News & Events

MICHAEL T. GAVIN: 1928 – 2019

We mourn the passing of our co-founder, leader, and dear friend, Michael T. Gavin — “Mike.” But, as Mike would have us do, we also celebrate his amazing life and the incredible legacy he built not only here at Mansour Gavin but through his family and throughout Cleveland’s legal, business, and charitable communities.

Mike was a homegrown Clevelander who remained active in our community his entire life. A graduate of Cathedral Latin High School, John Carroll University, and Western Reserve Law School, Mike went on to serve in the Navy during World War II.

Mike and Marjorie “Margie” Gibbons Gavin married 64 years ago. They raised six wonderful children, Maribeth Wuertz, Jane Bacon, Michael Gavin, Neil Gavin, Maura Gavin, and his beloved Katie Gavin. His and Margie’s greatest times were spent with their children, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren on the sandy banks of Lake Michelangelo situated in his backyard in Chesterland, Ohio or on his pontoon boat in Marco Island, Florida.

Mike started his legal career with the legendary Judge George McMonagle in private practice. Mike later joined forces with Eli Manos and together, they formed the preeminent real estate eminent domain legal team in Northeast Ohio. In 1972, Mike and his partner, Eli Manos, joined his Case classmate Ernie Mansour to lead Merkel Campbell Dill & Zetzer. In 1977, Mike and Ernie formed what is today Mansour Gavin.

Mike was an inspirational leader for many of us. For those of us fortunate to have been in the courtroom with Mike, we witnessed one of the great trial lawyers of our time. Mike was a lawyer who spoke to jurors, judges and opposing counsel with genuine warmth, ease, compassion, and respect while at the same time convincing all of the rightness ( and sometimes righteousness) of his clients’ causes.  One would not walk down the street or go to lunch with Mike without being continually interrupted by politicians, judges, lawyers, and of course, his friends, all wanting to talk with Mike or seek his advice and support. Mike made time for every single person. At Mansour Gavin, he always took the time to know, encourage and develop relationships with everyone at the firm, and to know their families. For many years, Mike and Margie hosted our Firm’s summer picnic at their home, and he would take great delight in the young families and in the children swimming, laughing and running around his backyard. He and Margie never missed an opportunity to attend Firm annual outings at the Catawba Island Club where he would spend time with many of the Firm’s friends and clients. And he and Margie never missed our Holiday gatherings even joining in this year’s recent celebration at the Terminal Tower. Today, it’s almost impossible to find a picture of Mike without a smile on his face, water in the background, and a family member or friend at his side.

Mike had great faith and now joins our Lord in this next part of his life’s journey. We are grateful for Mike’s life, for his enduring friendship, and for our wonderful memories of Mike. He has left us with a proud heritage and a lasting example of how to live a meaningful life.

Click here to view Mike’s Obituary.