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Michael L Fay

October 3, 1949 ~ March 18, 2024 (age 74) 74 Years Old

Michael Fay Obituary

Michael Leo Fay, age 74, died unexpectedly on March 18, 2024 after falling ill doing what he loved: taking his daily neighborhood walk, while stopping to greet every dog and neighbor with the warmth of someone at last reunited with a beloved family member. Michael developed national renown as a trusts and estates attorney over the course of his nearly 50-year career, a career he enjoyed to the last day of his life. Above all, Michael was a loving husband to Carol Buckley; a brother to Kevin Fay; a father to Matthew, Kathryn, and Christopher Fay; a stepfather to Kate and Tim Naber; a grandfather to River and Eleanor; and a good friend to many. His counsel was trusted, his jokes were intended to be funny, and his singing voice was actually quite good. He is missed terribly.

Michael was born on October 3, 1949 in Springfield, MA, where he and Kevin were raised by Marie and Joseph Fay. After graduating from Springfield’s Classical High School in 1967, Michael graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1971, Oxford University’s Keble College in 1972, and Harvard Law School in 1975.  He maintained particularly close ties to Dartmouth College for the rest of his life. His pride for his alma mater was rivaled only by his celebration of loved ones’ accomplishments.

As an attorney, Michael was valued by clients for his expertise and good judgment, and he was sought out by journalists from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Time, NPR and other outlets for his ability to explain complex topics with concision and clarity. To his mentees, he was known for his commitment to their legal development, including delivering what he jokingly called his “sermonettes:” mini-lessons on “what you don’t learn in law school.” His professional accolades are too numerous to list, but by way of example he was recognized as one of Worth magazine’s “Top 100 Attorneys,” and was listed for the last 30 years as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts & Estates.

When his children were younger, Michael would take them to the beach on sunny days and go “puddle-hunting” (the goal of which was to make the largest splash) on rainy days. He instilled his sense of curiosity and love of learning in his children from an early age, which continue to shape their lives as adults. With the arrival of two grandchildren in 2023, he reveled in and excelled at his new role as Grandpa Fay. Michael was an avid story teller and aspiring comic. Though he passed too soon, his family will continue to tell his stories and jokes.

Michael’s family will welcome friends and relatives at Holy Name Church, on Centre Street in West Roxbury, on Saturday, March 23 at 9:15 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM. Due to Lenten regulations flowers cannot be accepted. Please consider making a donation in Michael’s name to St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St., Boston: www.stfrancishouse.org.

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