I am just now reading that our little Michael Roy is with my husband Steve. I am so sorry for our loss. Some of my best memories include Michael Roy and my daughter Ashlynd. She was almost a year older and we were next door neighbors. They were probably each other’s first friend. She would paint his finger nails and they would play everyday for hours. He would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at my house and Ashlynd would watch movies at Slezaks when they would pull out the sofa sleeper. She would come home and keep asking to pull out our sofa sleeper. Michael Roy was a gift. He will continue to live in my heart.
I used to babysit the Slezak children when I was in college. Michael was such a great person that was always willing to lend a helping hand. I’m very sorry for their loss. My condolences to the Slezak family
I had the joy of collaborating with Mike on several projects over the years, and what always struck me was his openness, kindness, and ability to listen to others. He was always so knowledgeable and generous with his knowledge, but also extremely humble. I always jumped at the opportunity to work with Mike and value all that he contributed to our community to help people find good jobs. He is already missed.
CLUES Economic Prosperity and Development staff had the benefit of partnering with Mike on programs focused on training and placing low-income Latino and immigrant community members in good jobs. We are so grateful that we got to know and learn from Mike, who was a patient, kind, and dedicated ally in our shared efforts to achieve greater economic and racial equity in the Twin Cities. Aliana, Amanda, Gisela, and Kathryn send our condolences to Mike’s family. We will carry warm memories of Mike with us as we continue to advance our work.
I am so sorry for your profound loss of such a special man. I think I was one of the first "partner" visits that Mike made when he began his work with DEED. In a matter of only a few minutes, I felt like I had known him for years. He was a warm and open communicator who engaged full on in our conversation about how to better coordinate the workforce system. It was an easy conversation because of the way Mike was relaxed yet very astute. He smiled and laughed with ease and sincerity. In the last two years, I worked with Mike on some of virtual career fair work. We looked to Mike for his ability to see the big ideas while getting in the weeds with practical and tech solutions. He gave his all to every project he worked on. My heart weeps for you and the whole family. Baby Jean, you have the very best of your Dad in you. Peace to you.
Mike was such a thoughtful partner in this work. I valued getting to work with him and even better, getting to know him. It was clear how much he loved his family. He put a lot of good out into the world. My deepest sympathies to you.
I was on the interview panel when Mike interviewed for a position at DEED. He blew us away with his knowledge of manufacturing. We were also impressed when he said that he drove from Chicago and was driving back that night. Once Mike was hired, he would come to my office frequently and we would talk about how his job was going and how he liked living in MN. Later, I went to Avivo and he went to the City and he helped us secure funding for a training program we were starting. Mike was unique in that he was involved as a partner from the very beginning. He was not shy about telling me what to do and how to develop the relationship with the employer partners. After the pandemic hit, we needed to change course and Mike was supportive but also made sure that we had a viable plan. Mike was always very calm, very friendly but also very constructive and assertive when he needed to be. He was always straight with me. Mike was one of the best people I have worked with. I am so glad I got to say goodbye to him this summer. I will miss him deeply. My deepest condolences to his family.
Mike had a peace about him that is hard to describe. He was otherworldly and very grounded in this world, which made him a wise soul, great friend, and conscientious member of any group. He was funny, kind, and generous, a truly delightful human. I feel lucky to have known him and cherish the memories I have of him. I send my deepest sympathies to his family.
Mike was such a wonderful person to work with as a collaborator while in his role with the City of Minneapolis. He truly cared about the people being served and the difference the work was making. Mike was curious in his questions and thoughtful in brainstorming solutions. A great person to be around. I’m saddened to hear about his passing and send my sincere condolences to Mike’s family.
My relationship with Mike was professional. That said, Mike was an amazing person and I cried a little when I heard the news. He's part of a great crew at the City of Minneapolis but I feel like I lost a true colleague and fellow traveler. We could always talk about how to work “on,” and not just “in,” our jobs. He really leaned in, asked challenging questions and supported creative ideas. He was a true partner and he’ll be deeply missed.
Mike was a truly exceptional person and I send my sincere condolences to his family. All I can say is that he had a heart of gold and to know him and spend time with him was a privilege. Rest easy, Mike.
Mike supported his community partners so well - full of excitement over participant stories, collaborating with innovation to meet genuine needs, and instrumental in moving others in the direction of self-sustaining careers. He cared, he made a significant difference, and he was inspiring to work alongside. What an impact Mike has made upon those he encountered, what a sad loss, what a privilege to have known Mike. May all his family and friends feel peace and comfort remembering Mike's incredible legacy.
Reading the memories, I wished I had met Mike; I know Hayley through work; please know I have you all in my thoughts. Cordially, Mónica Romero.
I knew Mike in a professional capacity because of his tireless work to improve the lives of people in Minneapolis through training for quality jobs. I had the privilege to see the part of his life that served and uplifted others through his job. Please take comfort in knowing that Mike made a huge difference for others.
His professionalism and demand that all the agencies he worked with give the very best to the people we served was matched only by his kindness and genuine understanding of how hard that work can be. He was always someone to be hands-on with the agencies he supported, giving practical, warm advice. He always, always, always made sure we understood that he wanted us to succeed. Mike was the kind of leader that made you want to pull out all the stops and exceed what you thought you could do. Both because he believed in you, and because you knew he would catch you if you fell.
If I could I would tell Mike, "You are loved and you are missed in your professional life. But I am also so very glad you had the wisdom to put yourself and your family first and find joy in your last days. Thank you for your years of service to our community."
Mike is one of my oldest friends from Lincoln elementary and we shared happy memories growing up with a tight knit group of pals in 1990s Iowa City. At West High we were football teammates and state champions. As a senior Mike built his body into one of the strongest physiques on the team and was a leader in the WHS football program. After HS we both graduated from Iowa with social science degrees. And I copied him and got an MA in geography/ Urban Planning. Admittedly he influenced my academic direction—he was a always good person to follow in the footsteps of! Since childhood I trusted his intelligence, his vision, and particularly in the goodness of his heart. In all our shared experiences Mike never treated others unfairly or without consideration for their feelings. Being a conscientious big brother contributed to his enlightened nature— a nature which influenced his friends and impressed itself into our personal development.
Mike was enjoyable to be around; he would make you laugh, had silly banter, and would teach you things you didn’t know about. For me the feeling of looking forward to seeing Mike again had stuck with me— even though I hadn’t seen him in a little over a decade—when he left IC for graduate school in Wisconsin. What he became as a man , the family he built, the professional life he established— all the people he helped into livelihoods and along career pathways to find security and hope…We are rightfully devastated to lose such a person and it is grievous to be without his good works on earth. Speaking for plenty of friends and teammates who cared about Michael — we send heartfelt prayers and sympathies to the Slezak family.
Ruth and family. I am so sorry to hear about your son. You are all in my prayers.
My condolences to Mike’s family. He was an exemplary human being, and one of my best friends as a youth. Far too many memories to share in writing; the ones I will always remember most involve being with Mike and other friends in mosquito flats or with our other Lincoln Lions on and around north Dubuque street/coralville reservoir area. Mike was a very kind person with many interests, but most of all he had incredible character. I will miss him dearly, but am incredibly thankful to have known him.
We are so sad to hear about Mike's passing, He was such a sweet and gentle soul, with a great sense of humor. Truly enjoyed having him as one of the neighborhood kids.
I knew Michael pretty much all of his life. His parents (and our dearest friends) lived a few houses away when Michael and our daughter Becca were two years old, and they played together constantly. I coached him in soccer, I had him in my class at the University of Iowa. His love of the Smashing Pumpkins has been mentioned, which brings back the memory of taking him, Becca and our son Ben to see them in Moline when Michael and Becca were 12 and Ben was 10. Probably not too smart; we were on the floor, the place was packed and wild, and Ben couldn’t see the stage. But two goth women (dressed all in black with tattoos and piercings galore) offered to watch Michael and Becca so I could put Ben up on a barrier to see better. And we all loved the show. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness - I’ll always think of Michael when I hear that now.
I am so very sad to see of Mike's passing. We were friends in high school. The last time I spoke with Mike was in college; he came in to where I was working and I just happened to be on break, so he came over and we chatted for a bit and got caught up with whatever was going on in our lives at the time. I have lots of fun memories of him, but will remember him mostly as a truly decent, genuine, funny and nice guy. And of course that smile! So sorry for all of you during this time, he will be greatly missed.
I went to high school with Mike. He was always a stand up guy all around. He will be missed.
So very sorry for your deep loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Mary and Jim Humston
Mike used to make me listen to hours of cassette tapes of the Smashing Pumpkins. I liked the smashing pumpkins but Mike was somewhat obsessed with them. Once he had me listen to a tape that the Smashing Pumpkins had apparently recorded in an apartment instead of a studio. He replayed the tape multiple times to make sure I could hear an ambulance that drove by in the background . If we hadn’t been such good friends I might have hid that tape so he wouldn’t make me listen anymore, I never heard the ambulance.
Mike and I used to spend hours on Saturdays organizing pickup football games, we’d call 20-40 people each time. Sometimes we got 6 people to play and sometimes 15 to 20. Sometimes zero, on those days we’d play James Bond on the N64 and eat Oreos and drink Mountain Dew. I miss those days so much now. He was just the best.
Mike and I went on an east coast road trip once, we walked something like 40 or more blocks in New York City and did all the typical sight seeing activities. We both ended up buying bootleg DVDs from some guys selling them on the street. Neither one of the movies worked, but we had a great day in the city.
I am so sorry to hear this, I had Mike in 7th Grade Global Studies at NWJH. He was a friend of my daughter Marie Crowley. He was a great student and all my love and hugs to you and the whole family.
I met Mike before the 1st grade. I rode the bus with his sister Sandy so I saw him randomly through pre-school. Then one day I think we were at a party at the Elks Club when we really started to become friends. Running around the neighborhood and causing chaos. Actually I was the one that did that. Mike was the good one that didn't get into too much trouble. Playing football on the band field was a regular Iowa football Saturday.
He wasn't quick to judge anybody and had a very calm demeanor. One of the best people I have ever met in my life and I'm glad I had spent the time we shared while he was here.
I am sorry for your loss. The World needs more people like Mike!
I feel genuinely lucky to have known Mike. He was the ideal companion for an adventure; kind and optimistic, funny and sharp. He carried a peacefulness with him that was contagious. When I moved up to Iowa from Kansas at the age of 10, getting to know Mike was a source of happiness and comfort.
I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget Mike and his extraordinary kindness.
My heart is breaking for you all. I worked with Sandy through SUI, and I remember Mike and Rachel at home when I was in there years ago with Sandy. I never knew Mike when he got older and moved out, but you guys had THE best family. Obviously, the qualities he had were gotten from you guys. And I do remember him loving music and the outdoors as a youngster. Sending love and strength to you all as you navigate these waters. I'm so sorry for your loss.