Michael was born on 9/4/47 in New Rochelle, NY. Michael was the son of Daniel Joseph and Hildegarde Crimmins. He grew up in Larchmont, NY. Michael graduated from Salesian High School in New Rochelle in 1966 and St. Michael’s College in Vermont in 1970 with a B.A. in Political Science. Following his retirement from the Marines, Michael received a Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Educational Administration. He became a teacher in the San Diego city schools and ultimately a High School Principal. As a strong believer of service to country, Michael was also a candidate for Congress between 2008-2012.
From a very young age, Michael was precocious and confident with a very distinctive and contagious laugh that made you aware that either something was about to happen, or it already occurred and you had to figure out what he did; the joke was on us. He was often described as a “character” who kept people on their toes with his wit and intellect. He continued to be a voracious learner who was always current in his knowledge of the world around him.
As a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club in his youth, he was an avid and talented sailor. He developed friendships easily and was mentored and befriended by such sailing royalty as Ted Turner and Corny and “Glit” Shields. As a teenager, he often sailed with them in international races up and down the East Coast.
He played the cornet in his high school marching band and even at this young age, the Marines’ Hymn was his favorite. When he wasn’t marching in a parade, he would blast it from his bedroom window to the neighbors’ dubious delight!
Michael was sworn into the United States Marine Corps while at St. Michael’s and did his basic training during summer breaks, completing Officers’ Training in 1971. His highly decorated military career spanned Vietnam through Operation Desert Storm. He initially trained as an Artillery Officer and later was a Naval Flight Officer serving multiple deployments overseas in numerous squadrons as a Bombardier/Navigator. He was wounded twice and was awarded the Purple Heart, Gold Star, and numerous other medals and citations. He was assigned to formal schools as a Close Air Support, Naval Gunfire and Artillery Instructor. Michael received an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps on July 1, 1991.
Michael was a proud veteran with a high sense of duty who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount “up to and including his life”. His was not only a life of service, but also of loyalty. Once Michael became your friend, he was a friend for life. If his travels had him passing through the town of a friend, he would knock on their door and just continue their last conversation as if it had just ended yesterday. He loved to cook and stay healthy and would often share recipes with his sisters and daughter. He never met a recipe he didn’t think he could improve with “this or that” seasoning, and there was no such thing as too much garlic. He continued to cook and shop for his neighbors and friends until he became ill. He believed his good health would protect him during these uncertain times, so he continued to help those who were fearful or compromised in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Michael was always of the belief that he would live to be 100 and had plans to be here to celebrate and to collect on bets he made with others in his quest for a long life.
Michael leaves behind a loving daughter, Ashley Crimmins, his dear girlfriend, Cynthia Bavaro, and his siblings, Mary Liz (Michael McKinnon), Kevin, John, Anne (Anthony Santini), and Christopher. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and cousins. Michael’s family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and the entire medical team and staff at UCSD Hillcrest. They went to war alongside Michael battling the virus with courage, grace, and compassion. When we as a family were not permitted into the hospital to be with Michael due to the pandemic, they became our lifeline and extended family. We will be forever grateful to them.