Keliher, Mike

July 10, 1957 - January 8, 2017

Michael “Mike” Keliher, age 59, passed on Sunday, January 8, 2017, at his home. He was the beloved son of the late Daniel J. Keliher. Mike is survived by his mother, Phyllis J. Keliher of Roswell, GA; his wife, Kaye Keliher of Dallas, TX; his sisters Keli Davies (Mike) of Marietta, GA and Maureen Wade (John) of Stafford, VA. Mike was the attentive uncle to Brett Davies of Melbourne, Australia, Kathleen Jean-Pierre (Todd) of Nairobi, Kenya, Susan Davies of Atlanta, GA, Colleen Wade of Chicago, IL and Elizabeth and Dan Wade of Stafford, VA.

Mike was born July 10, 1957 in Tawas City, Michigan and raised in Bay Village, Ohio. Intelligent and ambitious, Mike held a BS in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, OH, a Certified Public Accountant certification, a Juris Doctorate from University of Houston and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Mike was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Miami University and was a lifelong Michigan Wolverine fan. He moved to Texas to escape the cold Cleveland winters and enthusiastically embraced his adopted state. For 17 years, Mike was a successful litigation attorney for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP in both the Los Angeles and Dallas offices. Self-employed since 2005, Mike was a prolific financial writer, insightful investment consultant and tenacious internal auditor.

Along with his wife, Kaye, Mike was devoted to helping animals especially the 11 golden retriever rescue dogs they adopted over the years. His first golden retriever, Max, held a special place in his heart. Mike was a clever, witty man as well as being very kind and generous to family, friends and strangers alike.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30 A.M. on Sunday, May, 21, 2017 at The University of Michigan League located at 911 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. 

In lieu of flowers, Kaye is requesting that donations be made to the Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas.


Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252

37 replies on “Keliher, Mike”

Roger Bivans says:

My condolences go out to Kaye and the rest of Mike’s family. Mike showed great trust and confidence in me as a newly minted lawyer 20 years ago. I am, and always will be, grateful to Mike. He was a true mentor. The debt cannot be repaid. As a human being, he stood head and shoulders above all others, both literally and figuratively. His wry sense of humor could turn any tense moment into laughter. His caring and compassion for all living creatures, especially dogs, was infectious. He made all those around him want to be a better lawyer, a better friend, a better human being. He will be missed.

Thom and Hilary McGraw says:

Dear Kaye and Keliher Family Members–I first met Mike on a GDC recruiting junket to Catalina Island. Mike was a young lawyer in LA and I was representing the Dallas office. It took me no time to understand why Mike had been tapped in LA to be part of the recruitment of young lawyers–he was just a genuinely good guy. We became friends then and I was delighted when he re-located to Dallas where Hilary met and got to know him. We were shocked and saddened to learn of his death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, from North Carolina where we recently moved. We hope your grief can be tempered by the certainty that Mike’s eternal reward is secure. He had such a good heart and soul. God bless all. Sincerely, Thom and Hilary

Steve Dirksen says:

I just heard of Mike’s passing from his sister this morning. I am in shock. I have known Mike and called him friend for somewhere around 50 years. I wish you all peace in the knowledge that Mike called Jesus his savior, and that his memory will live on in the most special way. I jumped in my car this morning and Warren Zevons Lawyers, Guns, and Money was playing. Then the on air guy said it went out to an attorney in Texas. While much quicker than the usual type of response i might receive, I know Mike took a second to let me know he’s OK.

Mark DuPerow says:

Mike and I enjoyed many adventures through the years. His friendship will be truely missed. My prayers go out to the Keliher family.

Martha Stiles says:

The last time I saw Mike, was at our 40th Class Reunion. It was great to see him. My Deepest Sympathies go out to his family and friends.

Susan Conlon says:

While I have only known Mike for the past year, it was very apparent how much he cared for Kaye, his sister Keli, and his Golden Retrievers. He was a man easy to get to know and will be missed. All that knew him respected him on earth and know that he is in a better place now.
Rest in Peace, Mike

Lisa Menardi says:

My love to Mike’s family. He was such a giving, funny, brilliant man. His passion about our Executive MBA Program and U-M was infectious. He will be deeply missed by the entire EMBA09 cohort of students. Mike, we will pay it forward.

Walter Gross III says:

My condolences go out Mike’s wife Kaye and the rest of the Keliher family. Mike was a lot younger than I in the SAE fraternity at Miami University. But I knew his sister Keli who introduced us. It saddens me when one of my brother’s passes away too quickly. He will be missed.

Gloria DeCoste says:

Condolences to Kaye and all of Mike’s family. I was in Mike’s MBA class. He was smart, kind, caring and generous. He had a seemingly endless source of wit and humor. I can still hear his voice and laughter. He will surely be missed. Rest in peace, my friend.

Bruce Heldt says:

My heartfelt sympathy & prayers to Kaye, Keli, Maureen & anyone else hurting today. Mike & I enjoyed a long friendship with many good times. He was a brilliant, witty, fun guy, with a great love of sports. I wish him peace now. God Bless, Mike. Your friend, Bruce.

Len Middleton says:

My condolences to Kaye and the Keliher family. Mike was my MBA student and we became good friends. I will surely miss his wit, energy, and good nature!

Kelly Curnutt says:

While our sense of loss on earth is tough, I know without a doubt from multiple personal conversations with Mike about his faith in Jesus Christ that he is depression free and filled with the ultimate joy in heaven!

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭

Rick Ross says:

My condolences go out to the keliher family at this much too early loss-Mike was a great brother at SAE of Miami U and a good person to be around especially during our poker games at the fraternity house-We will miss you you Mike but know you now have all the answers and are in a better place

Gloria DeCoste says:

Our condolences to Kaye and all of Mike’s family. Mike and I were on a team together during our MBA program at Michigan. He was a smart guy who had seemingly endless wit, humor and energy. Always willing to lift others up when they were down. Rest in peace, Mike. You’ll be missed.

Brandon Beeken says:

From the moment I met Mike at a Miami University Alumni event, I knew I wanted to be associated with him. From that initial encounter resulted a friendship and mentorship that had a positive influence on my life. Mike invested in me personally, professionally and spiritually. I’ll always treasure our conversations over lunch at Sonny Bryan’s and the wisdom he shared no matter what the topic.

Mike was a main reason I chose to pursue business school, and he even wrote some of my recommendations. He would always check in with me, and Mike was the king of making introductions between people he thought would benefit from knowing each other. Those relationships now live on with Mike forever tied to their beginning.

My favorite story to recall about Mike is when I was going on my first mission trip a couple years ago. After I sent my fundraising goal to a large group of family and friends, Mike immediately contributed a very generous amount and shared the following Scripture: Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I love you, Mike. Kaye, I’m praying for you and the whole family. I’m sorry for your loss of an amazing man.

Kelly Curnutt says:

My wife and I are thankful to have known Mike, and still remember some initial fellowship through mutual dog sitting back in the day. Our hearts go out to Kay and family.
Based on personal conversations with Mike about his faith in Jesus Christ, we take great comfort in knowing that Mike is now depression free and filled with the ultimate joy in heaven! “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭

Len Middleton says:

My condolences to Kaye and Mike’s family. Mike’s wit, energy, and good nature will surely be missed. Mike was a student in my MBA course who became a good friend. He will be missed.

Larry Keeshan says:

I first met Mike 25 or so years ago when we worked together on a big case at Gibson Dunn. Over the years I came to know him well and admired him greatly for his commitment, passion and excellence as a lawyer. Mike was a true professional, but beyond that, a delightful person — he had a wonderfully dry sense of humor, a great sense of loyalty and obligation to his friends, and was an upbeat person to be around. While we did not see each other very frequently after we both left Gibson Dunn, it was always easy to rekindle the relationship. My deepest sympathies to Kaye and Mike’s family.

Gary Heldt says:

Kaye/Kelli/Maureen/Mrs. Keliher:

I was dhocked and deeply saddened to hear about Mike’s passing. What a gifted and wonderful man he was and a truly great friend. Someone you could ALWAYS count on and you can’t say that about too many people in life. He was a friend of the entire Heldt Family for almost 50 years and we will all miss him deeply. Mere words cannot describe how sad I am about Mike’s passing. All of your families are in our thoughts and prayers.

Blake Hamilton says:

I am grateful that the Lord is blessing you, Mike, even as I write this and you are experiencing His peace. It was wonderful to see you at the reunion and especially to spend so much time with you over that weekend. I wish I had known it would be our last time seeing each other. My deepest condolences to Kaye and all of the extended Keliher family. Mike was a committed and faithful friend to many of his Bay High School classmates. We will miss him…

Doug Hafer says:

I was honored to call Mike a friend. He was a very generous and giving soul. I met him when I was a young lawyer. He was one of my first mentors. We stayed in contact over the years, both professionally and personally. I will miss him.

Ken Schlecht says:

Mike was great guy. He was also one of the smartest and wisest person I have had the blessing to meet. He always had a different, insightful perspective that no one else ever thought of. He was also a man of Christ, and I know he his enjoying the fruits of he devotion to God as we send our condolences to the Kelliher family. The Ken Schlecht family

Tom "TL" Miron says:

I was saddened to hear the news about Mike. We were very good friends in college, and beyond, and he is gone much too soon. His wife and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Cristine Marco Hoffmann says:

I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of Mike! Saw him at the 40th BHS Class Reunion and talk to him about a website he was trying to put together for fund raising. My thoughts and deepest sympathy for the family!

Janet Bever Smylie says:

I was so saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. We had reconnected a bit on Facebook, sharing some great memories of our growing up as neighbors. I always loved his family. My condolences to all.

Steve Valco says:

My condolences to Kaye and Mike’s family, my prayers are with you. I really enjoyed spending some time with Mike on the Friday & Saturday of the 40th reunion. Will miss him.

Allison Atherton says:

I am beyond saddened. You are special to me and always will be. I appreciated the encouragement to go back to college and that internal auditing was a great career. It sure has been! You will be missed. Kaye, I am so very sorry for your loss. Mike was a great man and I will remember him well.

Liz Kogge Tippit says:

I’m so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. Mike was always a complete gentleman with a kind word to say. He was such a thoughtful friend. Not too long ago I received a beautiful card from him when my stepson was sick. The world has lost a good person and I feel fortunate to have known him. Such sad news.

Liz Kogge Tippit says:

My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Mike’s family. I’m so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. Mike was always a complete gentleman with a kind word to say. He was such a thoughtful friend. Not too long ago I received a beautiful card from him when my stepson was sick. The world has lost a good person and I feel fortunate to have known him.

Cindy LeClaire says:

Dear Kaye & Family, I consider myself a lucky person to have had the opportunity to meet Mike and Kaye numerous years ago. Mike and I have kept in contact throughout the years and when I was advised of his passing today, this saddens me tremendously. I am sending lots of huggs and kisses and strength for Kaye and the entire family on the loss of such a wonderful person.Love from your NY Friend,Cindy

PJ Harari says:

As I get ready to send out the annual Harari – Keliher’ NCAA basketball pool, I am reminded of how many laughs we shared. In the 30 years I’ve known him since we were associates at Gibson Dunn, he was always an interesting person to talk with, so passionate and caring. My husband and I had such a great time with him at the ESPYs a few years ago in LA providing yet another lifelong memory for us. He will be missed. Our deepest condolences to Kaye and the rest of his family.

Mark Callister says:

A genuinely good person. I worked with Mike in the 80’s and after leaving Los Angeles Mike stopped by my office in Salt Lake City for a visit. That visit is still vivid in my memory because I was so struck by Mike’s love for and tribute to his father who had recently passed. Most of us appreciate our parents but Mike’s devotion impressed me as remarkable, something I remember to this day. I am confident that relationship has been renewed and I want to express my sincere condolences to Mike’s family.

Mike Dye says:

Mike was always thinking of the other guy. He happened to be driving through St. Louis once, stopped to buy and mail me a Cardinal tee shirt. I hadn’t seen him in years. Godspeed Michael. Lots of great memories!

Michael V Ward says:

My condolences to Kaye and the Keliher family. Mike was authentic, caring and a wonderful friend. We met at a deposition table in a major lawsuit he was defending. Our depositions during two years of the lawsuit took us to Hong Kong, Denver, Chicago, SF, LA, NYC, Toronto, Dallas, London and even Lompoc federal prison. Mike was a great adversary who eventually became a better friend. Even my brother became Mike’s friend. I will always cherish the memory and friendship I have of Mike Keliher.

Tim Janssen says:

What a shock! Mike was one of the good guys He was a great sports fan ( U of M football, Cleveland Browns football, we went to the 1980 playoff game Red Right 88, Northfield park for the trotters where he brought home the 8-1 Michigan Invader on a 50 dollar bet. ) Saying he will be missed just does not seem enough.

Larry Santone says:

My sincere condolences and prayers to Kaye and all of Mike’s family. Mike was a great friend and confident growing up together in Bay. I will miss his humor and wit.

jay s griffin says:

The Miamian, the magazine of Miami University, just arrived and I was saddened to read about Mike’s passing. My condolences go out to Kaye and the rest of Mike’s family. Mike and I were SAE’s together and graduated from Miami University in the same year. I have not seen Mike since graduation, but he was a great big beautiful personality in the fraternity house. All the brothers in the house called him by his last name, which just the mention of conjures up memories of someone fun, always in the thick of it, and always with a witty response. I was happy to learn that Mike was married, loved by so many friends and family, and had accomplished so much in his life. The picture of Mike with the Golden’s is very heartening as my family and I have lived in California for the last 30 years surrounded as well in our home by Golden Retrievers whom will bring to me a remembrance of Mike.

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