RIP to Haverhill’s “Crazy Mike”

by Bill Brenner on May 5, 2015

I’m sad to report that the man known around Haverhill as “Crazy Mike” has died. He was found in some bushes along the Main Street side of Pentucket Bank’s Merrimack Street branch Monday morning.

Police aren’t confirming his identity pending an investigation, but yesterday I touched base with his brother, who confirmed it was him.

Mood music:

I connected with his brother on Facebook a couple years ago, after I wrote some posts criticizing some fellow Haverhill residents for making fun of a mentally ill man. People called him Crazy Mike because as he wandered the streets, he was given to outbursts. But few truly understood or knew him beyond that. Some jerks created a Facebook page dedicated to making fun of the man, whose real name was Michael Nicoloro.

Fortunately, it was taken down after a wave of complaints.

There’s been a lot of debate and speculation regarding Mike’s mental state and how he got that way. Some say it was from his experiences while serving in Vietnam. Others claimed that he’s not a veteran and that he simply chose to live the way he did.

His relatives have confirmed that he was in Vietnam and that he came back with the scars of war. I’m more inclined to believe his relatives than some of the jerks who have written me to dispute the history.

Mike was mentally ill. Regardless of how he got that way, it was sad to see people make fun of him.

In fairness, I think the jerks were a minority. I’ve gotten an avalanche of comments from readers since I started writing about him, and the vast majority of them defended Mike. This one is a good example:

RIP Michael… Thank you for your military service to our country. It’s a shame you were so misunderstood. It’s a shame so many ignorant people know nothing of mental illness. Walk a mile in his shoes folks. Yes he frightened some people but he could not help himself. He was ill. I hope none of you who judge him so harshly ever have to know the confusion, fear & scorn he must have felt all these years. He joined the military a handsome intelligent sane young man & returned a different man. Mental illness is thought to be a biochemical imbalance that causes structural & electrical changes in the brain. Extreme stress can trigger it or contribute to its severity. Why is it so hard for people to empathize?

In announcing Mike’s death, his brother posted a photo on Facebook that should put questions about the man’s military service to rest. It shows a young, strong man in uniform with a look of determination.

I think it’s the best way to remember him.

Michael Nicoloro

{ 175 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal May 5, 2015 at 9:22 am

Thank you so much for caring about your fellow man enough to have written all you did for Michael. I hope he will find the peace and respect he had earned and been denied. May he never be forgotten but always remembered kindly.

Kris May 5, 2015 at 10:06 am

Mike had no brothers. Only two sisters. I know his family very well. He was a medic in the Army. He came home from Vietnam a different man as did most. Some adjusted better than others. He’s in a better place now.

Jennifer Brown May 5, 2015 at 10:15 am

I hope we the citizens of Haverhill can come together to create a place to remember him, his service and the sacrifice he made long after the war ended. Thank you Michael!

louise w May 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

May you rest in peace mike ,thank you for serving our country you will alwzys be remembered never forgotten

Jennifer Rodgers May 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

Rip Mike I remember you when I was a kid growing up in Haverhill listening to your Walkman an you saying stuff I never made fun of you Im the person who like to help an after hearing about you passing I wish I could lent a hand got you some help I suffer from mental illness I know it’s no joke people who joke around make fun have no idea what it’s like an should be ashamed of themselves. I actually remember seeing Mike in market basket an blurting out stuff an me thinking I’d love to volunteer an someday work with people with problems like that they are people to they have feelings just like any of us. Anyways thanks for letting me share may you rest in peace xoxo crazy Mike ♡ my condolences to his family an town of Haverhill for losing a true legend an one last thing thank you Mike for serving our country rest easy hope your at peace now you deserve it ☆♤xoxoxo

KimAnn May 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

Nicely said , may he be at peace now .

G. K. May 5, 2015 at 10:23 am

Thank you for remembering him with the kindness he deserved and deserves. Mental illness is a horrible illness and stigma only cruelly adds to the pain. I’m glad his passing is remembered, I fear my own death would go unnoticed. You are very kind to remember him.

Brenda May 5, 2015 at 10:30 am

He is in God’s loving hands now in blissful eternal peace. I shall miss seeing him on the streets of Haverhill. Thank you Michael for your service. You may have made the ultimate sacrifice, short of death that anyone could give and it may have cost you your sanity. Blessings to you too Mr. Brenner for your kindness.

Linda Cassidy May 5, 2015 at 10:35 am

Rest In Peace Mike I did not know you well, but knew of you and saw you around town. I am sorry that life dealt you the hand it dad and want to say thank you for your service to our country. This is a good lesson for all of us to treat all our fellow man with dignity and caring.
Regards to your family and friends and the people of Haverhill
Linda C

Diana Z May 5, 2015 at 10:38 am

RIP Mike, thank you for your years of service to our Country. I am sorry that your dedication and determination caused this illness to befall you. May you now find peace.

Rose Beaudry May 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

I got to know that genital side of Michael while I worked as a waitress on Merrimack St. He would come in , sit at the bar and order pancakes, always pancakes…he would talk about lots of stuff, his mom the voices he heard….and when another costumer would come in he would leave, always paid his bill and left a tip….Mental illness is such a mystery and a heavy weight that these genital souls carried . Rest Peacefully Michael, the weight as been lifted.

william dovey May 5, 2015 at 10:45 am

I remember mike from my days helping my mom at the joyful ladle. We did talk. Some rip mike brother

Martha Twombly May 5, 2015 at 10:48 am

Bill,

Thank you for posting Mike’s story. My husband, Bill Twombly, Jr., was born and raised in Haverhill, and while he might not have been knowledgeable about Mike’s life, he grew up seeing him around town. We moved to Haverhill in the summer of 2012. Although we were only there for 6 months, I , too, saw Mike making his way about town. My husband and I are both Navy Vets and we would like to thank you for giving Mr. Nicoloro an enlightening eulogy, and thanks to Mike, however posthumously, for his service. I notice in the photo you’ve posted that Mike was in the Army. Is that a Caduceus/ Medical insignia on his collar?

Thanks again,

Martha Twombly

Arthur May 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

Just wanted to say thank you for your service!!!

Sarah Roberts May 5, 2015 at 10:55 am

may you rest in paradise my friend! You were a great and incredibly smart person. SATURDAY AT 3 AT GAR PARK IN HAVERHILL EVERYONE SHOULD BYE A BALLOON AND RELEASE IT IN HIS HONOR AS A MEMORIAL!!!

Russ Adams May 5, 2015 at 11:05 am

Mike is an example how for some the VIETNAM never ended. May he lay in the cradle of God’s loving embrace.

Joann May 5, 2015 at 11:06 am

Mike , Thank you for your service and sacrifices, may you finally be at peace, Thank you Mr Brenner for all your kind words and for making others aware of mental illnesses. My dad suffered too when he returned from Vietnam so many people don’t understand this illness and are so quick to judge and make harsh comments. I’m so glad to know he will finally get the respect he deserved.

Linda May 5, 2015 at 11:07 am

To the person who said he had no brothers and only two sisters you are so wrong. It’s obvious you do not know him well.. And to Michael may you now find peace and love in heaven

Jackie Morris May 5, 2015 at 11:16 am

You will be missed Mike. Thankyou for your service.

joe gore May 5, 2015 at 11:21 am

Kris you obviously don’t know Mike’s family while it’s true Mike had two sisters he came from a blended family and never used the words step brother or sister I only wish people would speak about what they know not what they think my name Joe Gore Mike’s brother

Jonathan Elliott May 5, 2015 at 11:25 am

Very well said. If people looked past his issues, they would have seen the other side of Mike. When you caught him on a good day, Mike was a pleasant person to talk to. When I first moved out here, I saw mike, didn’t know who he was or anything. I fell into the crowd that made fun of him, but then I started seeing something about him. I tried to say hi to Mike when I could. I hope now he gets the rest he so desperately deserves. Rest in peace Mike. Thank you for your service to this wonderful country.

Amy Vadeboncoeur May 5, 2015 at 11:32 am

Mikes brothers name is jay I know the
family very well

Peter May 5, 2015 at 11:36 am

Mike thanks for your service
God Bless

Jessica Hennessey May 5, 2015 at 11:44 am

Mike was part of the fabric of the community. It is not going to be the same not running into him around town. I have known of him my whole life and was never fearful of him – my parents always spoke kindly to him and in return he did the same. He was a kind – just ever misunderstood man. I wish him peace… and I send my sincerest sympathy to his family that loved him. I thank him for his service to out country. RIP Mike – you will be greatly missed by many!

Jeff Ethier May 5, 2015 at 11:47 am

Thank-you for your service to our country. I reap and appreciate the benefits of same. So sorry it came at such a heavy price. My condolence, Mike, your family, your community, and friends.

Lisa Shorey May 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

Amen Joe Gore!
Many Condolences & Prayers For Your Family.
Your Brother Will Now Find The Peace That This World
Never Afforded Him.
GBNF Fly High Mike.
xx
Lisa & Jody Shorey

Denise Parsons May 5, 2015 at 11:54 am

Yes, he was among our heroes who served in that terrible war. He was my high school sweetheart. He came from a wonderful blended family as Joe stated. Mental illness took a big part of him away from the people who knew and loved him. I have great memories of him of the years before Vietnam; days at the beach, CYO dances (he was a good dancer) , proms, hanging with our friends, walking me home at night. RIP my dear old friend.

Donna B May 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

Thank you for sharing this writing! Rest in Peace, Mike! Our deepest sympathy to his family!

Laurie Corbin May 5, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I crossed Mike’s path many times about 25 years ago and for several years after that. I must say he was quit intimidating to a young female with my young kids in tow. Back then there wasn’t much openness on mental illness so everyone stayed pretty ignorant, including myself. There was something inside of me that wondered what was wrong with him, I did suspect some sort of damage from the military since that was the basis for what I could hear him yelling. I started asking random questions to store personal at Rivers Edge Plaza, where he spend a lot of his time. They did tell me he had a place to stay at night. I remember going home one day and walking around my house and gathering up some blankets, clothes and shoes my husband wasn’t wearing anymore. I carried them in my car for quite sometime as I was to afraid to confront him by myself. I had a friend that worked in the liquor store in that plaza. He knew Mike a spoke to him frequently. He agreed to make sure Mike got the stuff I was offering. A few weeks had past eventually I did learn that he did except some of the stuff I sent, which made me change my attitude torward him and others like him. I know this is very random but I just wanted to share a very small sliver of my life for you to know that not all people were mean to him. I feel a sense of relief that he will not have to suffer anymore. May his family and friends be at piece.

Patty Murphy Flanagan May 5, 2015 at 12:18 pm

May you R.I.P. Mike. Thank you for your service to our country. Fly high!!

lineta May 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Im sad to read about the news of Mike. I grew up in Haverhill and always saw him walkung around minding his own business. For the most part I always saw him keep to himself. I saw a few moments he had when he would blurt whatever, but I never saw him harm anyone. The way people treated him was so cruel and the things they did to him are unspeakable. I grew up in a military family and both my father, uncle and, grandfather were in the military and the things they had to deal with while serving mentally scarred them, people should have put that into consideration and thanked him, not hurt him. I will remember him and be thankful for his service he did for our country. I hope other people remember him in a better light. Rest in Peace Mike.

Cathy Gormley Bergh May 5, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Our deepest sympathy to the Nicoloro / Gore family – brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and parents near and far.

Kathy May 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Very sad. Anyone from this area knew Mike. He had moments of mental instability but he also had moments of clarity. I remember walking my dogs on the Groveland bridge and Mike was headed toward me talking away as he did. I had felt a little nervous and had nowhere to go. When we met up, he stopped, looked at the dogs and a huge smile appeared on his face. “Oooh dogs!!” He knelt down and petted them and talked to them. I immediately felt bad for feeling the way I did when I saw him.

I hope he finally has peace.

Christina May 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm

I was sad to hear of Mike’s passing. I was born in Haverhill and lived there till I was 13 but still spent lots of time there. Mike was always around town and we thought it was so funny (not in a mean way) how he would carry his boom box on his shoulder and he would be rocking out to no music even though there was no music coming from it. RIP and Thank you for your service Mike!

Amanda May 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Hello –

So I grew up in Groveland on 97 and had the farm with the sheep, geese, and llama. I was honestly petrified of Mike as a kid, however now I think back and how interesting he was. Once my mom was getting rid of a couch that took 3 people to get it out of the house. Mike wanted it and carried this GIANT couch over his head down 97. Mike also used to conduct the sheep and geese for hours on end when he was walking home.
I hope Mike is finally at peace. Thank you, Mike, for your service.

Steve May 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm

He should have military honors at his burial R.I.P Michael Nicoloro

nanda May 5, 2015 at 12:55 pm

I would sit with Mike on my lunch breaks on the bench next to the parking garage downtown Haverhill. He would sit there with me with his radio and listen to the Spanish radio station. When I would ask him “Mike what are you listening to”? He would respond with “Chinese music”. I would correct him and he was just convinced it was Chinese music. I would always look for him when I was out side on break just to say hi. He would sip on hard liquor. I would ask him “Mike what are you drinking?” He would respond with “water”. So cute I’m going to miss looking for him. He would always tell me how pretty I was and he would give a million dollars for a pretty girl. He was adorable. RIP.

Tiffany B May 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

MY THOUGHTS N PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY R.I.P MIKE FLY HIGH WITH THE ANGELS

Patrick Donnelly May 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I talked to him on a couple of occasions and found him to be a gentle person and intelligent .he has been a fixture In the area for years . May he finally be at peace. Thank you for your service.

Grant Keller May 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

RIP Mike, I hope you find the peace you deserved all along.

Growing up in Riverside I was surely one of the many who mistreated him thinking it was funny or a game. Later in life, returning home from the Marine Corps and owning a house on Lincoln Ave., seeing him pass by so frequently I appreciated the chances I got to approach, talk to and converse with him like the human being he was often over looked to be.

Some of them were actual convos and some were just plain surreal but Mike was a person I’m glad to have been around even if he dealt with his own demons.

My condolences to his true friends and family.

Anyone should feel free to share or use the following photo: http://i.imgur.com/iwANvVV.jpg

I took this one day in front of my house as I was about to pull out of my driveway. I found it picture worthy not because it was odd to see on a sunny day but because it was just a great representation of Mike being Mike. I can remember exchanging waves as I pulled away.

Rest easy Mike.

Lily May 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Lived in Georgetown and always saw Mike around Haverhill. I understood him to be a vet. May he rest in peace. I also remember another fellow with a beard always on his bike. Hope he’s ok…

joe gore May 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

I cannot possibility express how it feels as Mike’s brother to hear how he touched so many people in so many ways and how fondly he was received and is being remembered thank you all

Lisa McCormick May 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Thank you 🙂
It’s nice to get the real story after hearing so much speculation for most of my life. Such a shame that he (and so many others) never got the help or compassion that he (they) so very richly deserved.

Steve May 5, 2015 at 1:23 pm

what a truly sad day. Mike was a great man and a fixture in Haverhill. I spent a lot of time in riverside growing up and my friends and I ran into mike often. On his good days we’d hang out with him and talk with him and on his bad we just left each other alone. His outbursts could get extream and if you knew nothing about him I can see how they could be scary but I promise you he’d never hurt anyone and I think some of them were just him joking and seeing what he could get away with rest in peace mike you are sorely missed already and thank you so much for your service and the memories I’ll have for the rest of my life

Grant Keller May 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

So I goofed and uploaded the unedited version of that photo I took of Mike and linked in my previous post.

This is the version I intended to upload with the corrected lighting:
http://i.imgur.com/14ezyGn.jpg

Feel free to edit my post with the correct link or just leave this up, your choice.

Caroline May 5, 2015 at 1:53 pm

I shall miss Mike, he was part of our community, and could be intimidating but also charming and funny. A dear friend of mine told me how bright and kind Mike was before the war, and I always felt we should all appreciate all that he was. Rest well Mike.

Mary Galvin May 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

To the family of Mike my sympathy for your loss. I am a Veteran myself from the Vietnam Era and saw the Marines return from Vietnam some very damaged from this War that claimed too many lives. I work on helping Homeless Veterans who need help finding acceptance . The pain of war is real and harbours illness we can not see. I hope you reach out to the Veteran Community,American Legion,Amvets, and VFW and also the town VSO to help honor our fallen brother. Plz email me if you need help on this. Mary.Galvin@Rcn.com

Dawn May 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I grew up in Haverhill and spent my life running into him. My favorite story is when I was working at DD in the Bldg 19 plaza. He came in wearing his headphones blasting out what he called “the words to the song”. Every other word was an obscenity. I asked him to either stop singing or he would need to leave. With a twinkle in his eye and a half smile on his face he claimed that he was just singing to the music. He finally agreed to stop singing but moments later left. People around me were amazed that I was talking to him and were afraid. But I knew from that twinkle and smile he was not a man to be feared. I will miss seeing you Mike. I’m sad I never knew you better. You will be missed. Thank you for serving this country and touching so many hearts!! RIP ❤️

Sharon S May 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm

May you RIP, Mike. Thank you for your service.

jason gore May 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm

I am one of Mikes eight siblings. I posted pictures of Mike yesterday in the hopes that they would put to rest any doubts of his service to this country. Mike was an extremely intelligent, articulate and caring person. I am well aware that he could be difficult at times , but those times were not the real Mike. He suffered from mental illness which became evident when he returned from Vietnam. I am sure many of our veterans have left parts of themselves wherever they have served our country. Even while battling this illness and whatever effects suffered in that horrible war, I would often have people, some I knew , others complete strangers, stop me to recount an act of kindness or a long conversation they had with Mike and often tell me they were at first scared of Mike but given a chance found him to be intelligent and humerous. For those people Mike offended, I can honestly say before his illness surfaced he would never have behaved in that manner, that is not how he was. He will always be the man you see in the pictures I posted. That is the Mike I knew for 52 years as his brother.

Peter B May 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Mike used to come into my store in Haverhill. We treated him with respect and he was always a pleasant shopper. Those who treated him poorly were not able to see his good side. I did not know his story and I am proud he was able to server our country. Rest in Peace Mike.

tom lynch May 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

I knew Mike from my years at Desert Plate Glass on Winter St. I knew he had a military background. Didn’t know him well enough to get close. I remember how he used to yell out and “shoot” passing cars. I and so knew he was really harmless and just let him be. Rest in peace, Mr Nicoloro.

Collette May 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

I grew up in Groveland, Mike will always be remembered by me as an interesting person. I’m in tears reading all of these stories. It’s wonderful to see how a community can pull together and remember all the good in a person.

Steven West May 5, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Mike was a good man i knew mike a years walking around haverhill ma going to building 19 for the free coffee & hanging out there he use to shot me with his finger gun i loved that manhe was a very good man & yes he did have a brother in groveland he stayed with … may you R.I.P i will miss u

Jennifer D May 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm

R.I.P Micheal, may you rest in peace with the Angels up above You never made me feel threatened and everytime I said hello you would say it back. Your a great man and deserve peace. My condolences to your family but again your soul is finally at peace. I will still be looking for you because it’s such a habit but a smile will come to my face when I remember that your sleeping comfortably. I will be going to the park Saturday to release a balloon for you

M Duffy May 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Thank you for posting this. Monday, I was looking out the window, wondering why he wasn’t out there next to the Village Square on such a nice day. Hearing this makes me so sad, and so upset at how we treat our Veterans. It’s a subject that hits close to home for me. I’ll never forget how through his rants, my little ones would look at him and smile or wave at him and he’d secretly smile at them, or the time my son saw him at Building 19 and told me “Look, there’s Santa” and Mike gave him a wink, all the while continuing his rant to all those who looked on and hurried by. I hope he’s finally at peace, and that his legacy will be carried on by us as a community and country by us all making a difference and helping our Veterans.

joanie amato moraites May 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm

i have lived in Haverhill for 21 years…. bumped into Mike many a times, yes he could be intimidating at times…. but i always had a feeling he was a Veteran who really needed some help.. this is a unfortunate example what happens to our War Heroes.. which is clearly who he was.. It is nice to see his Military picture that was posted. Anyone who has gone to War and done and seen things that most of us cant even fathom, should be Recognized as a Hero and be taken care of when they come home.. Rest In Peace Michael… God has you, now you can Rest..

jim fowler May 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

rest in peace michael.

Renee Connolly May 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

May Mike rest in peace. For those who judged him and belittled him…shame on you! Here was a man who gave up his life to defend our freedom. Did these people ever stop to think what he gave up and endured during his deployment !!! It saddens me that I’d hear people refer to this man as “crazy mike”. My children would defend him to their friends. I’d see him every day sometimes buying him breakfest. I know he is in heaven and the angels will take good care of him. Thank you Sir for your service! God Speed my friend

Cheryl Thayer May 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Like Collette said I’m reading all of these posts with tears in my eyes and a bit of guilt as well,not for doing anything bad to Mike but for not trying to understand what made him the way he was.I am so glad that some of his former friends and loved ones have told some of what Mike was like before the war took him from his loved ones.Mental illness is no joke but it is a very hard thing to deal with for the person and their family as well.
I just want to say “Rest in Peace Mike” your demons are no more.

Kim May 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I remember my first job at Zayre’s downtown Haverhill. I ran the snack shop. I was just 15 years old. That was 33 yrs ago. Mike would come in everyday and just sit some days and others he would get a burger and fries. He was always very sweet and respectful. He never scared me. His mom would come in no give me the money for Mike to come and eat. He always told me how good of cooked and that it was very pretty. He was just so sweet. My sympathies for the family. Mike has peace now and sits with Jesus!!! I will miss seeing him around.

Sherry Olson May 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm

I’m saddened to here of Mikes passing. Mike was a good guy, like many including my oldest brother came back from Vietnam a changed man, having been old enough to see what the VA tried to do to cure my brother, I can only imagine Mike having gone through the same kind of torture as my brother did.
Mike was a Groveland icon, everywhere you’d go around the area you’d always see him, some days he’d be happy, laughing and having a good day other days he’d have his out burst and yes he could be scary to those who didn’t know him. As a young girl and having seen mike out on school street pointing his make believe weapon at cars driving by, I remember questioning my dad about him. It was at that instant my dad opened up and told me that Mike was a Vietnam veteran that had seen to much and this was what happened to him because of that. It was how his mind was coping with what he saw. My dad was a WWll veteran and also suffered with some of his own inner demons, having him tell us as kids to respect Mike, he served his country to protect our freedom, in turn of serving his country he now suffers inside and it’s our turn to try and protect him . That’s something that sticks with you growing up. I didn’t know Mike very well, just in passing. May he now have peace as he so deserves

RIP Mike

jason gore May 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and colorful encounters with Mike. Someone posted if that was a medical insignia on Mikes uniform. I believe he was in the medical air corps during his tour. It brings both a tear to my eye and a smile to my face to read and hear all the wonderful posts and memories of Mike, and to know how many people got to know Mike enough to see past his illness. There but for the grace of god go I.

Pauline brown May 5, 2015 at 3:54 pm

his job was to bring awareness to mental illness
Amazing how the Lord used him
Well done good and faithful servant

cyndi p May 5, 2015 at 4:07 pm

I was very young the first time I saw Mike and yes he scared me, but my mother explained to me that there was nothing to be afraid of. That his name was Mike and he wouldn’t hurt anyone. Then as I grew up and saw more of him I wasn’t afraid. Then my step-son came to live with me and my husband and I took him to Haverhill beef with me and we ran into Mike. He was yelling and seemed upset. My step-son got real scared and like my mom did to me I too explained to him that Mike was ill. That he served in the forces and came back broken as many of our vets do. May you R.I.P. Mike. May you now be healed at the side of God and fly with the angels and walk the streets of gold. I know you’ll still be looking down on this world continuing to defend it.

Jerry May 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm

I was driving down Main St in Haverhill Monday morning and saw the area all taped off, the fire trucks etc there along with police cars and bystanders. Now I know what happened and I am truly saddened to hear this. Crazy Mike as many knew him was an icon around our area. The man served our country and many vet’s end up like him because of the lack of help when they return home. Very sad . Mike , may you rest in peace, and thank you for your service. You are now in a better place.

Tim May 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Thank you for writing this column and posting Mike’s military picture. I just saw Mike downtown a couple days ago on the park bench at the corner of Main and Water, just sitting in the sunshine chatting with a man in a wheelchair. Like others have said, if you treated him with respect and were kind to him, he was a nice man, and he actually had a very sharp sense of humor. So many people suffer in so many ways; I hope his passing was gentle and I know he is within light and peace now, well deserved after a long, long dark night.

Dennis Lucey May 5, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Like many, I was nervous and a bit scared as a kid when Mike would walk in my direction. That all ended when I worked at Building 19 while in high school. Mike would show up most days and I got to know the real Mike, he would come talk to me and have a normal conversation – he was smart, funny and nothing close to the man I was afraid to pass on the street. Granted, he never knew my name and referred to me as “Wyatt Earp” but that was what made me laugh – hearing Mike’s gravelly voice yelling “WYATT EARP!!”.
While working at the store, there were idiots who used to climb up into the warehouse shelves and try to antagonize him. I hope these people look back today at how they acted with shame and regret.
It certainly speaks volumes how so many have voiced their sadness, their memories and support to his family – Mike was a staple in the Haverhill area, he will be sorely missed.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Gores and all of Mike’s family and friends.

Renee May 5, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Thank you for writing about “the lighter side of Mike”. This man walked past my house everyday. I would often say hi and sometimes I just received a hello, sometimes I was yelled at but on occasion we would have a full coherent conversation. He was an intelligent man. I’m positive that he was misunderstood by many but I will always remember him in a positive way. Rest in peace Mike, you were a Groveland and Haverhill icon.

Randy May 5, 2015 at 4:24 pm

anyone up for raising funds for a plaque in Mike’s memory?
maybe on his favorite bench or area in the city.
I think he deserves to be remembered in this city.

Lynn Jacques May 5, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I was driving in Haverhill late Sunday afternoon and I saw this man who I now know as Mike walking next to Pentucket Bank. I could tell by the way he was acting and his approximate age that he was a Vietnam Vet. He broke my heart because it was clear to see how tormented he was. He was close enough to me that I could see his eyes and we had eye contact. I could see what a beautiful soul he had. I had never seen him before, but now it bothers me tremendously to think I may have been one of the last people to see him alive as he was found in the bushes where I saw him the next day. He seemed tormented but not in distress. I pray his passing was peaceful. God Bless.

Gerry Vass May 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Having lived in Groveland my whole life, I have fond memories of Mike and countless stories like most of us. My family owned Gerry’s Variety in town for 20+ years and Mike was a daily fixture in our lives. I have heard all the stories both factual and extreme fiction. I was told at a young age that everyone deserves a chance and that mental illness brings about both good and bad days. I always treated Mike with respect and found that he always reciprocated. My grandfather and father told me the stories of his pre-military days and what a great kid he was. I carried that view throughout my life and saw past what others rumored about. I want to send my sincere condolences to the Gore family and let them know that Mike was truly a Groveland icon and I am proud to have had the honor to know him. God Speed Michael.

George May 5, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Joe and Jason my deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family . Thank you for sharing he’s story . Your brother will be truly missed .

nikki c May 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm

RIP mike.. i would love hearing stories my mom and her 5 sisters would share of him while they grew up in groveland all though some sad i hope he found his peace Sorry for your loss sympathys for the whole family

Rob May 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Mike was the man. He’d yelled at us for skateboarding on the sidewalks at Riverside all the time. I remember once he asked me to keep an eye on a TV he had on a rolling cart while he went into MB. Tons of Mike stories but that one was the funniest. Never found out where he was going with that TV.

Debbie Roy May 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I met Mike on a few occasions. I can honestly say I don’t believe Mike would ever hurt a soul. I have read the comments and it is so nice to see that people acknowledged Mike’s illness and loved him for who he was and thanked him for the sacrifice he made and the service he did for this country. I hope now he can rest easy in heaven. He certainly had a hard life here after serving in the military. Rest in Peace Mike. You were our angel here on earth and now you are a special angel in heaven.

jay May 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

I was stopped in the first row of traffic on the Haverhill side of the bridge this morning, waiting for the light to change. I glanced to my right to read the plaque on the bridge dedicated to Ralph Basilere, Haverhill’s first casualty of the Vietnam War… When I heard about Mike later on today, I thought.. here we are 40 years later and there is another casualty of the Vietnam War. He cared for his brothers in their pain..now God has him in His arms and he is no longer in pain.. I will miss seeing Mike .

Linda Gagnon May 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I am sorry to hear of Mike passing he was a sweet guy regardless of his illness he will be missed thanks for your adding about mental illness and what it could do to a person Mike is in heaven now and he is in peace now…..The lord called him home and left us all remembering the great guy he was in are hearts.. We will miss you Mike and the streets will never be the same without you..XOXOXO!! The Gagnons,

wilma May 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Mike might of had issues but i never seen him be mean to someone unless they started with him. He had his days still remember when i first meet him. He actually smile and from time to time we share a sandwich or a cigarrette. He told me himself he had served. Hes conversation wwould not last long but if it made him smile it made my day. Thank you for your service and im sad you will no longer be around. But atleast i wont wonder if you made it another day.R.I.P now your with the Angels were you belong.❤

Cathy Ryan May 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm

RIP Peace Mike.
When I was 13 , and you jumped out from behind a car one night I was not scared, but thankful it was you, and not a stranger. I don’t think you realized I knew you. You where yelling and pointing at me saying “There she is, the princess, no the Queen” ! I surprised you when I said “oh its you, Hi Mike”! … Thanks for serving our Country, and for being a friend to my Mom at the Clubhouse. She was mentally ill as well, and had fits of yelling with her manic episodes after she lost my Dad Sgt Willard Robert Ryan in Vietnam, and was left with 3 kids.
I never knew your story until just now, and am feeling very sad.
RIP Mike..and please say hi to Mom

tim carr May 5, 2015 at 4:58 pm

I am so sad to hear about this wonderful mans passing I lived in Haverhill for many many years and remember mike walking everywhere there was no place he wasn’t able to walk it`s so sad to hear he will no longer be a major part of Haverhill`s daily events whatever mike loved to do on any given particular day was what he would do I sure hope that the city of Haverhill creates a wonderful memorial for mike that stands alone and shines on every year for a man that has had Haverhill in his heart all of his life mike has earned this for his services and the glory that he has brought to Haverhill by just his presence rest in peace mike may god hold you close to his heart and hug you everyday for you are a true hero and a huge icon of your city Haverhill you will forever be missed by so many residents forever

Julie K May 5, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Though a citizen of Lawrence, I can remember being frightened by the mentally ill at a young age. But as I grew to understand the truth, that a mental illness is an illness, not something to laugh at, I went from fearing those who have problems such as Michael’s, to loving them and trying to show them the utmost respect. People aren’t born making fun of those who are different. We learn that sort of behavior from our parents and our society. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a father who often often times would sit down with homeless mentally handicapped folk and talk with them and buy them lunch. He paved a path for me to do the same. He learned how to be empathetic from dedicating his life to his religion. But I’m not saying you have to believe in God or be Catholic or have any faith to teach your children and others to respect other humans. I’m not religious in the least bit, but I still believe in human dignity. I just thought it was common sense to treat people nicely. You don’t have to have lunch with them, just say hello, or maybe tell the people laughing that the mentally ill are people too.

There are too many who are misunderstood, outcasted, ridiculed, and looked down upon. Michael was most likely a very kind soul with a very misunderstood appearance. I genuinely hope he’s in the utmost happiness right now. It’s nice to see such kind posts about him. Slowly the stigma against mental illness is changing. Hopefully one day everyone will be able to sit down with somebody who has a mental illness, call them their best friend, and nobody would think anything of it.

RIP Michael. You’ve spread kindness and awareness through the hearts of more than you probably ever imagined.

Cindy Anderson May 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Be at rest Mike. You deserve peace. Mike you fought a war, that did not end when you came home. You are God’s just as all of us. Rest….

Abraham May 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

I have had ..plenty conversations with Mike…
He was very knowledgeable about many things !
Mike R.I.P…..thank U for the laughs ..and GREAT conversations

Anthony Hernandez May 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

.R.I.P. Mike and may God bless you old friends of Haverhill k .R.I.P. Mike as God is with you k peace be with you ..

John C. May 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Mike wore paratrooper jump wings in his picture.Airborne All The Way Mike .Rest In Peace

Jennifer May 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm

To Mike’s family, has anyone made amy arrangements to set up a memorial fund in Mike’s name? Perhaps to raise funds to go veterans programs? It seems like there are thousands of people with fond memories of your brother and I think many would feel honored to participate in such a meaningful project.

DIANE May 5, 2015 at 5:45 pm

To Mikes family,
I am very sorry for your loss and the heart ache you’ve had to endure through the years. May your thoughts of Mike be of the loving child that only family truly knew. My prayers are with his family, may he RIP

joe gore May 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Looks like a graveside service in Groveland cemetery next Tuesday at 11a.m. will be posted in obit

Rose LaFountain May 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I met Mike at Market Basket in 1987, he was screaming in the aisle I was in. I was only 21 at the time, and asked him if I could help him with anything. He stopped screaming and just looked at me. He told me that he was a Vietnam Vet and he came home like this. Through out the years I have seen Mike, and often thanked him for his service. I always treated him with respect. He had a good sense of humor when he wasn’t so sick. He told me he was a paranoid schizophrenic, whether that’s what he had or not, I don’t know. I often offered him bottles of water and spare change, depending on his mental state, sometimes he would accept the help other times not. Mike, I will miss seeing you downtown and saying hi and having small talk with you. You’re a Haverhill icon. Thank you once again for your service. You will be missed.

Mark Hayden May 5, 2015 at 6:26 pm

First time I met Mike I was walking from Haverhill to Bradford and he walked up and we talked about electronics…..he was very knowledgeable.
God Rest his soul

N morris May 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

wow..I live in VT now but grew up in Plaistow all my young life..I remember being young, maybe 10..every Saturday, my father would run errands throughout Haverhill. I would see Mike and sadly many others..I think the explanation I got at the time from an adult was that he was crazy…I always looked at Mike and others that roamed through Haverhill and Groveland with wonder, sadness and compassion. I too suffer from mental illness..I know what it feels like to be called strange..meeting me you wouldn’t know…it got me thinking about all the ones that suffer in silence..I don’t mean to take the recognition of Mike away from his passing and who he was…he
was special…an angel of sort 🙂 RIP my friend…no doubt you will wear many crowns in heaven and hear God say “well done good and faithful servant”

Kasi May 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Unfortunately, i was married to a guy who made fun of Mike…I’m not from Haverhill so i didn’t know why they called him crazy but being as that i have OCD, anxiety and depression, i didn’t take kindly to it. i would always tell my husband and his group of hooligans to stop, i wish they had listened. Luckily, i’m not married to him anymore. I’m sure it must have been hell in Vietnam, so i can understand why anyone would be scarred from that. He’s in a better place now, free from harrassment and pain.

Paul May 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm

Over the years, like many others I suspect, I referred to this man as “Crazy Mike”. After reading how he served his country and came back from that war with those horrible demons in his head, I feel the need to apologize for referring to him with that awful nickname. Reading all of these wonderful comments about this man is heart-warming, and makes me think of the old saying: “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins”.

Margaret May 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Mike, no matter when I came to Haverhill I also saw you somewhere.. It was like magic. I’ll miss seeing you. R.I.P and Shine on..

laura May 5, 2015 at 7:13 pm

I remember mike I grew up in haverhill and as a kid I would run into him from time to time and I would always say hi to him.he never scared me he would always say hi back to me. I knew he had a mental disability. And I would get so mad at other people when they were cruel to him. I now work with mentally disabled people and if you would really give them the time of day you would find out they are good people with a heart and feelings. Rip mike!!!

Arthur Monahan May 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I moved from Haverhill to Nashville TN in 03 an I can remember the day before I left seeing Mike an just talking about the most random stuff. Working at Market Basket downtown I would see him almost everyday an we bull shit around when I was on break. You would see him down at the stadium walking around with “water” in hand just being Mike. I was never afraid of him nor did I have any bad meetings with him. He was a great man an I hope he find peace in whatever comes after this world! Also to Joe or Jason would one of you happen to be Juile Gores father??

Nancy May 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

i remember Mike very well. In the early 90’s I lived across from Haverhill Stadium, he would walk by and bless our motor cycle.. We always said hello and he always said it back. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.. May he R.I.P.

shawn & laurie May 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm

R.I.P. Mike. u r now in Gods hands, all of heaven is rejoicing. my wife and I never looked at him as being crazy. we always considered him misunderstood. when we either gave him money or fed him he was always a gentleman. thx Mike, God bless may your eternal life b amazing!!!!

Dave Elson May 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm

I “knew” Michael from when I lived in Groveland. I never had trouble talking with him. Once in a while we would talk service and I found him easy to talk with. Rest well brother.

Mikey May 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm

I remember when I was a little boy and I went to grandmas and crazy Mike was always there joking around and eating. Telling his war stories for hours. Then as the time passed his mental health got worse and worse until now. May u rest in peace brother and thanks for serving our country.

Tim Hughes May 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Thank you Mike for all you gave for our country-I remember you well-I’m from Haverhill and I wish you well Micheal and God Bless you.

Calvin Rizân May 5, 2015 at 8:26 pm

RIP MIKE.. I knew this man as I am from Haverhill and it is sad so many people did horrible things to him he did not deserve them he never hurt anybody. when you walk down the street and he would have his outburst, they were never meant for you it was for meant for somebody else in a distant land. this man served his country this man is due respect honor and understanding along with compassion and if any time I ever said anything to Mike I am sorry, rest in peace Mike you are not forgotten

sheila schall May 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Bill Brenner, thank you for your very tasteful words of Mike’s life.. He gave of himself when he went into the service, he helped keep our country free.. I say Mike the man, the soldier, the human being thank you for your life.. May you raise high and soar with the eagles and sleep with the angels… May God bless you for your life…

yvonne May 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

I agree this is a very beautiful picture of him god bless him and his family

Sherry C May 5, 2015 at 9:07 pm

RIP Mike, your presence will be missed around the city. I hope you can now be at peace. Thank you for your service.

Derek Climo May 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm

I feel that Crazy Mike was grossly misunderstood. I remember back while still in high school and while the fair was in town at the stadium. I was in the video store when the fireworks started he had completely lost it. I recall him sitting with his back against the video rack, reaching up to grab the videos (VHS) carefully scanning to ensure there were no friendlies and put them to his mouth as if he was pulling out a firing pin and throwing them. 

He did it without regard to the people who were there with me. He was physically there but mentally somewhere else. 

It is sad that a country like our doesn’t have a better solution for those who truly need it. 

RIP Mike.

Lisa May 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm

I had witnessed Mike when he had his out-bursts, but the one moment that sticks in my mind was him going into a local shop where a lady had put a side a pocket watch for him. He was so happy and appreciative to her. It gave me an insite into the man, not “Crazy Mike”
RIP Mike

Matt kulik May 5, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Mike was a great mystery. He would say things to scare you away, but when he trusted you, would say things you would think about for days, weeks,and things you might still think about today. He would point a finger gun at cars driving by and then pet and talk to a real horse. He would throw a scientific puzzle in your ear and whether or not it was factual it still made you think. He was more creative than artists strive to be. Rest in peace and continue to inspire those who took the moment to listen. Amen Brother!!!!!

Mark Hayden May 5, 2015 at 9:32 pm

I saw Mike early Monday morning in Bradford as he crossed So. Main toward the bridge and he wasn’t looking well only to find out very soon after the sad news.
God Rest his soul

Teresa Diaz May 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

I’m saddness to hear about the lost of Mike Everytime I didn’t see him I wounder where is Mike And yes when I didn’t see him I missed seeing him One day I was at Building 19 he was woundering around the hamburger stand I bought him One he smile and said very politely thank you behind those scares was a smart wounderful person that day reaffirm my thoughts Thank you Mike for the memories you were part of the our community and thanks for service to our country May you now be at peace and reunied with The Lord

steve May 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm

RIP mike

Haverhill has lost a legend.A man who truly gave himself to his country;a man who people drove by everyday not knowing his story.
This man should be remembered.
I’ll volunteer to be the first to send a letter to Haverhill city hall urging them to (BUILD MIKES MEMORIAL)

Lets make this happen

Linda May 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm

R.I.P. Mike, i will never forget the first time i saw you, you scared me very bad Near building 19. But there was a lady there in the parking lot and asured me you were ok.

Derek Quintal May 5, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Mike was a nice guy contrary to everybodys misunderstanding. I used to hang around with him and talk for awhile back in eighties. Never had a problem with man. People are so quick to judge and classify without taking into consideration an individual’s traumatizing experiences. He could be loud and upsetting but he could also be comical and friendly. Its important for all the citizens of greater Haverhill to know that he did serve our country and will be missed by alot of people. He was a familiar sight for a long time. Just to set the record straight.

Jared Law May 5, 2015 at 9:58 pm

When I heard Mike had passed I oddly felt sad and relieved at the same time. Mental illness is a horrible reality for so many and I feel relieved because all the years of what may have been torture to him have hopefully ended and he is himself again the young man who fought for his country. He was a constant. I’d hope his mind is again quiet. Maybe now he knows how many lives he was in. I bought Mike pizza slices once and didn’t expect anything for it, in fact I got some yelling but he ate the food which meant to me, in his own way he appreciated it. Always called him Mikey, and when i did I’d always get a grunt or a head nod. RIP buddy. Hopefully in death you find the peace you didn’t have in life.

Jaimie Giarrusso May 5, 2015 at 10:21 pm

What an incredible testament to Mike…look at how many people are writing kind words and acknowledging him. My heart broke when I heard this news, still does. However, Mike finally has some long overdue peace and that is comforting. One Christmas season a year or so ago, I gave Mike 1/2 my lunch at A-1 Deli. It was a only a small
gesture but an important one I thought. He wasn’t very interested…but he deserved that respect. Too bad we don’t all offer it more often, Mike, thank you for your incredible service to our country. Fly with the Angels now…God bless you and your family.

Laura Hanson May 5, 2015 at 10:45 pm

i grew up in Groveland and as long as I can remember “crazy mike” was always around. I oftened wondered how that man could walk so much..He was everywhere..As a teenager I worked at friendlys at riverside plaza and I have to say he would come in and yell and make like he was shooting and I was a little scared of him. Each and everyone I saw him and as I was getting older I knew he was harmless and that he was in Vietnam. I have a cousin who also was in Vietnam and he went in the same way as Mike a normal young man who served our country.. My cousin also came back from Vietnam a different man..My Aunt took care of him as long as she could and he was put in a facility for Vets and has since passed.. Mike was a piece of Groveland and of Haverhill and was a nice man.. I had few conversations with him but he was harmless. May he RIP and to his family so sorry for the loss of your hero..I also might say this again, this man was a man of strength, because I know where he lived and never once did I ever see him in a car.. that man walked for miles…something I could never do even today and he was older than I…Again RIP Mike.. You will never be forgotten

Linda May 5, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Although I didn’t know him personally, I did see Mike many times throughout my life in Haverhill. All these stories have brought tears to my eyes. It is wonderful that he had so many people who befriended and cared for him. Haverhill is full of love and kindness. Poor Mike didn’t deserve his illness or to die the way he did. I’m sure that he is with the angels getting the peace he deserves. God bless him and all of the kind people who were nice to him. Prayers for Mike and his family.

mary May 5, 2015 at 11:05 pm

The news of Mike’s passing truly saddens me. We’ve all learned of Mike story through the years, it being passed down from generation to generation, understanding that he suffered a lifetime of struggles that resulted from the effects of war. Although he survived the war he was never the same after his return. As a community there was deep respect that we all had/have for Mike knowing his story, knowing that he endured a life full of struggles and mental illness for our freedom. That is what you call a hero. May you have the grandest entrance in heaven Mike. Thank you beyond measure. Deepest condolences to his family.

George Marcelonis May 5, 2015 at 11:05 pm

Thank You for Your Service Soldier !! Godspeed MICHAEL

Michelle Tenaglia May 5, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Thank you for writing kind words about Mike. I had several experiences with him at a store I owned in Haverhill for a while and I will always remember them. He was unique for certain and I am greatful that he touched my life even if only to create a few comical experiences. May God bless his soul and may he be at peace.

the Dwoske family May 6, 2015 at 12:49 am

Rip mike. Your a handsome man. I remember the first time I met you in building 19. Our hearts are filled with saddness. Now go bug my grandmother, she wouldn’t mind seeing your face.

Greg Candage May 6, 2015 at 1:25 am

Rest in Peace, Mike. Our deepest sympathy to his family!

John Barakitis May 6, 2015 at 2:44 am

I was a Haverhill native for 35 years, over the course of that time I had several opportunities to meet Mike. Despite the rumors which at first appeared true quickly dissolved the moment we made eye contact. It became clear to me Mike offered the chance for me to bear witness to what matters most in life. As if my chaotic world paused for a moment realizing his glance spoke volumes. Later in life I realized what Mike portrayed was that of the life of a Saint who acquired the secrets of life through his adversities he experienced in Vietnam. Perhaps his outbursts were an attempt to wake us up from the superficial world we called “reality”. I am saddened to hear of his passing, but I am grateful to have met him. To me he is a Saint and is to be regarded as such.

David May 6, 2015 at 3:14 am

RIP “crazy” Mike, thank you for your service, we Americans could never express enough what you did for our freedom, god bless you

Candace RN May 6, 2015 at 6:55 am

I wept when I read this as I have a brother named Mike who is mentally ill. He now lives in a group home but spent many years in and out of institutions, homeless, harassed and abused. I am a Psychiatric Nurse because of my Mike and countless others like him. We have so many tormented individuals just struggling to get through the day. Please be kind and remember that mentally ill person didn’t choose this for themselves. God Bless his family and Rest in Peace Michael.

Lucinda May 6, 2015 at 7:43 am

I remember Mike through the years as being a man who must have witnessed things that were difficult to understand. I saw him as a handsome young man and watched him as the years pasted by. He would stop when I said good morning to him and talk about what a good day it was. Mike is special and I am saddened by his death. My prayers are with his family.

Jamie Godino May 6, 2015 at 8:42 am

Thanks for your service…may you rest in peace and your family find happiness in your memories.

Alex Boylan May 6, 2015 at 9:22 am

RIP Mike. Very much appreciate your service to our country.

Carole May 6, 2015 at 10:50 am

Mike was a Viet Nam veteran who had his life and his mind taken from him in that war. I did not realize that I had a connection to this man through the Gore’s as my cousin’s daughter is married to one of the Gore brothers. I have seen Mike many times walking around in Haverhill. I have read most of the comments here, and I do hope there is a memorial of some sort placed to honor this good man. His demons are now conquered and may he be resting in peace now.

kayla May 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

I’m originally not from haverhill, but I moved here last year, when I first saw Mike I had no idea who he was but I was standing outside of red hen smoking a cig, when I saw him I could tell this man I saw had some mental illness I smiled at him as he smiled back. Then this other man walked up to me.and made some rude.coments to me making.fun of.this.man out of no where. I stood there.not.amused and told the man to leave and to leave this man alone. Didnt make.sense.why an ilder.guy found it an ice breaker.to make fun of a mentally challenged.man to talk to me. When I looked..back over mike.asked.a.ypunf man for a cig and lighter as a band walked by and.many just walked.passed as I went.to walk to him a young man stopped lit a cig for him and chatted for few minutes. It melted.my heart later I found out it was mike the one my sisters.who grew up heretold me about. How he was a nice man just suffered with mental illnesr. Now.knowing hes a vet makes it.sad that our country didnt help him after all he did for.us. rest in peace mike

Roberta May 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I knew Mike from working in a Mental Health program in Haverhill. He was the kindest, most gentleman and loving human being ever. He was not scary, he was a very smart man. He loved helping me with chores he knew I had to do and was a too small to do them. I cared about Mike a great deal. He did choose to live the way he did, and that made him happy. God Bless you Mike, it was a privilege to know you.

Mike Mathieu May 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Thank you for your service Mike. If not for heroes like you, who knows what horrors we’d face daily under some brutal dictator or regime. This country needs to make treating our veterans priority number 1. These are our grandfathers, our fathers, our brothers, our sons who risk their lives so we can live freely. They should NEVER return home to a lack of housing, food, and especially medical care. Shame on anyone who bullyied this man. He should have been helped and loved, not ridiculed and mistreated. No man or woman deserves to be publicly lampooned because of mental health issues beyond their control. Mike, rest in peace and know you will always be a hero in the hearts and minds of the appreciative and clear minded.

Chris May 6, 2015 at 5:43 pm

I’m not from Haverhill, but I am a veteran and I thank the person who wrote this piece. By looking at Mike’s dress uniform I see he was a medic, and has his jump wings. That’s an accomplishment all in its own. That war or any war for that matter is hardest in my opinion on the medical personnel . Not a job I’d want. I thank you Mike for your service and hope you are at piece now.
Honorably Discharged SP-4 Christopher J Tirone , U.S. Army

Mike May 6, 2015 at 6:49 pm

I grew up in Groveland, very near to the Gore home, in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Mike was a colorful part of our neighborhood. I witnessed too many occasions where kids and even adults would provoke him for a reaction that he was sure to deliver. I vividly recall an occasion when I joined a small group of other neighborhood boys shouting out “grenade” as he passed. He picked up the nearest rock and gave it an exaggerated toss as if it were the real thing. My father overheard this and called me in for a stern lecture about the importance of respect and compassion for people with mental illness, especially those who served our country. I was too young to fully grasp the circumstances of Mike’s life, but the message stuck and became more pronounced through the years. I’d like to think that other parents had similar discussions with their children, and Mike’s plight was a cipher of sorts to enlighten the ignorant and insensitive among us. Thank you Mike for your service and sacrifice and for providing this important life lesson to me and many others. May you find peace and dignity in death that was too often denied to you in life.

Matt May 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm

i think all the man and women that was or are in the military need to know that we are here for them so the next time you see them in line at the store or in line at a coffee shop offer to get them something and all ways thank them for what they did for you .. That is the best way to show them that they are not forgotten .. To many times we see this about the military men and women .. So I would like to say thanks to all of you the one that are and the one that are not here thank you for my freedom you maybe gone but not forgotten ..

mike m May 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

I’m a long time proud resident of haverhill. I’ve always been proud to know that Mike served our country. Seeing all of these posts is a testament to the good people in the world. I’ve seen him my whole life and talked to him dozens of times . I can see how some may have been intimidated at times, but if you took a short pause, 99% of the time he would smile or make some kind of joking remark. He was remarkable and I am thankful he spent his time in haverhill/groveland. RIP Mike.

Mary May 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Thank you for the update on Mike,

I refused to call him Crazy Mike, I had learned about him and his battle with schizophrenia when I worked and lived in the area. Mike was a regular at B19 and the Pentucket bank. He really was a good guy had a broken soul. He went to Nam as a brilliant young man and came back damaged and broken. I used to give him rides when it rained hard and really respected where he’d come from and the battle he faced every day.

Lauri Dennis May 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Thank you for your service to our country Mr. Nocoloro.

Chris May 7, 2015 at 12:00 am

Bet more people will go to this funeral than any other in the history of Haverhill. Even though his outbursts amazed me at times,he was a nice guy and for that and his service in the military he should be honored and remembered as such.I think a bench in his honor should be put along tghe merrimack,maybe near the rent-a-center where he hung out should be put up in his honor.

dave spaulding May 7, 2015 at 12:15 am

RIP Mike – May you find more grace and mercy and peace than you found on this earth.

Shayla May 7, 2015 at 9:36 am

I didn’t know Mike but I just sat here and read every comment written with tears in my eyes. My condolences to his entire family for the loss of what seems to have been a great man. My son just joined the Army 8 months ago and at times I am afraid that bad things can happen to him but believe it or not after reading all these posts about Mike bring me some peace about it, if that makes sense. Rest in Peace Mike!!

Dave D'Entremont May 7, 2015 at 11:22 am

Me and a friend used to own Your Place & Ours in Groveland Square. We lived and worked in that location for almost 8 years 97 to 2004 and Had a fishbowl view of that part of town every day but Sunday. We got to know a little about Mike as he walked by talking under his breathe or yelling at passerby vehicles filled with confused and scared passengers. He would often come into the shop and typically order either a Haddock plate or just a simple order of French fries. We accepted him and treated him with respect and occasionally had to ask him to try to control.his outbursts for some guests may have not understood he was no threat at all. I would always ask him how he was today and he would always respond. There were a few lucid topical conversations over the years as well. I first met him when I managed the Bakery while working for market basket many years before that.
Godspeed to all effected by his passing.
Mike you truly were a mystery of sorts but you gave us some excitement on days when business was slow.
Dave D.

Paul LaVallee May 7, 2015 at 11:22 am

@Kris from may 5th 2015 who posted at 10:06.

As Mike’s nephew I don’t know how you can so callously post here that you knew my uncle well and in the same sentence state “Mike had no brothers. In fact he had four brothers and four sisters. They all shared the same mother. My grandmother remarried as is quit normal and had more children. My mother was one of Mike’s sisters who shared the same mother and father ( so same last name). He also had many brother and sister in laws. There where times most of us including Mike were visiting under the same roof. My uncle’s days good or bad were determined by a force outside his control. I never was afraid of my uncle Mike even when he was having public outburst because I knew he was just trying to rid himself of the demons he had unknowingly collected from events in his life. I ask you please before you make another statement about a person you get ALL your facts in order because so far it just seems the only thing you want is your name to show up and feel important because you are listed along with many other names and that is wrong.

Bob May 7, 2015 at 12:01 pm

So sad to learn of Mike’s passing. He was a fixture in Haverhill. He often had outburst that made many nervous but he never hurt anyone. He suffered from the effects of war to which many do not understand. May he rest in peace now.

Steve May 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm

My condolences to the Gore family. Like so many above, I spent time talking with Mike. I considered him a friend. I learned a lot from him. There’s too many stories but I recall one time he helped an employee at Bdg 19 with her college homework. He used big colorful words and his handwriting was like calligraphy. The paper was on western expansion and Mike knew his stuff. The girl just had to rewrite it and turn it in. He was always a gentleman to the ladies when face to face. God bless him and the entire Gore family. Grace and Peace to all.

Gary May 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm

I grew up and still live in Haverhill. I recall several encounters with Mike. Once at K Mart kids were teasing him, he grabbed a carriage and threw it at them. Another time driving through downtown a man was walking down the middle of the road, as we passed it was Mike with his face painted like a clown. My mother worked at the old Zayers store for 13 years where Mike frequented. She has lots of stories of Mike. Thanks for your military service Mike. I have always wondered where he lived and with who?…

J D May 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm

I agree with the gentleman about building something to thank Mike for his service…This could be me…I am a Navy Vet…and as far as the lack of a medical insigna goes…ummm that photo was probably taken in boot camp..look at his DD214…that will tell the truth..I don’t doubt any of it. I was a medical person myself. I have seen a lot..people who have suffered things we cannot even imagine. they struggle hourly to survive. Mike was no exception. R.I.P. and thank you for your service…I sleep soundly because of men like you.

Michele briere May 7, 2015 at 8:43 pm

I used to say to him mike why don’t you get a place with a roof over your head and a be and ex. He would say no; they will come in and kill me. He sometimes thought he was still in the war imagine the nightmares he would have that’s why I always understood the outburst.

Michele briere May 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Now I won’t have to worry about him living out in the cold. I use to pray that the weather would be warm for him. I feel beaten inside because I remember when we were little he would always protect us.

Linda May 7, 2015 at 10:04 pm

I am so sorry for the loss of a veteran who gave his heart and soul for our country. He was one of the ones who may have passed mentally and physically but lived on to suffer more than his share than if he passed in the horrible war of Viet Nam. I saw him time and time again and yes I will say he did scare me but as I read about him now I am so sad I never took the time to talk or help this poor suffering soul. We are all off in our own way….but to be called Crazy is a shame as a human being who served our country. I would never ever want to hear that my Dad was Crazy as he survived World War 11. Hate has to stop and we must all think before we judge. For one second think just what Mike was thinking for only 15 min and feel his pain, I for one am truly sorry I never gave this man a chance to talk or give him a smile that might have just made his day. God Bless you Mike and now you are among the other Veteran Angels in Heaven……Sincerely with regret for not supporting our Veteran

Allie Boissoneau May 8, 2015 at 12:25 am

I remember talking to him at the plaza. Mike was very intelligent. He was articulate and was bilingual. He spoke Spanish well. That Mr. Nicoloro was a smart man. And I am sad to hear of his passing.

Valerie White May 8, 2015 at 2:07 am

I’m so sorry to hear about Mike he really was a great guy I hope he rest in peace!!

Alicia Deyo May 8, 2015 at 6:45 am

I am Mike’s niece. My Grandmother (we call her Nana gore) was a foster mom. Joey was mikes brother and he had more brothers and sisters than I knew. I never knew how many were adopted and who were blood related but he had plenty of family.

Alicia Deyo May 8, 2015 at 6:51 am

Mike was one of 4 relatives I had who went to Vietnam including my dad. I heard that as a medic mike had the worst war stories of them all. I never questioned why he was the way he was. I figure I wouldn’t come out of that so well either.

Morgan May 8, 2015 at 10:19 am

I remember when Mike came home. He made a plywood hut in between the two sand pits out in the woods. Us kids were scared of him but he never hurt anyone. rip Mike

Kevin Coleman May 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

I remember Mike way back going to the YMCA dances or the CYO dances when we were young teens. Funny how life works out. Sorry to hear of him passing, but he’s spared further indignity.
RIP

Brian McCarthy May 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm

RIP “Hero Mike” not “Crazy Mike”

Anthony Santiago May 8, 2015 at 4:10 pm

I remember when i was working and i walked outside on break to just relax. Mike was sitting on a cemet wall with his radio and his sleeping bag and backpack. I gave him some food and we started talking about are days went and it was probably the funnist thing and moment i had with him. He also told me he wrote spanish songs back in 1928 and he we listened to them on his lil radio he had brought with him. Never forget our fallen veterans no matter what state of mind they are in. Rest in peace mike i hope you fly with your mariachi band in the sky

Rebecca Claus May 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Mike was a great friend. He always said hello and smiled around me. I’ve had some interesting conversations with him. I’ve known him over 20 years, he will be missed…. if anyones willing to bring me to services it would be appreciated…

Linda Balles May 8, 2015 at 7:18 pm

There’s a kinship between all who are from Haverhill. Big Mikes passing has affected many of us because he was such a huge part of who we are. I know he was loved more than he knew. Let’s be mindful to show that love while we have the opportunity. Rejoice in Heaven, Big Mike. I’ll see you when I get there.

Michele briere May 9, 2015 at 7:22 am

Joanna James Gore gave birth to: Michael James Nicoloro; Michele Ann Nicoloro; Yvonne Marie Nicoloro; Dorothy Elaine Gore ; Jayne Renea Gore; Joeseph Richard Gore11 ; JamesGeorge Gore; Jason Earnest Gore and Jon Rory Gore. Thai is all of us.

Gale Perkins May 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

I just moved to Georgetown, MA, I went to the J.M. Fields plaza and this is where I met Mike. He was walking in the parking lot and was yelling obscenities, and my heart was pounding as he started to follow me, when I got to the store I walked right into the door without opening it, Mike reached for the handle and said, “you should watch where you are going. I knew at that very moment I need not fear this man as it wasn’t the outside of him that he was made of, it was the inside and it showed a caring sensitive man. RIP Mike. although you were feared, “You were Loved”

jimmi seafood May 9, 2015 at 12:39 pm

A customer informed me today at my seafood truck that Mike had passed away and about the candle light virgule taking place next week. I hope Mike finds peace, the peace he couldn’t find here. I was always nice to Mike and used to talk to him from time to time when I had my fish truck by the bridge @ K’s Gulf. More than once I had stopped people in traffic that didn’t know him from going off the deep end on Mike because they didn’t know him or know how he was or why he was yelling at cars. I knew Mike was a REAL VETERAN…I never questioned it, War is Hell and the poor man brought it home with him. Anyone that would pick on – make fun of – criticize someone with a psychological disability…..especially a Veteran….is a Loser! People need to have a heart. I thanked mike more than once for his service, sometimes he said thank you….other times he said FU!…But that was Mike…He was absolutely and ICON of Haverhill & Groveland and he will be missed. Thanks for your sacrifice for your country Mike, May you rest in peace 🙂

Luke Edmunds May 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

As a child growing up in Groveland I never really feared Mike but don’t we all fear a little what we don’t understand? I have so many memories of Mike and they all make me smile. As a Teenager my fear grew into curiosity and as I became a young adult that bloomed into respect. The last memory I have of mike is when I took the time to approach and talk to him like a normal person and he actually sat down with me in my backyard and shared a drink with me. I didn’t know until then how to put the riddle of mike together but I know this thread and all its love and kind words is the last piece to the puzzle. I’ll miss you Mike Thanks! After all are we not all a little crazy? “There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends’ faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.”
― Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Bernie A. May 11, 2015 at 7:14 am

I am not from the Haverhill area, but, I remember seeing him near Bldg 19. Thanks for your service,Mike.
RIP

Mark May 12, 2015 at 9:02 am

“And When he gets to heaven,To Saint Peter he will tell;One more Soldier reporting, sir. I’ve served my time in Hell!”

Joe May 13, 2015 at 8:03 am

Mike was another man who served his country and returned to society not as he once was.

My friend and I are from Chelsea would go to Building #19 at least once every two weeks and sure enough we would run into Mike.
A Haverhill icon, he surely was that.

I’m also a Vietnam Vet and understood Mike, many times he would bring a big smile to my face, he was an outstanding individual but just misunderstood by those who have no idea as to why and what made him this way.

Michael, you served your brothers at a very difficult time in your young life, and proudly I say thank you for being with us.

For those who tormented him in life, shame on all of you.

Sadly I say:
Rest in Peace Michael, you were a fine example of something that God himself had created and used to test his other creations.

A final Army salute.
Joe from Chelsea

BRIAN ADAMSON May 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

G My condolences to miles family, friends, people city of haverhill … I live at riverside in haverhill mass, . I walk & sing songs ,everywhere I go, would see, mike, never avoiding him, always saying hi to him, hoping to give inspiration, to help him through life. Let’s all keep an open mind/heart, to understanding, without, understatement and/or prejudice.

Gerri Glidden May 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Growing up in Groveland, I’d walk across the bridge over to watch the fireworks, get some Dunkin’ Donuts and walk through Building19. Mike was someone I often saw. Despite feeling like there was something different about him, I was never uncomfortable or scared. He was simply part of my surroundings and community. I haven’t lived in Massachusetts for many years, but the mention of this sad passing brings me back. To a wonderful childhood and memories of those who made my experience unique. My condolences to his family.

Lisa May 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm

RIP Michael, thank you for service to our country to keep us safe. I never felt afraid of you at any time I saw your outburst. I remember, telling my young daughter that he had been through a horrible war, which is much different than the ones we are in now. These men struggled without the intelligence and sophisticated equipment. She should not be afraid of him, but feel sympathy and greatfulness that he put his life on the line for us.

lucy and emily May 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I would like to share a recent encounter with mike. My friend and I were at McDonalds in Bradford when he came in . He made it a point to come over to my friends granddaughter (AGE3) and told her that she was a beautiful little girl. He also wished us all a good day.

lucy and emily May 22, 2015 at 3:39 pm

all this happen on easter sunday.

StaciaM May 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Thank you for writing this.

My parents owned Ben Cortell’s Army and Navy Surplus Store at 24 Merrimac St. in Haverhill. Dad especially became aquainted with him and Dennis who rides his bike around all over the place (very impressive!). We also knew him as Crazy Mike but never once had anything bad to say about the man. Dad knew him he would cuss out Dad at times along with us walking by but never took it personal. Dad said he was a good guy who came back from the war with War wounds in a way to say, he has some issues. I always knew him to be a little scary, not because he was scary looking or what not, but because he would be saying things I, as a child, was something not used to but he also completely outweighed me height as well. But we always would pass him and say hi and wave in a kind way never any other way and always had the respect to say Mike and nothing more.
Ignorance leads only to being mean….

Felicita Rivera May 8, 2016 at 6:54 pm

It hurt me to ser him been hurt. I remenber myself going house to house, preaching God good news. And not having the need of being afraid of him. Those young people that used to bully him, din’t have their parents educated them to learn to respect others weather they are olders, youngest por about the same age. Once I saw Michael with his face full of blood. Muy heart aselarate. I ask him to seat and to ley me calle the ambulance so, they can come And help him. And he look at me And said, no thanks, am ok. And keapt con walking. He was never, ever, disrespectfull. Is sad to ser how cruel people can turno to be. Some people will ser him And will not evento care. Muy sinceres condolense to his family.

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