Michael Joseph Kerrigan entered into eternal, peaceful sleep surrounded by his family on Dec. 15, 2018.
Michael Joseph Kerrigan
Michael Joseph Kerrigan entered into eternal, peaceful sleep surrounded by his family on Dec. 15, 2018. He passed away from heart failure due to a sudden illness at the young age of 39.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Kerrigan, their son, Ryan Stahler, both of North Port, his parents Chuck and Sally Kerrigan, his brother and sister-in-law Dan and Heather Kerrigan and their son Charlie, all of Pittsburgh, and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law John and Danielle Stahler and their daughter Kyleigh, of Bradenton. Mike was predeceased by his father-in-law and mother-in-law John and Deborah Stahler. He is survived by his aunts, uncles and cousins who dearly miss him, Frank Long of Tampa, Pam and Tom Maccani (Sam, Logan) of Shoreview, Minn., Bill and Beth Purcell, (Cassidy, Tyler) of Greenville, S.C.
“Mike and Kathy constantly told each other how much they loved each other. There is no doubt that they knew how the other felt.”
He entered this world eight weeks early, on June 16, 1979, weighing just 4 pounds 7 ½ ounces. He had a fighting spirit from the beginning and was able to go home after just two weeks in the NICU. Based on the difficulty that his parents had in getting him to eat as a child, it was a shock when he chose to go to culinary school and become a chef. When he was in elementary school, he disliked sandwiches, so for lunches, he would take bunless hot dogs in a thermos, along with raw vegetables that he bagged individually himself. He took the cheese off of his pizza and tore his hamburger bun down to match the burger, but he would eat sushi like it was going out of style. He also kept his parents on their toes, for he was an injury prone boy, with a yearly trip to the ER for some injury due to sports or his “misjudgments” while playing. He greatly enjoyed his annual vacations with his family to Arizona as a child where he loved spending his days in the pool. He was always very active as a child and enjoyed playing most sports, especially basketball and street hockey with his friends. He was a huge fan of all Pittsburgh’s sports teams. Whether it was for the Steelers, the Penguins or the Pirates, he “bled black and gold.”
A large portion of Mike’s childhood was spent learning karate at his father’s school and traveling for competition. He traveled all over the United States and to Panama to compete in both team and individual competitions, in which he won a number of gold medals. He earned his black belt when he was just 13 and his second-degree black belt when he was 17. He credited the discipline he learned from karate with helping to shape who he was as a man. He believed it taught him great respect for other people and cultures. This created his will to never give up. It also allowed him to have a close relationship with his father, which meant the world to him.
“He credited the discipline he learned from karate with helping to shape who he was as a man. He believed it taught him great respect for other people and cultures. This also gave him his will to never give up. It also allowed him to have a close relationship with his father, which meant the world to him.”
While working at his first job he developed a love for the chaos of the kitchen, so he was off to culinary school. He never missed a day of class and he went on to have a stellar career as a chef. He worked his way up until he became an executive chef in 2009, thriving in his roles in the kitchen and influencing many along the way. He helped to shape several of his employees over the years and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with those around him.
Mike first came to Florida for his culinary school internship at the Longboat Key Club in Sarasota. After a brief period back in Pittsburgh, Mike moved back to the Sarasota area to pursue his culinary career. In early 2010 he met Kathy, but he had already arranged to transfer to Buffalo, N.Y., to be closer to his family. After two whirlwind weeks, they were so madly in love that Kathy chose to move with Ryan to Buffalo to be with Mike and start their family. The two years they spent in Buffalo were both difficult and amazing and they solidified their family unit.
In 2012, they moved back to Florida and remained there since. The love Mike and Kathy shared will continue to support their family as they move forward. Mike and Kathy constantly told each other how much they loved each other. There is no doubt that they knew how the other felt. Often times they would discuss how lucky they were to have such an amazing relationship. Forever they will remain soul mates and best friends.
“He could not have been prouder of the young man he was raising. A piece of Mike will always live in Ryan as he journeys further into this world.”
Mike was an amazing father to Ryan, the most amazing part being that it was completely by choice. Ryan called Mike dad all on his own. He provided Ryan with the safe, secure environment he needed to grow up in this world. Whether it was helping him with his math homework, playing video games or helping Ryan with his football snaps in the front yard, they enjoyed their quality time together. He could not have been prouder of the young man he was raising. A piece of Mike will always live in Ryan as he journeys further into this world.
Mike was an amazing man with a heart of gold. He would do anything he could to help a friend and provided continual love and support to his family. He was a kind and gentle soul who touched the hearts of all those who knew him. His quick wit and his sense of humor will be terribly missed by so many. There are no words to express the sorrow of such a wonderful life cut too short. May you rest in peace, Mike. You will forever be in our hearts.
Celebration of Life,
At a Later Date