Photos and blog post by John Hoff
Mike was found dead in his home after being out of touch with friends for a few days. A news article that ran in his home town of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, click here, said the cause of death is still unknown but there were no apparent signs of foul play or suicide or any obvious indications of why he had died. For a couple of days questions were swirling about what had happened. It is only small, cold comfort to know there was no violence that took Spivak's life. North Minneapolis has still lost a one-man force of revitalization. Spivak was known to comment on this blog, sometimes, and often shared with me how he would not hesitate to call 311 or 911. He was one of the folks helping to turn this place around. He will be missed, quirks and all.
This blog recalls Spivak as a man who...
...loved the social events in NoMi, whether it was a picnic, party, or just sitting around in a home or bar talking about issues of the day and enjoying a beverage. Spivak once proudly showed me his lovely home, expressing gratitude to his parents for helping him to obtain it. I noticed that a bookshelf filled with DVDs contained about every piece of cinema related to gay or sexual identity topics that you could find in any mainstream video store. He was nothing if not passionate about the right of gay people to be themselves.
Spivak was working in various law-related jobs, and putting forth effort to get his bar license. He had one dog, and one cat. The dog, named "Bear," found a home (after a short stay at a shelter) with somebody named "Lou" who apparently lives in North Minneapolis and runs in a park around here. The cat, named Eaton, still needs a home. He is currently in a "foster home."
Here is a link with information about the cat which was apparently set up by Spivak.
Michael, if you can get this message you are loved and missed. A part of you will always be a part of us as we press our battle to create an urban utopia of diversity, prosperity, and ecological balance here in NoMi. We shall raise a glass from time to time and say, "To Mike." Your gay brothers and sisters will always be welcome in our homes and our hearts just in the way you dreamed of, and constantly advocated for. You taught us a lot in your short time with us, and we won't forget you.
I won't say goodbye to you, Mike. I will only say, "See you later."
(Musical homage to Mike)