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HomeObituariesIn Memory: Michael Temple, Age 62

In Memory: Michael Temple, Age 62

Obituary - Michael TempleMichael Temple, originally from Chicago, Illinois, and later of Rye, New York, passed away on April 1, 2024, at the age of 62.

Mike had a special passion for history. He immersed himself in the past, always carrying a large book or two. It may have been a biography of a President or founding father, a tome on Jewish history, or a tale of baseball lore. You were bound to see him at the Rye Free Reading Room, Rye Town Park, or the Playland boardwalk, his latest book in tow.

Mike was a standout in academics and had a fierce competitive streak, a fact to which his siblings Matthew and Madeline, can certainly attest. Even as a child, he was competitive. If you actually knew the answer to one of his trivia questions, you had best run for cover. His father Donald still has battle scars after correctly answering that 6th Avenue was also known as Avenue of the Americas.  A proud man, Mike was not always a graceful loser.

His intelligence and dedication led him to Harvard, where it was no surprise that he majored in US History. After college, he embarked on a career at Cargill as a commodity trader. His upward trajectory was swift, eventually landing him in New York as a successful trader on Wall Street. He spent his career at Morgan Stanley, Wasserstein Perella, and later Weeden & Co., and Piper Jaffray.

Mike met his wife, Jeanne, serendipitously on an airplane on a flight back to Chicago. They struck up a conversation about tennis after Jeanne spotted his tennis racquet. The rest was history.

Sports was a door-opener to many conversations with Mike. While private on personal subjects, the quickest way to get him animated was to bring up sports or the weather. While seemingly surface-level topics to most, Mike had a unique ability, some might say talent, for regaling you in deep conversation about baseball, tennis, or the forecast for next week.

Mike was exceptionally, sometimes intimidatingly, smart. He could dazzle with his encyclopedic knowledge of history and delighted in sharing trivial knowledge and the history of common phrases to anyone in his sphere. He was a superb and persuasive writer and a devil with figures. He wielded those smarts and fiendish competitiveness to his family’s dismay when playing cards. In later years, the family learned to save games of hearts for special occasions only. It was too brutal to play against him regularly. Mike the card shark nearly always shot the moon.

His smarts and stubbornness guided him personally and professionally, and meant he was afforded the rare opportunity to retire young. Upon retiring in his early forties, he made the unusual choice of being a stay-at-home father, stepping into a bigger role in parenting and caretaking for his children, Susan and Mark. He enjoyed being present and involved in their lives, loved coaching their softball and baseball teams, and having the time to be an active parent.

His retirement also meant he could spend time with his own hobbies and interests, including playing tennis, reading, following baseball (he was so happy to see his beloved Cubbies win the World Series in 2016), playing bridge, and being involved in the Rye community.

Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Sarah, and is survived by his children, Susan (Nathan) and Mark, former wife Jeanne; father Donald; and brother and sister Matthew and Madeline.

To honor Mike’s memory his family asks that you consider a donation in his name to the Rye Free Reading Room, a place he cherished and spent a great deal of time. Beyond donations, they ask that you honor his memory by finding a good book, preferably one from your local library, and sitting by a body of water to read on a sunny afternoon.

The service is on Thursday, April 11th at 10:00am at Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester (2125 Westchester Avenue in Rye).

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