MADISON – Michael A. Toner, 79, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 26, 2021, with his family by his side.
He was born April 2, 1942 to Judge John and Lily (Bender) Toner in Cleveland, Ohio.
Mike is survived by his wife, Janet; children, Patrick (Mary) and Megan (Michael); grandchildren, Joseph, Lily and Daniel; and his brothers, Timothy, Robert, John (Andrea), Joseph (Lainey) and James.
His parents died before him; and her sister, Kathleen (Alex) Orban.
Mike’s heart was as big as his laughter, his generosity was immeasurable, and his personality and quick wit was unlike any other. Mike’s stories were the best you’ve ever heard, some we can’t repeat, but you can imagine anything. If you knew him, you have experienced it all … What laughs and good times shared!
Mike worked as a telecommunications administrator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State of Wisconsin for over 30 years. Notable professional accomplishments include leading telephone and paging system installation for UW Health’s 505-bed teaching hospital, leading the implementation of distance learning network for universities UW System and Video Prisoner Charging System for the State of Wisconsin. Mike was also president of the Association of College and University Telecommunications Administrators (ACUTA).
He had many hobbies including carpentry and woodworking, photography, repairing small engines, and perfecting the art of making the best prime rib roast in the world. Mike was also an avid reader of history books, biographies, political and detective novels. He was known to read several books at one time. Mike was also a lifelong auto racing enthusiast, serving as a volunteer Track Safety Attendant for over 40 years for the Sports Car Club of America. He has spent many spring and summer weekends traveling at racetracks in the United States and around the world, to places like Brazil, Canada, Japan and Australia, helping to keep safety. racing car drivers. Mike was highly regarded by his track safety peers and racing drivers for his dedication and professionalism to the sport. He proudly passed on his taste for motorsport to his son and grandsons.
Mike adored his grandchildren and couldn’t wait to cheer them on at their various sporting events, school recitals and concerts, helping them start coin collections, buying them the Christmas present they wanted the most this year, leaving them driving and driving the lawn mower with him, telling them silly jokes, teaching them valuable life lessons and sharing with them the love of his country. He was a larger than life character to his grandchildren, and they are still grateful to have âGrandpa Mikeâ in their lives.
Following his retirement in 2007, Mike embraced his new profession as a self-proclaimed leisure time expert. He and Janet have explored the world, traveling to Alaska, Austria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, at the Panama Canal, Poland, Spain and the Vatican. They also spent many winters in Hawaii, exploring the islands and made good friends at the Kona Tiki hotel on the Big Island. Still true to their Midwestern roots, Mike and Janet enjoyed the Special Hotdog and Diet Coke lunch at Kona Costco several times a week. Still $ 1.50 in Hawaii too …
Mike graduated from Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland and received his BA in Business Administration from the University of Dayton and an MBA from Edgewood College in Madison. He made long-standing friendships in Dayton and was fortunate enough to visit his good friends at college just weeks before his death.
A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Mike’s Life will be held at BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH, 2116 Hollister Ave., Madison, at 11:00 am on Friday, September 24, 2021. Visitations will be held at the church from 10:30 am until early days. . of the Friday mass.
Over the next few months, some of Mike’s ashes will be scattered around the places he loved the most, including Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and Kona, Hawaii.
Thank you all for contacting Mike after his cancer diagnosis in May. He knew his time was running out and made the most of the days he had left. Mike appreciated your kindness and loved you all very much. Know that he came out peacefully, painlessly and on his own terms.
Finally, when you think of Mike’s passing, he wants you to laugh more than cry and smile more than frown. Better yet, Mike would like you to laugh and smile as you toast your favorite drink in his honor.
Memories can be made at the primary school of the Blessed Sacrament. Online condolences can be presented at www.gundersonfh.com.
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