Michael F. Gatto, a longtime Island resident, died suddenly on the night of Sept. 14, 2013 from an accidental drowning at age 51. He was predeceased by his father Francis A. Gatto, his mother Frances La Claire and godson David M. Jannery. He leaves behind his beloved Lilly; four sisters, Debra, Teresa, Robin and Lisa; three children Eric, Brittany and Timothy; 12 nieces and nephews and many friends.

Mike was born in Worcester, Mass., on Dec. 2, 1961 and grew up on his father’s 13-acre gentleman’s farm in Sutton, Mass., taking care of all the animals and repairing and maintaining the farm equipment.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and held a U.S. patent issued #5,261,556.

Mike was brilliant. There was nothing he could not do. He has done it all.

Mike totally loved custom, body, metal reworking, refinishing and automotive freestyle muraling, overhauling, and rebuilding chassis of high performance vehicles. He could take apart and rebuild any Ford engine in his sleep. Anything he touched or fixed always came back with a few improvements ­— “Mike-ified.”

Always creating, always inventing, Mike walked around with 300 inventions in his head. His love of welding manifested itself in the metal sculptures of his fine bronze birds and other beautiful works of art using recycled metals.

He was most at home on the Island and in nature, and with his dogs Yogi and Kaya, peddling them around in a trailer on the back of his bike. He was the kind of man one would feel safe going into the wilderness with — a real man’s man.

Mike’s love for his country, God, and the constitution had led him into numerous hours of study of constitutional law. He had many unrealized hopes and dreams.

Mike will truly be missed. To those that knew and loved him, may you honor and celebrate his life in the manner in which he touched yours