Michel Thomas Fink, loving husband to Jennifer MacIntyre and devoted father to Lucy and Vivienne Fink, died in Ottawa, Canada on October 19, 2017. He was 48 years old.
Michael was born in the Washington, D.C. area on January 20, 1969. Together with his parents, Leo (deceased) and Sharon Fink, and sisters, Rebecca (Donahue) and Jennifer (Doyle), Michael lived all over the world – Ethiopia, Cyprus, Greece, France and Australia. Michael was very close with his parents and sisters, and he loved bringing Jennifer, Lucy and Vivienne to visit them at the family home in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey.
Michael graduated from Scotch College in Adelaide, Australia, and studied international relations at Norwich University in Montpelier, Vermont. He later completed a Masters in International Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., before beginning his career with the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration.
Michael spent over a decade implementing complex U.S. government programs to secure weapons-grade nuclear material around the world. He was truly passionate about nuclear non-proliferation work and saw it as his way of “fighting the good fight,” as his late father used to say, and making a contribution. Michael spent the final years of his career with Switzerland’s Arktis Radiation Detectors, and his daughters are always proud to say “Daddy works to stop bombs.”
Michael taught himself to cook when he was 18-years-old and spent the next 30 years perfecting and sharing his incredible talent and passion with family and friends. He cooked for those he loved – always with the best and most simple ingredients and traditional techniques. He would never have called himself a foodie. For Michael, cooking was a traditional craft, and his family and friends agree that he was a great craftsman. Lucy and Vivienne always confidently say, “Daddy is the best cook.”
Michael met Jennifer, a Canadian diplomat, while working on a Canada-U.S. nuclear security project in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2004. They then spent the next 13 years building a life together – with great love, much travel and many wonderful home-cooked meals. Michael said he knew he loved Jennifer when he arrived to visit her for the first time in Ottawa and saw the hours of food preparation she had done for their dinner together.
Michael and Jennifer were married in 2007, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, home of Jennifer’s parents, Donna and Allison MacIntyre. Michael and Jennifer lived first in Washington, D.C. and then Ottawa, and welcomed a new daughter in each city – Lucy in 2009 and Vivienne in 2012. Michael, Jennifer and their girls recently returned from Bern, Switzerland, where they had lived since 2013. During this time, they enjoyed beautiful family vacations at favorite spots in Italy, France, and the Swiss Alps. Amidst these adventures, what the entire family loved most was being at home together – cozy in front of the fire with Michael’s delicious food.
Michael was a wonderful and gentle man. He loved Jennifer and their daughters with all his heart. In everything, he was their greatest champion and support. They love him deeply and will miss him every day forever and ever.
In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to make a donation to the Ottawa Mission (www.ottawamission.com). It would make Michael happy to know individuals from vulnerable communities were receiving home-cooked meals in his memory.
A visitation with family and friends will be held at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor), Ottawa, on Thursday, October 26, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church, 100 Main Street, Ottawa, on Friday, October 27, at 11:30 a.m.