Mike Leahy loved to laugh, cheer his sons, and care for 'the Port'

Mike Leahy, right, passed away last Friday after suffering a heart attack on Dec. 14. He is shown above with his wife, Pat. Photo courtesy Leahy family.

Mike Leahy was born and raised in Port Norfolk, Neponset. He was the youngest of Jim and Bridie Leahy's five sons. He was the little brother and dear friend of James of Neponset, Brian of Neponset, Gerard of South Boston and the late Dennis Leahy.

He attended Saint Ann School and Cathedral High School.

Throughout Mike's life, he kept close ties with many of his childhood friends like Mike Devine, Mike Bottari, Bobby Melchionda, Chuck Pasquale and many, many others, especially Kevin Roache, who served as the Best Man at Mike's wedding and is Godfather to Mike's oldest son, Dennis.

Michael Leahy was employed by the Massachusetts Port Authority where he had just recently earned a promotion. Mike really loved the hustle and bustle of the airport. His friendly demeanor and "can-do" attitude made him an eager diplomat to weary travelers and a helpful friend to co-workers.

Mike was a neighborhood activist, having served as president of the Port-Norfolk Civic Association for a number of years. He was a coach in the Cedar Grove Baseball League. Just recently, he was drafting friends and neighbors to form a Friends of Tenean Beach Committee and planning a clean-up day. He loved politics and was a great asset to the campaigns of local leaders such as Kevin White, Maureen Feeney, Martin Walsh and Jack Hart.

Mike Leahy loved people! Mike had the innate ability to make people laugh. People usually smiled when they saw Mike Leahy coming and he always seemed genuinely happy to see familiar faces, whether they were family members, childhood pals, or new acquaintances. In a time when life is increasingly busy, Mike always made time to pick up the phone and say hello and tell people he loved them.

He had a keen memory and loved to tell stories! Although local ball fields and parks served as the backdrop for many of his tales, Mike was also a seasoned traveler. He often ventured down to Florida to catch up with old pal Mike Crist and out to the West Coast to see childhood friend Billy Kennedy. In August, Mike Leahy organized a bus trip that took over fifty people from Dorchester to Yankee Stadium.

Back in September, Mike hosted a 50th Birthday party for his wife Pat (Langan), who is originally from Charlestown. He spent months planning the get-together. Mike was successful in not only tracking down hundreds of Pat's friends, co-workers and former classmates, but more impressively, in keeping the party a surprise!

While Mike thoroughly valued his position as a union member, uncle, friend, brother, and husband, it was being a Dad that was Michael Leahy's finest role.

Since his own father had passed away when he was just 13, Mike always made it his first priority to be at every game, practice, and school program. He was Dennis and Conor's coach, tutor, chauffeur, friend, and always, their number one fan.

When the boys were small, it was not uncommon to see Mike Leahy riding his bike along Day Boulevard in South Boston with a sleeping blond baby behind him. He put a lot of miles on the old double-stroller, once walking the boys over to the UMass-Boston campus where the trio of Leahy boys happened upon a front-and-center meeting with former President Bill Clinton. In more recent years, Mike and his boys became fervent movie-goers and enjoyed many, many trips to Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium together.

While at work on Dec.14, Michael Leahy suffered a massive heart attack. He passed away in the early morning hours of December 21, surrounded by his entire family. Words cannot express the void that is left by Michael Leahy's passing. In this lifetime, we will never know the answer to why this happened. So rather than futilely wrestling with the unknown, remember the only certainty that we have right now: Mike Leahy was the best, and no one loved life more than he did.

All the same, it is very hard to imagine life without seeing him picking up milk at Lil' Peach, getting the paper at Gerard's, watching the Dorchester Day Parade in front of Larry Keaney's, or cheering on the sidelines at Conor's football games.

Mike Leahy's spirit was so bright and it lit up the lives of so many that it can not be extinguished. Every time you help out in a campaign, coach a team, improve your neighborhood, speak up for what you believe in, tell a good story and love and protect those you love. Mike Leahy's light will shine on.

Mike Leahy will be waked at O'Connor's funeral home on Adams St. on Thursday, Dec. 27 from 4-8 p.m. His funeral Mass will be Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Ann's on Neponset Ave.

Ann McGough is a niece of Mike Leahy and a contributor to the Reporter. A wake for Mike Leahy will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27. A funeral Mass will be held at Saint Ann church on Neponset Ave. on Friday, Dec. 28 at 10 a.m.