TRIBUTE TO DR MICHAEL M EGO
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, at the University of Connecticut, Stamford.
Sometimes in life, you meet someone and straight away you just know that they are a kindred spirit. Within minutes, you can strike up a friendship and feel at ease in their company. You keep in touch despite time and distance, and when you next meet up it is as though you met each other the day before. Michael Ego was one of these people.
His untimely passing has robbed us of a valued colleague, an inspirational figure, but above all else a really, really great guy.
Michael came over to Scotland twice to see what we were doing by way of sports-based reminiscence for those with memory loss and dementia in particular. He immediately made many new friends, both professionally and personally. His easy-going manner meant that older people related well to him and he was able to get them to contribute wonderful stories and experiences to add to his collection. He saw the passion and commitment for himself, and he was so determined to take these ideas back to Connecticut and the USA in general.
He loved our native sports and was fascinated by our passion for what you guys would call Soccer, as well as Golf and the game of Shinty. Michael could see how Golf could easily become a huge area for reminiscence and physical activity, and he was especially impressed by what he saw at Perth and Carnoustie. He was passionate about sports-based reminiscence and we were all delighted to hear of his success with Baseball. I know that Golf was next on his list. We also discussed then potential for Ice Hockey Memories and NFL Memories.
His input at our Football Memories National Conference in November 2017 was widely acclaimed and he appeared on national television here in Scotland. He established links with the University of Edinburgh and we were all looking forward to his next visit.
He was great company and a genial host, possessed of a quiet but effective sense of humour. We all loved the man.
The best legacy we can think of is to continue the links Michael helped establish between the USA and Scotland, to share ideas and outcomes, and to collaborate in research into the effectiveness of sports-based reminiscence. He started something very powerful in The States and we are all keen to see his work continue, despite all the barriers we both come across in trying to persuade the doubters and cynics.
Michael Ego will not be forgotten by those Scots who met him. Some tributes tend to eulogise the person who has passed away and to elevate their achievements to Olympian heights. This one doesn't do that.
Here in Scotland, Michael will be remembered as an outstanding academic, a passionate Sports fan, but above all else as a really genuine, warm, open, approachable, funny guy and an inspirational figure. He always spoke with pride about his family and their achievements and we all felt we sort of knew them, although we never met.
We know their loss is greatest, but we also feel we have lost a true friend. Our lives would have been poorer without meeting Michael Ego.
Hugh Dan MacLennan