Michael Raymond Hallisey, age 69, of Gardner, KS, passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, February 25, 2017, at the Kansas City Hospice House after a long battle with lung disease and cancer.
Following his time in the military, he married his long-time friend and schoolmate, Vivian Toler, on July 13, 1968. Together they raised their two sons, Michael and Mark Hallisey. As a young husband and father he worked to support his family while attending classes at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. In May, 1977, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) and later gained certification as a Professional Engineer (PE). He loved science as much as he loved math and marveled at the construction and formation of the universe, from the sub atomic to the massive stars. He continued his studies toward a Master’s degree in Particle Physics at Purdue University in Indiana. His accomplishments in this field of work were many but probably most notable was his participation in and supervision of the construction of the new power grid for the entire country of Austria.
Mike’s greatest joys in life were his family members. He was proud of both of his sons, of their individual accomplishments as boys, and of the men they became. He adopted their spouses as his own, including his son-in-law John Stump, and his former daughters-in-law Julie Woods Adams and Michelle Smotherman. He adored his grandchildren; Mason and Maxwell Hallisey, Thomas Stump, Mallory Hallisey Jolly and her husband Jacob Jolly, as well as his first great-grandchild, Hayden Jolly. On April 29, 2000, Mike married Penelope Jane Parker and started a new chapter in his life. Along with Penny came more family which he adopted and called his own, including his children Julie and David Baxter, and Mike Hutchings, and his grandchildren Jessica and Amanda Baxter. He also loved his dogs as part of his family and wrote one of the most moving tributes to his pet and best friend, Thunder, following Thunder’s death in April of 2013. Another great joy was sailing on cruises with Penny, taking several extended cruises the last decade of his life. He told many funny stories of their cruise adventures and loved showing the photographs.
For all the toughness of his exterior, Mike was extremely sensitive to the pain and needs of others, patient with those trying to learn, totally impatient with those who were not. He also was one of best storytellers ever. He could relate personal experiences, shared experiences, and even deliver Bible stories in such a way that his listeners would be laughing so hard as he told them, and then chuckling for years as they remembered special parts of the story long after hearing them.
Mike is survived by his wife Penny, his children Mark, Michael and John, Julie and David, and Mike, as well as his grandchildren Mason, Max, Thomas, Mallory and Jake, Jessica, and Amanda, his great-grandson Hayden, his brother Bob, sisters Joy and Nancy, his nephews Chip and John Hallisey, David Gearheart, and his nieces Sue Adams, Tammy Crowder, and Sandi Williford, as well as many friends. Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Mary, his father Michael, and his nephew Jim Hallisey. His was an incredible life, a meaningful life, and one worth remembering. He left his stamp on the world in all that he built, all the electrical designs he created, and probably most importantly, the values he shared and impressed upon his family. His brothers and sisters, wives, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and friends all have their favorite “Dad”, “Bro”, “Uncle Mike”, “Grandpa”, or “Mike” stories. He was that kind of guy.
Today, Mike is cancer free, is not fighting for breath, and God willing, we will each see him again in our future.
The family will receive visitors from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at the Overland Park Chapel, 8201 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS, 66204. A graveside memorial service will follow immediately at 2:30 PM, February 28, 2017, at the St. John Catholic Cemetery, 8900 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS, 66215. Family and friends are invited to a reception to be held at the home of Ray and Pat Matz following the burial.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145.