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Head, Michael J.

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January 29, 1971 - March 8, 2015

Head, Michael J.

Husband, father, brother, son: Michael Joseph Head of Dallas died on Sunday, March 8th, 2015 at the age of 44.

A native of Temple, a 1989 graduate of Temple High School and a 1997 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Art, Mike married Jennifer Thompson at the Texas Renaissance Festival on October 21st, 2000

They have one son, Elijah Miles, born October 16, 2007.

Anyone spending any amount of time with Mike would notice almost immediately his wit, his sense of humor and his keen observations on human nature and humans, both general and specific.  With a downright eclectic taste in things musical, literary and poetic, he was and remains unpigeonholeable.  A lifelong artist, a fiercely competitive athlete, a devoted husband and father, a bit of a sage, a poet…Mike was all these and more.

Though he’s left us – far too early and far too young – he has also left behind for us quite a legacy:

–          The woman he loved and married, the son they had together and the life they created;

–          His search for truth and beauty across a staggeringly broad spectrum of human pursuits, both his and others;

–          His sometimes maddening but never boring stance as the Justified Man, and;

–          His friendship.

A collection of his works will be on display at the memorial service.

Mike is survived by his wife, Jennifer, their son, Elijah, both of Dallas; by his mother, Susan, of Temple; and by his brother, Gabriel, his wife, Amanda, and their children, all of whom live in San Antonio.


Mike, in his own words:

“I am a romantic: to me, realism is boring.  While I am appreciative of the technical ability displayed in landscapes, portraiture or genre painting, an artist should have a higher function than to mirror nature.”

“Reality tastes of bread.  Realism is taking the bread of our visual experiences and making a ham and cheese sandwich.  Peanut butter, marshmallow cream and mango jelly sandwiches taste like imagination.”

“Imagination is uniquely man’s and is better than the best copy of reality.  It is important to note that you can’t make any sandwiches without bread.  Reality is the foundation for imagination.”

“In my work, I am striving to make a peanut butter, marshmallow cream and mango jelly sandwich.”

“Making YOUR mark is important.  Many people who feel unconfident in their artistic skills are secret doodlers.  Doodling communicates thought as much if not more than some boring realistic landscape.  Send me your doodles if you cannot write.  I can read doodles as well if not better than anything else – I’ve been trained!”

“I’m a visionary, ahead of my time, the only problem is that I’m only about fifteen minutes ahead…if you see the girl with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair tell her I’m looking for her.  Until next time, may the Force be with you.  Love, Mike.”



A memorial service celebrating the life of Michael Joseph Head will be held at 3:30 P.M., Thursday, March 12, 2015 at ARIA Memorial Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests interested parties to please consider a donation to a college fund for Michael’s son, Elijah, which has been established online and can be accessed here:



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

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Mike Sixer

October 18, 2020 1:52AM

"when I moved to Europe" I'm dying laughing. "I'm a visionary." There went my sides!

Christina Fernandez Shapter

March 19, 2015 10:02PM

I also went to high school with Mike, class of '89. I've been trying to find the words to express my shock and sadness upon hearing of his passing. Too, too soon. I tremendously laud Susan for raising such a kind and gentle soul, with the delicate heart of a poet, and the freedom to express his artistry. I am so glad he found his mate, and brought such a beautiful son into the world. I'll always remember Mike in his yellow goalie shirt, black shorts, long white socks...and his lions mane of dirty blond hair flying through the air as he dove for the soccer ball. I'll remember his deep laugh. His baritone voice. His encyclopedic knowledge of music. The kindness of his eyes. I am so grateful for his friendship though the years have passed. My deepest condolences to the whole family.

Matt Burns

March 14, 2015 7:48AM

Gabe / Susan,
Thoughts and prayers out to both of you. As I learned the news of Mikes passing my heart grew heavy. I know out there is a star in the heavens that is shining very bright with Mikes spirit.

Laura Davison Futch

March 13, 2015 10:15PM

Oh my goodness!!! I graduated with Mike. I always thought he was a great person with a huge heart. You will be greatly missed Mike. Prayers for family

Catherine Mackey

March 13, 2015 2:38PM

Jennifer- I played soccer with Mike for many years in little league soccer. We rode bikes together to and from practices. He always had a smile on his face. He will be missed. My prayers are with you and your son.

Jan Ward

March 12, 2015 8:55PM

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manner of thy friends or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

Serena (Anazagasty) Pace

March 12, 2015 9:43AM

Sitting here while my baby sleeps, I think of a mother who once held little hands that did so much in a lifetime and touched so many lives in a multitude of ways. I think of cherished hugs between a husband and a wife and a dad an his son. While I cannot be there today at his memorial, I celebrate with you, Mike's life. I have only good memories of a truly kind-hearted man. My regret was not having you all over after learning you lived down the street from me after briefly reconnecting at our THS 20-year reunion. Still, my focus remains on a life that was vibrant, creative and oh so kind. I learned about music from Mike in high school. There was life outside of Duran Duran and others! Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel. We lived down the road from each other in high school... went to Sr. Prom together... What I appreciated most was simply a friend who was real with me, who included me, who was ok with me being me. I think that's the kind of guy Mike was. My heart goes out to Jennifer and Elijah and the Head family. He certainly made an impact on this world. As his life is celebrated this afternoon, I pray for many more wonderful memories to be shared. I pray peace, comfort, laughter and smiles will abound. Mike's life, in 44 years, accomplished much and gave much. I am thankful our paths crossed so many years ago. I am so very thankful he found such a wonderful wife to love and was blessed with such a terrific son to impress his heart upon. I am deeply saddened for your loss and will continue to keep you all in my thoughts, heart and in prayers. May God strengthen you with peace that passes all understanding. Hugs and love from a friend from a long time ago, Serena.

Susanna Stringfellow Jakubik

March 11, 2015 11:12PM

Jennifer and Elijah,
I went to high school with Mike; he was in my brother Mac's wedding and Mac and his wife Jennifer and my parents attended yours. I am so very sorry for your loss; it still does not seem like Mike could be gone. Keep your faith and lean on your friends and family. Susanna

Tiffany Davenport

March 11, 2015 2:02PM

I went to high school with Mike and I always thought he was an exceptional person. He was witty, clever, very cool and very kind. Sometime after we all graduated college he gave me a print he made called 'Red Square in Blue Triangle'. I liked it so much that when I moved to Europe I took it with me. I had it professionally framed a few years ago and it's now proudly hanging in my home. I think of him and the gang, playing 'Famous Names' every time I look at it. I wish I could be there tomorrow with the THS gang to say goodbye.

My condolences to his beautiful family. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss.


Charles Luff

March 10, 2015 11:52PM

I had the pleasure of working with Mike. I enjoyed good conversations with him, but I had a greater respect for him for the attention he gave me to succeed at our job. I feel like he took time to mentor me, especially the last three months. I will miss my work buddy.
I am very sorry for your loss,
Charles Luff

Faye Martin

March 10, 2015 9:34PM

Jennifer, My heart is broken for you and your little son. May God walk this path with you and hold you close in His love and comfort. My prayers are with you. Faye Martin