Michael Douglas Arbon
November 22, 1960 :: LaCrosse, Wisconsin
February 15, 2015 :: Denver, Coloraro
Michael Douglas Arbon (Mike) passed away on Sunday, February 15, 2015 after suffering for over 5 years with end stage liver disease (ESLD) as a result of earlier life struggles with addiction. In the last 5 years of Mikes’ life, he focused his energy on doing whatever was needed to stay as healthy as he could, and because of this he was able to survive far longer than expected. Despite addiction and end stage liver disease, Mike had so many beautiful qualities that were never completely taken away.
Mike had a passion for the outdoors and was avid in mountaineering and the knowledge of the minerals that make up our mountains. He had a beautiful collection of minerals that he had discovered over the years, and a wealth of information about each and every precious stone on display. Mike spent time hiking, camping, exploring and climbing mountains in Canada and Colorado. He took thousands of breathtaking pictures of his mountain explorations.
Another of Mikes’ passions was music. Mike had an impressive, eclectic, wide ranging collection of music and was steeped with knowledge and trivia related to so many musicians and bands. During one of his many visits to the E.R., he struck up a conversation about the Beatles with a nurse caring for him. The nurse enjoyed hearing the obscure Beatles trivia that Mike had to offer up. This type of banter was a gift of Mikes. He could strike up a conversation with anyone and make people laugh, even when he was so sick.
Mike loved food and was an amazing cook. He was always making up some sort of homemade soup, stew, green chile – you name it, he made it. He enjoyed feeding his friends, and they enjoyed being fed by Mike! As his friend Alex said, Mike liked to feed the neighborhood.
Mike was so incredibly smart. He was a voracious reader and had an entire wall of books. For Mike, knowledge and the pursuit of learning something new was exhilarating and nurturing to his soul. One of the symptoms of end stage liver disease is hepatic encephalopathy, which essentially poisons the brain. Mike became more and more confused as the disease progressed, but his ability to consume information was still there to the very end. He would converse with his doctors about his disease and they were always taken aback at his ability to understand the minute details of his disease.
Mike attended college at Fort Lewis in Durango, CO and then moved back to Denver, where he resided for the remainder of his life.
Mike spent his life working in construction. He spent many years building houses and then moved into inspection work for houses being built and project management of house construction.
Mike was blessed with some wonderful friends who stuck with him when he became sick.
During the past 5 years Mike was forced to spend a lot of time at Denver Health Medical Center for frequent checkups from his care provider and far too many visits to the E.R. All of the staff at Denver Health were true angels on earth when caring for Mike. All of the nurses and doctors treated Mike with incredible dignity and respect. They listened, they did not judge, they were caring, they were patient, and their continuous goal was to make him well again. His family is forever grateful for the loving care he received.
We did not want to say goodbye to Mike. He brightened this world up with his wicked sense of humor, his beautiful, dancing eyes, his wonderful and witty brain, and his love. We will miss him forever.
Mike was born on November 22nd, 1960 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He was 54 years old. He was surrounded by family during the final hours of his life and his mom was next to him until the very end. Mike was preceded in death by his brother James Norman Arbon. Mike is survived by his parents Norm and Betty Arbon, brother Greg Arbon (Beth Arbon), sister Michelle Huggins (Brian Huggins), nephews Graham Arbon, Luke Huggins and Connor Huggins, and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Mike did not want a formal service but instead requested to be cremated and have his ashes spread in the mountains that he loved.
“I have passed the mountain peak and my soul is soaring in the firmament of
complete and unbounded freedom; I am in comfort, I am in peace.”
– Kahlil Gibran