Michael Gerard Puleo, 34, of Titusville, Florida, passed away from covid-19 on Thursday, October 7th, 2021. Michael was born in Bay Shore, New York on June 11, 1987. His family later moved to Titusville, FL, where Michael lived most of his life. He spent part of his primary school years in Arizona, when he lived with his father. Michael was preceded in death by his mother, Kathy Moschello DuBois, and his father, Ric Puleo of Flagstaff, Arizona, and is survived by his most beloved cat child, Khal. He leaves behind a giant community of family and friends too numerous to mention who all loved Michael and his indefatigable joy for life, and appreciated his uncanny ability to make anyone laugh.
Michael worked a motley of jobs throughout his life, but always remained constant in his desire to help people and do good. He volunteered at Mims fire department, took classes to become an EMT and physical therapist, and never forgot an appointment to donate blood. He was always saving some critter, giving food to the homeless, or getting his friends to join him on beach cleanups. Like his jobs, his interests were also varied: Michael loved drawing, memes, dad jokes, beer, board games – the more obscure the better, beating people at eating, irreverent shirts, movies and TV shows, trolling tinder dates, cooking up concoctions, collecting animal skulls and bones, and talking about poop. He loved the outdoors – whether it meant going for walks, camping, having bonfires, kayaking, or going for a bike ride. He always took advantage of being outside and tried to get all his friends to join him, even the most city slickers of them. Halloween was Michael’s favorite time of year and his friends knew they could always count on him to show up with at least 5-10 pumpkins that he’d single-handedly carve, without any guides or stenciling kits.
At the age of 27, Michael had a stroke. He had a shuffle to his walk, one side of his body didn’t work like it was supposed to, and the loss in dexterity for typing meant u’s showed up in places where y’s should have been. Amazingly, he recovered pretty quickly and never hesitated to point out that he made a habit out of cheating death. Having lost both of his parents and facing a shocking and serious health scare at such a young age, Michael conquered these setbacks, while keeping a smile and sense of humor.
Despite his lumberjack redbeard exterior, Michael was the sentimental type. After his mom Kathy died, he lit a lantern for her and continued to do something special on her birthday every year. He was a dedicated cat dad, always had photos from his childhood saved on his phone ready to share at a moment’s notice, and always took advantage of a Bath and Body Works sale. Michael was fiercely protective and loyal to his family and friends. He always knew how to make someone laugh when they were having a bad day, and got everyone to try new things. He made those around him better and the world will be a little less bright without him in it. His family hopes that those that love him can find solace in remembering his cringeworthy jokes, his laughter, and above all, his big heart.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages friends to donate to the American Stroke Association. A Celebration of Michael’s Life will be held at 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 17th in the main large pavilion at Fox Lake Park in Titusville. The family asks that those that attend wear a mask, remain 6-ft distance away from others outside their household, and to please honor covid-19 precautions.
To plant a tree in memory of Michael Puleo, please click here.