Not every kid gets to say their dad was a rock star. But for Caelan, Ciaran and Aidan that’s how they saw their dad who brought love and music into their lives.
Michael Patrick McCourt of Pleasant Ridge died Tuesday, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.
He worked at the family business , was a graduate of Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills and Central Michigan University where he met his wife of 21 years, Mary Ann (Janosky).
“Mike had such a passion for life. So many people tell me how much better their life has been for knowing Mike," Mary Ann McCourt said. "His devotion to his children, his love of music and the youthful presence he maintained his entire life brought such joy to all of us.”
That joy came through in the rich, diverse fabric to McCourt’s life – he was a second generation Eagle Scout, showing discipline and devotion from a young age. Then the other side of McCourt was his love for music and his rock star ambitions. His first garage band was the McCourt Brothers with Chad Smith. He and his musical brothers – sibling Dan owns McCourt's Music in Berkley – teamed up with Smith, now the drummer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
McCourt built his career performing with The Strays in college. The Strays briefly went to Los Angeles with Rock Star dreams, but McCourt returned to Michigan to build his family with Mary Ann. He continued to rock on with several bands, Active Reaction, Swirly Boy and Honky Dory. He built a career with McCourt’s Music in Berkley and Waterford.
But it was McCourt’s family that brought the true joy to his life.
McCourt's love of music was inherited by his children, but it was his daughter Ciaran, 16, who would sit intently by her father's side and learn to play guitar with him. Her talents will certainly carry on her dad's legacy, her mother said.
Mary Ann McCourt said her husband enjoyed his role as Boy Scout leader and with his radio voice perfected in college, McCourt announced football games at Shrine Catholic School and Academy where his children attended and was, of course, in charge of numbers school function sound systems. Son Caelan, 19, made Eagle Scout this spring, making him the third generation and making his father so very proud.
Youngest son Aidan, 13, smiled as he remembered the Woodward Dream Cruise tradition with his dad. The August cruise paraded by their Pleasant Ridge home and was made extra special as the two would find Aidan a model car to mark the yearly outing.
It’s those small moments with family and friends, with music in the background that were the hallmarks of McCourt’s life.
He is also survived by his parents Patrick and Peggy McCourt, brothers, Kevin (Susan), Dan (Elizabeth) Sean (Beth) McCourt, son-in-law to Jerry and Ann Janosky and the late Barbara Janosky. Brother-in-law to Jacqueline (Steven) Mantell, Carolyn Janosky and Valerie Janosky. Godson to Mary Frances McCourt-Dufina and Terrence Donovan and uncle to Joshua, Arianna, Clara and Charlotte. Dear friend of so many who have enjoyed his music and friendship.
Visitation is Oct. 9, from 2-9 p.m., with a 7 p.m. scripture service at Wessels and Wilk Funeral Home, 23690 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge. A funeral mass with be celebrated at noon Oct. 10 at the National Shrine of the Little Flower, 12 Mile and Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak. Burial will follow at Mt. Elliott Cemetery in Detroit.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the McCourt Children Education Fund in care of Level One Bank, 22635 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, MI 48220.