Mikael Arvid Lawrence
09/17/1985 - 01/10/2020
Mikael “Mike” Lawrence, 34, passed away unexpectedly while driving to Snowbird Ski Resort for fresh powder on January 10, 2020. He was born September 17, 1985 in Murray, Utah to Eva Strandberg and Larry Lawrence.
Mike was a Utah native through and through. Most of his life was spent in Sandy, Utah in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. His childhood was full of playing sports and utilizing the unique outdoor opportunities enjoyed in Utah, especially fishing, camping, sledding and snowboarding. He excelled in baseball, football, golf, Junior Jazz basketball and soccer. And, he was quite the accomplished young musician playing the tuba (of course), violin and clarinet. He chose baseball and football as his priority sports as he grew older and never lost his love of fishing and all snow related activities. Mike always achieved scholastic accolades through high school. Mike became an Eagle scout by the time he was 15 years old. At age 16 he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy over the Christmas holidays in 2001. He had just completed an undefeated sophomore football season at Skyline High School and was attending an advanced winter baseball clinic at the University of Utah. In a span of three weeks he had to accept the fact that he needed a heart transplant to survive. Not surprising, Mike displayed his normal happy, positive attitude and actually carried his family through this total change of normal life.
His transplant was performed on February 3rd, 2002, Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl became a special celebratory event through 2019, and Mike fully intended to enjoy the 2020 Super Bowl. Following his transplant Mike was very active with Intermountain Donor Services seeking volunteers to sign up as organ donors. Mike had several successful outings in the US Transplant Olympics, recently held in Salt Lake City, winning more than a dozen gold, silver and bronze medals. Mike enjoyed a long relationship with his donor Father and Mother from Las Vegas. Chris Klug, US Winter Olympics snowboard medalist in the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics, visited Mike at Primary Children’s Hospital shortly after his surgery. Chris was a liver transplant survivor and Olympic champion. The influence of Chris guided Mike into a new love of snowboarding that he never relinquished. His life gravitated into a love of our Snowbird mountain area. He became a part of the Snowbird staff for many years, excelling at the Aerie and Steak Pit fine dining restaurants. Mike enjoyed many friendships at Snowbird, but became especially attached to his Tram Club family. He was introduced to the comradery of coed softball with the Tram Club and planned his time when the slopes closed to play, and ultimately coach, the softball team. He was so proud when someone would greet him as “coach” either on the slopes or in public. Other than his boarding, time with the softball team was a precious experience for him. His final fine dining employment was with Francks restaurant in Holladay, Utah. The working relationship at Francks became his most loyal family experience outside of his personal family. The desire to get back to work with his Francks family mostly carried him through some difficult medical issues he experienced prior to his passing. While he was aware of the need for a 2nd heart transplant at the time of his death, all marveled at the physical condition he had developed in preparation to finding a second donor. His final year of life was as fulfilling as one could imagine with boarding, softball, river rafting, golf, gambling trips to Las Vegas, Zion National Park hiking, concerts and working with his Francks family consuming his time.
Mikael is survived by his father Larry, sister Jaimie, brother David, sister-in-law Sunni, nephew Dylan, niece Sophia and nephew Elijah. His mother, Eva and sister, Kristina preceded him in death.
All are invited to attend a celebration of his remarkable life. In Mike’s typical style, UTE or Dallas Cowboy attire is encouraged, or of course boarding attire as desired. If you have a small memento you wish to leave with Mike you are welcome to bring it to the viewing. Mike’s remarkable love of his life, Lily “The Hammer“ will be at the ceremony to ensure maximum efforts for his celebration of life are followed.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, January 17, 2020 at Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary, 1950 E. Dimple Dell Road (10600 S.) in Sandy beginning at 3PM. A viewing will be held prior to services at the mortuary starting at 1PM.