Mike Cordier, 32; loved fishing, always put others first
Mike Cordier could often be found along the shores of Quonochontaug Pond. It was there that he fished, clammed, and thought.
"He spent more time there than any place else," said his father, Ron.
Mike would cast a line anytime, day or night, hoping for bluefish, bass or whatever the waters held.
"Whenever the fish were running, he was there," confirmed Nicole Dorcas, Mike's girlfriend of four years.
Those were fun times shared with family and friends.
"Even if we didn't catch anything we had a good time; we'd hang out," said John Herlihy, of Westerly.
Mike and John became fast friends in seventh grade after meeting during a Westerly football game that pitted neighborhood against neighborhood. A love of sports -- baseball, hockey and football -- and the outdoors fused their friendship. The best times were spent just hanging out, sharing a beer, talking.
"He's like the brother I never had; he's my best friend," Herlihy said.
Mike was known as a prankster with a warm smile and quick wit. His hijinks, his family and friends say, are not fit for print.
But it was his generous spirit that set him apart, they say.
"There was never a time that he said no," said Paul Woerner, a friend since the two attended junior high school in Westerly years ago.
He tended to put others first, often tipping double and insisting on treating his companions to drinks and dinner.
"It was one of those things that used to irk me," his father said. "I used to tell him to put himself first. He would give people more than he'd give to himself."
After a recent snowstorm, Mike appeared at his parents' house. He hadn't been around for a few weeks, but knowing that his father had a bad back, he came to shovel the driveway. Amid the snow and cold, father and son reminisced and planned for the fishing season ahead.
"He was my best fishing partner," Ron Cordier said.
Mike, 32, who moved to North Kingstown last summer, was dedicated to his job as a merchandiser. He was working a promotion for his employer, McLaughlin & Moran, when the fire at The Station broke out. His family said he filled a shift at the last minute for a coworker, handing out T-shirts and hats near the front door.
-- Katie Mulvaney, Providence Journal staff writer
Published in The Providence Journal on Mar. 20, 2003