Michael Edmund Toughill (Vail)

Born: Sat., Mar. 30, 1946
Died: Sat., Jul. 15, 2017


Celebration of Life

10:00 AM Fri., Jul. 28, 2017
Location: Vail Interfaith Chapel


Memorial Mass

10:00 AM Mon., Jul. 31, 2017
Location: All Souls Catholic Church


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Michael Edmund Toughill passed away at Vail Valley Medical Center after a fast and hard battle with mesothelioma cancer.  

Mike was a native Coloradoan born in Denver at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  He graduated from Machebeuf High School in 1964.  He attended Colorado University for two years before being drafted into the Army where he served as a radio communications specialist.  He worked in the Climax Mine before returning to Colorado University, earning a business degree.  He became a full time Vail resident in 1968.  He was a 41 year union carpenter and served as president of Western Slope Carpenters Local 244 for many years.  Mike worked on many of the large lodges in Vail and Beaver Creek.  He loved skiing and was an instructor out of the Lionshead pod.  He was an avid sportsman and had a passion for hunting and fly fishing.  He loved telling stories about his beloved dog Buns, gold mining in Alaska and he also loved his mules.  He was always ready to tell the story of how his great grandfather came into Eagle County helping to build the railroad and later teaching school in Edwards and Red Cliff.  Mike was a member of the Eagle County Trails Committee and was active in the Eagle County Democrats.  He always offered a helping hand, a listening ear and an open heart to those who knew him and to those who crossed his path.  We will do our best to carry on the “Toughill Smile”.

Mike is survived by his mother Sue Riley; his best friend and much loved wife of 31 years, Carolyn “DJ” Djernes; sisters Tudi Toughill, Laura Logsdon, Mary Race and his uncle, aunt, nieces, nephews and cousins to whom he was an inspiration.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Vail Interfaith Chapel in Vail, Colorado.  A Reception will follow at the Swiss Chalet Restaurant in the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Monday, July 31, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at All Souls Catholic Church, 4950 S. Logan Street, Englewood, Colorado. Inurnment will be at 2:30 p.m. at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

Contributions may be made to the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, In honor of Michael Toughill, 3011 Townsgate Road - Suite 450, Westlake Village, California 91361.  

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Jim Gleason
   Posted Fri July 21, 2017
Great Craftsman and dedicated Trade Unionist. Tough individual who knew how to get his point across. Very respected by members and officers of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters as well as employers he worked for. He will be missed

Jan Hiland
   Posted Fri July 21, 2017
OH CAROLYN! This is overwhelming and so unbelievable! Steve was in town a couple of weeks ago and as we drove by your place on Hwy 6 we thought about you both and vowed to touch base. What a beautiful and loving soul he had. So kind and endearing. Please, please take care of yourself. I will be working at the Vail International Dance Festival for the next 3 weeks, but please call if you need anything. 970-471-9783. Much love, Jan

Jill Cleghorn
   Posted Fri July 21, 2017
Carolyn - my prayers are with you at this time. Mike was such a wonderful human being and good friend. He will be so missed.


Travor, Stephanie, and Elijah Dunsdon
   Posted Sat July 22, 2017
Mike was one of a kind. Generous, cheerful, and optimistic Mike truly was a visionary. We will miss our dear friend and neighbor of the last ten years, and our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with you Carolyn. May God be your strength during this difficult time. If you need anything at all we are here for you. Love and Prayers.

Bev (Longsine) Hulsebusch
   Posted Sun July 23, 2017
Carolyn: I am so very sorry to hear of Mike's death. I feel very lucky to have known him, though briefly, and knew instantly that he was a man of great character. After all, he was married to that 'wild and crazy' Nebraska girl! You two were so much fun to be around and your love for each other was special. Please keep in touch and feel free to give me a call if there is anything I can do. (402) 560-0797. Prayers to you!

Mickey Mussett
   Posted Mon July 24, 2017
Dear Carolyn,
I was at Machebeuf High School, one year behind Mike. We traveled in the same crowd and enjoyed our high school time together. Mike wrote me an email after he saw the article in the Denver Post about me being a custom cowboy bootmaker. I was so happy to hear from him and I tried mightily to respond, but my email failed me. I am so sorry I couldn't reach him. I don't know how he was later in life, but Mike was one of the toughest guys in our school, with an Irish heart of gold. My heart goes out to you for your loss. We will pray for you both.

Ellie Caryl
   Posted Mon July 24, 2017
Dear Carolyn,
I am so sorry to hear about Mike and for your loss. He was a man of great commitment, loyalty and enthusiasm and will be missed by many. I personally always enjoyed talking with him about his adventures past and current. He was such an asset to the ECO Trails Committee, serving for 20 years, bringing passion and long perspective to the table. He was always game to assist and 100% committed to making Eagle County better. My heart goes out to you, Carolyn. So sorry. Ellie

Louise Randall
   Posted Tue July 25, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with you Carolyn. I served on the trails committee with Mike during his entire tenure there. He was such a calm and thoughtful man. He truly loved the outdoors and wished to make it available to everyone, while protecting it at the same time. He will be missed by many here in the valley.

Mark Lemon
   Posted Tue July 25, 2017
When I first came to Vail in 1978 Mike took me under his wing and taught me about everything from carpentry to hunting and a lot about life in general. A more thoughtful, compassionate and considerate human being would be hard to meet. He was a leader by example, always with a cheerful positive attitude, he would tell amusing stories and make people laugh and feel good. He will be sorely missed.

Dick CLEVELAND
   Posted Tue July 25, 2017
I also served with Mike on the trails committee for the past 20 years. He was at our meeting last month. His wise counsel always made a difference and his tenacity and dedication to the community and recreation was always at the forefront. I'm shocked by his passing and will miss him.

Jennie Koenig
   Posted Wed July 26, 2017
Dear Carolyn,
I knew Mike from my few years on the Trails committee. His kindness, passion, thoughtfulness and smile are what I remember most about my short time with him.
My deep condolences to you and your family, I am so sorry for your loss.
Best, Jennie

Maggie (Schlereth) Weakley
   Posted Wed July 26, 2017
I graduated from Machebeuf in 1964 with Mike. We were always good friends. Enjoyed seeing him at some of the reunions. May he rest in peace with our Dear Lord.

Bella Southward
   Posted Wed July 26, 2017
My heartfelt sympathies. I am so glad I got to see him at the 50th reunion. He was such a nice guy in High School and it appears he remained so all his life.

blake martin
   Posted Wed July 26, 2017
So long to my winter buddy on Bellflower. I have plowed for the county 23 yrs. and have always done what ever he needed in the winter to make sure he was able to get his supplies for his wife. His smile and willingness to supply me a pop, or a pick me up conversation I will miss. I always looked forward to our visits in the snow. So long mike. I will have a beer for you. I will always remember!

Ellen (Barrows) Baker
   Posted Wed July 26, 2017
Graduated with Mike from high school. Had a nice talk with him at 25th reunion. God bless him and his family. Prayers are with you all!

Chris Offutt
   Posted Wed July 26, 2017
Mike was a good friend and neighbor over the years. He was always willing to lend a helping hand. One time all the power went out in my house and Mike came over and showed me the master switch on the meter....saving the day. I loved hearing his stories.....many I've repeated to awe-struck friends...about his gold-dredging adventures in Alaska. Mike was a true western outdoorsman and I think he would have been as happy....maybe happier...to have lived during the Frontier Days of the West. Carolyn, I have truly enjoyed your and Mike's friendship over the years and fellowship at Vail Symposium functions in recent years. I'll miss Mike !

Allen Dreher
   Posted Thu July 27, 2017
My condolences on your loss. I was a year ahead of Mike at Machebeuf and remember him well and with fondness. He was a good guy and will be missed my his high school classmates.

Greta Blamire
   Posted Thu July 27, 2017
Mike will be sorely missed on the ECO trails citizen committee. Through his 18 years of expert service to the committee, Mike could be counted on to be the voice of local experience and wisdom. Thank you to his family for so generously sharing him with us.
Greta Blamire ECO trails citizen committee

Colleen Callan
   Posted Fri July 28, 2017
Carolyn,

I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Mike for 15 years at the Union and he was so positive, kind, and always had a great story to tell. He was very appreciative of life and I know that he loved you more than his mules. He spoke about you often and was always your cheerleader. He will be missed...Good Day Mr. Toughill and God Speed!

Maggie Quinn
   Posted Tue August 15, 2017
Dear Carolyn, I just read about Mike's death and want to give you my deepest sympathies. Mike was a really great support in your care and I learned a lot from him about tenderness and marriage vows. I admire both of you and I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you are doing well. Love and prayers to you. Maggie

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