April 24, 2022
By Jasmine Willis
HORNELL — It is hard to sum up a life so well lived, and the impact one person can have on the world. A celebration of life was held on Sunday at The Main Place to honor the legacy of Mick Palmesano who passed away last month after a courageous battle with ALS.
Mick was the only son of Mike and Suzy Palmesano who put togther the celebration of life to honor their son’s impact on all those who knew and loved him. Michael “Mick” Allen Palmesano passed away on March 6 surrounded by family. He was born and raised in Hornell. At the age of 18 he graduated from Hornell High School, and left for Hollywood to pursue his passion for music.
Mick lived out his dream as a Rockstar from 1992 to 2000 being signed to three record deals and several bands. He attended and graduated from Hollywood Musicians Institute in 1992. He had joined the punk/speed metal band Aversion after graduating. Mick would go on to appear in MTV Headbangers Ball with the video “Let It Go” and recorded an album “Fall From Grace” at Dr. Dream Records in 1994.
Mick would go on the join a hard-core punk band called X-Members which opened for bands like Offspring, No Doubt, Biohazard, Sublime and Deftones. Mick pursued other business adventures during his musical career. He went on to graduate from Golden West College with a degree in accounting. His passion as a drummer began at the tender age of four years old and never went away. He would continue to join local bands as he took on jobs as an accountant.
Mick moved to Boston, Mass to continue work in all fields that interested him including music, accounting, and tattoos. Mick made a lifetime of connections with people from all walks of life as he sat in the tattoo chair. Throughout all of his artistic life he made lifelong friends and connected to their stories.
Out of all the accomplishments throughout his life he was mostly proud of his family. He is survived by his loving wife Erin, and two sons Max and Adrian. He is also survived by parents Mike and Suzy Palmesano, sister Peggy Pollizi, and many family members and friends. Mick was cared for in his battle with ALS by wife Erin, sister-in-law Amy Daley, and sister Peggy. Peggy worked with ALS One to do a fundraiser on April 23 for her brother. It was Palmesano Strong as many friends and family members attended this musical tribute in his honor.
Mike Palmesano spoke proudly of his son’s accomplishments and the legacy he left behind at the celebration of life on April 24. Mick had written his own eulogy and obit before he passed away. The eulogy was on display for everyone to read. “Our family has been overwhelmed with the great coverage. Our daughter Peggy Pollizi had helped getting the obit into the newspaper. He had one of his band members and lifetime friend Al McManus and another friend Mike Green help with the music tribute,” he said.
Palmesano said his son started playing the drums at four years old and continued his love for music throughout his life.
“A couple of years ago he contracted ALS which is an incurable neurological disease. Mick was a warrior throughout his illness until the very end. Although he was paralyzed from the neck down in his last days he was able to work full time from home,” he said. “He worked for a biopharmaceutical company in Dublin, Ireland. Mick worked for them from home on a special computer. It enabled him to run the accounting department, do all monthly reports, and communicate with his subornments. All he could move was his head so he did everything using his head. He would have two screens going at once and could send emails, answer the phone, take photos, and reports. His home office he worked out of was in Boston (Alkermes). Alkermes employees treated Mick like a part of the family. They supplied him with catered Friday Family Meals for two years.”
“Mick had help from his big sister Peggy, his loving wife Erin, and his sister-in-law who stayed at the home with him. Mick’s sister-in-law has a background as a hospice nurse and could be his caregiver. She was perfect to help him out in the last couple years. He was paralyzed from the neck down for the last year,” Palmesano added.
Palmesano mentioned how his daughter, Peggy orchestrated the music tribute held to raise awareness and build funds for ALS One in her brother’s honor.
“Peggy all on her own connected with a wonderfully supportive organization called ALS One. It is a rare disease and three years ago no one in the family knew anything about it. Peggy has now worked coordinating with ALS One to help Southern Tier families who have been inflicted with this horrible disease. She has worked with them in helping these families find comfort and the necessary equipment to make their loved ones lives more bearable. The name of the organization that people can contribute to is called PALMESANO STRONG,” he said.
Palmesano said not only was his son a successful musician but decided to change his profession to accountant.
“Mick also coached both of his son’s football teams. He was a huge Buffalo Bills fan all his life,” he said.
Suzy Palmesano said she was overwhelmed by the love and compassion from multitudes of people all over the world that loved her son.
“He was born with a smile on his face and he left this world with a smile,” she said.
He told us over a year ago that he was going to write his own Eulogy. He wanted us to be loved and care for each other when he passed away.”
“You could feel his presence at the music tribute held for him. The bands all played and sang their hearts out for Mick,” Suzy Palmesano said about the tribute event.
Mick resided on the Peninsula of Squantum in Quincy, Mass. He had his own three-story home designed and built on the other side of the peninsula.
Mick’s mantra he lived by was “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us,” Charles Bukowski.
The first ever PALMESANO STRONG golf tournament will be held on June 11 at Wildwood Country Club. The family is asking for sponsorships, participants, donations, and tributes to PALMESANO STRONG. Anyone interested in sponsoring or playing in the tournament can contact Peggy Pollizi at 585-802-3379. You can make checks out to PALMESANO STRONG to Peggy at 48 Haywards Heath, W. Henrietta NY 14586.