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April 13, 2015, 2:32 PM  |  People

This Sunday friends and family of Gastowner Michael Nyuis gathered to remember his life and legacy.

Mike collapsed and passed-away last week while climbing on the North Shore with his wife Melissa. The news hit Gastown hard. The team at Gazette was devastated. Mike had been a good friend during a period of immense change and great challenges for our small business. He was a trusted confidant, a leader we looked up to, and someone you could pop in and chat with at any time. He was always gracious, kind, and ready with a smile that was meant just for you.

Mike had recently opened Alexander in Gastown with a group of close friends and his wife Melissa. Our team had worked with Mike, Melissa, Marlon, Aaron, Terry, Elmer, Kimani, David, and their team on Alexander’s opening and the launch of Gazette Magazine at the venue in January.

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From Gazette January 8th, 2015. “Gastowners – The Boys Behind Alexander Gastown” (Pictured from left to right, Michael Nyuis, Marlon J. English, Terry Chen and Kimani Ray Smith.) Photo by Ian Azariah

Throughout the preparations Mike was an absolute pleasure to work with. We all got to know him as a man committed to his work, his family, and friends. He also had a love of music and art. Even under great stress, he was always calm, fair, and compassionate.

It was a cosmopolitan group of family and friends who gathered at the Sutton Place Hotel ballroom for Mike’s Memorial Service on Sunday. The elegant and touching tributes cited Mike’s love of life and adventure as one of his key characteristics. It was clear Mike never feared life. He embraced the spirit of Mark Twain who famously wrote, “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

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Friends and family gathered at the Sutton Hotel ballroom Sunday to remember Michael Nyuis. The crowd overflowed from the ballroom into the corridors of the hotel. Photo by Mark Goodwin

At the conclusion of the ceremony friends and family made their way to Nelson Park where four doves were released by Mike’s Mom, Maureen, and his wife Melissa. The doves circled the park and allowed each person to project his or her memories of Mike upwards into the sky. After a few minutes the doves gathered their bearings and began their journey home to Abbotsford where Mike grew up.

Each person at Mike’s memorial was given a small tree sapling with a card that read: “Life is grand… I have much to reflect on and looking back on life I can truly say I had a great one so far… great friends, great times, and I truly feel loved by many… Is there any better way to gauge success? I think not. – Michael Nyuis, July 2012”

Mike Nyuis lived a very successful life by every measure. But his Memorial Service was a reminder that, yes, time flies. The relationships, love, and laughter we experience with each other does not last. It is fleeting, ethereal, and intensely precious.

Thank you for being a part of our lives Mike.

By Andy Patton

(A Memorial Fund has been created in Mike’s memory by Karri Schuermans.)

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Behind the scenes at Gazette’s Gastowners shoot in January. (Pictured from left to right, Michael Nyuis, Marlon J. English, Terry Chen and Kimani Ray Smith.) Photo by Dani Kremeniuk

 

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