July 15, 1940 â February 15, 2022
Michael Joseph Holliday died Tuesday February 15, 2022 at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. A longtime resident of Westfield, NJ, he was 81 years old.
The oldest of 4, Mike was born in Youngstown, OH on July 15, 1940 and grew up in nearby Campbell. From an early age, he was very responsible and showed tremendous devotion to his family and his younger siblings. He attended Memorial High School where he played football for the Red Devils when he wasn't developing his skills on the piano or serving as an altar boy. He went on to study Electrical Engineering at Ohio State University, followed by law at Columbia University where he graduated in 1966 and served on the Law Review editorial board.
Mike clerked for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Edward C. McLean before joining New York law firm Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood as an associate. He left the firm in 1974, going in-house at AT&T, to pursue corporate law for the remainder of his career and amass a unique and impactful set of experiences.
At AT&T Mike was a principal legal participant in the breakup and divestiture of the Bell System in 1984 and frequently involved in the subsequent court cases establishing and delineating the regional operating companies. Following a long stint as the chief counsel for AT&T's Network Services Division, where he managed relationships with the FCC and other regulatory bodies, Mike had another unique experience in helping complete the spinoff and launch of Lucent Technologies in 1996. He spent the remainder of his professional career managing the financial reporting and SEC relationships for Lucent, until he retired in 2001.
Following his retirement, Mike remained active in the legal community, as a member of both the NY and NJ Bar Associations, and the NYSBA Corporate Secretaries and Securities Regulation Committees, but increasingly devoted his attention to the next generation of his growing family. Henceforth known as "Papa", Mike traded derivatives for diapers and became a doting grandfather. The highlight of his year was always a week at the NJ shore, spending time on the beach with his grandchildren, enjoying some fresh seafood, and flying his kite a little too high for FAA comfort.
Throughout his life, Mike remained an active and avid reader â the Wall St. Journal and NY Times were his papers of choice, and he particularly enjoyed perusing the NYT Book Review in his never-ending hunt for interesting books on diverse and arcane topics. So much the better, when enjoyed with a glass of bourbon or a nice Bordeaux.
Most importantly, Mike was dedicated to acquiring and sharing knowledge. He always liked to say, "If I hadn't become a lawyer, I would have taught math." He loved asking his grandkids what they were studying and was always happy to dispense advice. Usually this came via constructive commentary or interesting anecdotes, occasionally via a Monopoly beatdown. Kind and gentle, in his final years "Papa" became the center of family events and everyone loved to hear his stories.
Mike is survived by his wife of 56 years Marty Holliday; children Michael M. Holliday (Julie) and Laura Holliday Rankin (Kevin); grandchildren Charlotte Holliday, Olivia Holliday, Grace Holliday, Jack Rankin and Maggie Rankin; siblings Robert Holliday, Phyllis Jennings (nee Holliday) and Donna Holliday Jacobs; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Michael H. Holliday and Margaret Holliday.
A Memorial Mass and Celebration of his life will be at 10:30AM Saturday June 4, 2022, at St. Helen Catholic Church, Westfield, NJ.. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mike's memory to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. www.stjude.org
Arrangements by Gray Funeral Directors, Westfield. You may go to grayfuneralhomes.com for on line condolences.