Michael Andrew Dioguardi
(Mikey Dio), 67, ventured on to his Great Gig in the Sky on Tuesday, November 6, 2019 in Toms River, NJ surrounded by the love of adoring family. He was born June 19, 1952 in Marysville, CA to parents Donna and Rocky Dio—a coupla crazy kids in love. So in love they gave Mikey 6 siblings: Toni, Johnny, Ronnie, Nancy, Dede and Tina. (If you want the fancy stuff, it’s Marie Antoinette, John Walter, Ronald Dean, Nancy Rose Ann, Donna Marie and Christina.) The family moved a few times between California and New Jersey, finally settling in North Bergen, NJ.
What can be written in a few sentences about such a magnanimous figure? He saw the full scope of humanity in everyone he knew, and loved them wholly despite that fact. Likewise, he is indelible to the soul of anyone who encountered him. An unforgettable spirit, of lightness and shadows. Gregarious and hermetic in equal parts. He was an artist, first and foremost who lived his life creatively, and on his own terms. Whether being a graphic artist, business owner, chef, or a champion of sustainability, it was all him expressing love artistically. He was hilarious, sensitive, stubborn, generous, empathic, and complex. He was a hero. Perhaps his bravest moment was during the fire that destroyed the family home. As a 15 year old boy, he rescued his one month old sister by wrapping her in blankets and running through the fire, burning his ear. Our archangel, Michael.
He was a beautiful clown, as well. One summer family vacation comes to mind. There was Mike manning the grill, sporting a leopard speedo, a plastic lobster bib, and black dress socks pulled taut…WITH FLIP-FLOPS! There are countless stories like these about our Mikey. What a trip he was. He gave us all the elixir of his humor. His passion for music was infectious. He gave freely to all without prejudice. He had lifelong friendships: If you didn’t see or hear from him, you knew he carried you in his heart always—even when he struggled to carry himself. Let us all find comfort in knowing that now, without pain and suffering, he enters into the fullness of that love. And when you’re crying listening to Wish You Were Here… know that he is.
Michael will be missed dearly by 6 siblings, their beloved spouses, countless nieces, nephews, their significant others, cousins, friends, loves, strangers, and everyone’s pets.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his memory to: Garden State Episcopal CDC homeless shelter
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