Michael Flood, 55
One more Gallup Family descendant, G. Michael Flood, was buried at the historic Hillside Cemetery in North Adams on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Michael was born on Oct. 7, 1965, and passed over to the other side of this earthly realm on June 28, 2021. We mourn him and honor his memory. To talk about my nephew and now write this memorial remembrance brings tears to my eyes and misty memories seen through my tears.
Michael is another family member haunted by the dreaded family disease. We had reconnected several years ago, and then I had to step away as the disease overcame him, but I called him on his birthday last Oct. 7, 2020, and he was in recovery. What a joyful reunion and wonderful times we shared together in the months ahead. He was struggling so mightily to get his life on track, to begin anew while searching for a path into his next chapter. We embraced and relished our times together...A newfound family relationship for both of us.
I brought him into my world of community television and asked him to be Assistant Director on my Solutions Rising program, which delighted him. As a historian of a primary source historical wireless collection, KeySpark, I brought him into that world and asked him to be a curator. He was thrilled. I gave him what has become "The Tour" of our Gallup ancestors in the Berkshires, a tour that I somehow got to be the tour conductor of for every Gallup family member who came to North Adams. He loved "The Tour" and all the family stories. He loved the ancestral stories he had never known.
Michael graduated with first a Bachelor and then a Master of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. He was brilliant in his field. He was an innovator. For years at Xerox he created projects and followed through from their inception until completion until the division was dissolved. When he returned to Pittsfield for a position with General Dynamics, again that division was dissolved. He really cared about peace and was not comfortable at General Dynamics because of their participation in weapons manufacturing and all it implied.
Life just seemed to slide downhill from there. He became ill early in the year and could not seem to get his health back and eventually lost his battle with the dreaded family disease. He worked in jobs that were so far below his ability and brilliant mind, the effects of which I knew were incredibly demeaning. After community service, he was in what appeared to be a very successful recovery. We even laughed that part of that community service was at The Flood House in North Adams, his great grandmother's home, now owned by the Louison House, a place for homeless individuals.
Our laughter over shared family stories was nonstop, and I will always remember the twinkle in his eye and the unending stories he wanted to share with me, and those I wanted to share with him. It appears we both shared a quirky sense of humor together.
Last fall he went to Rochester to visit his daughters and granddaughters and shared the family stories; and, of course, talked about "The Tour!" He loved being with his daughters and granddaughters and felt such joy when he sent the makings of gingerbread houses at Christmas for his granddaughters. I asked about his son and found out he was working in San Francisco. He deeply loved his children and grandchildren.
We were working on updating his resume; and, of course, it was so technical I told him somehow we would have to find simpler words to highlight his gifts so I could understand, never mind those who would be reading about his exceptional background. It had to be done so he could apply for positions that would use his exceptional skills.
I had given him a painting called, "Moon over Pleasure Beach," which I had commissioned from an artist named Nicholas Drenchen, a Vietnam Veteran and a psychiatric nurse. Michael loved that painting and was in the process of creating a "bug" for use on my Solutions Rising Community TV program.
We were planning so many things together, especially a drive over the Mohawk Trail to visit his aunt and uncle, Carol & Bob Updike. He was really looking forward to that visit.
And we were going to Rochester together for an Antique Wireless Association conference where I am to be a presenter and will be speaking on his birthday anniversary, Oct. 7. He had just begun work on the project to streamline and coordinate what I needed for the presentation. Of course, my KeySpark presentation will be dedicated to Michael. And now and for the rest of my life, thoughts of my dearest nephew Michael will be transmitted through the KeySpark of my memories.
Michael, Dearest Nephew, You will always be Loved and Cherished by Your Aunt Rachel
Copyright, September 4, 2021, Rachel I. Branch
Memorial Contributions in Loving Memory of G. Michael Flood may be made payable to the Northern Berkshire Community Television Corporation (NBCTC).