Michael F. Gatto, longtime island resident, died suddenly on the night of Sept. 14, 2013, from an accidental drowning at age 51, in the Baker River in Plymouth, New Hampshire, while camping with his close friend.
He was predeceased by his father, Francis A. Gatto, his mother Frances LeClaire, and god-son and nephew, David M. Jannery. He leaves behind his beloved Lilly, four sisters, Debra, Teresa, Robin and Lisa; three children Eric, Brittany and Timothy; and 13 nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
Mike was born in Worcester on Dec. 2, 1961 and grew up on his father’s 13-acre gentleman’s farm in Sutton, taking care of all the animals and repairing and maintaining the farm equipment.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
He held a U.S. Patent issued #5,261,556.
Mike was brilliant. There was nothing he could not do. He has done it all. A Jack of all Trades.
Mike totally loved custom, body, metal reworking, refinishing and automotive freestyle muraling, overhauling and rebuilding chassis of high-performance vehicles. He could take apart and rebuild any Ford engine in his sleep — truly amazing. Anything he touched or fixed always came back with a few improvements, “Mikeified.”
Always creating, always inventing, Mike walked around with 300 inventions in his head.
His love of welding manifested in metal sculpture of his fine bronze birds and other beautiful works of art using recycled metals.
He was most at home on the Island and in nature and with his dogs Yogi and Kaya, pedaling them around in a trailer on the back of his bike. The kind of man one would feel safe going into the wilderness with. A real Man’s Man. A heart of gold.
Mike’s love for his country, God, and the Constitution had led him into numerous hours of study of Constitutional Law. He had many unrealized hopes and dreams.
Mike truly will be missed. To those that knew and loved Mike, may you honor and celebrate his life in the manner in which he touched yours. In loving memory of my Mike.