sorrow that I learned of the death of Michael. Michael was a mentor to me, a lunchtime companion in conversation about culture, history and politics. He will not leave my mind.