Michael K. Cahalan
1949 - 2019
March 9, 2019
Michael K. Cahalan
1949 ~ 2019
Michael K. Cahalan, Professor and former chairman of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah Hospitals, passed away in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 9, at the age of 69. He battled leukemia for several months.
Michael was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he attended Mercersburg Academy. He went on to Harvard University where he was an All-American swimmer, serving as captain of the swim team and winning many collegiate medals. Michael graduated from Temple University Medical School, completed his medical internship at Milton S. Hershey University Medical Center and residency and fellowship in Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He then joined the faculty at UCSF where he served as the Chief of Anesthesia for Pediatric and Adult Cardiac Surgery for most of his 22 years. His research interest primarily involved a then-new technology, Transesophageal Echocardiography. He used the first equipment brought to the United States in 1980 demonstrating the utility of the technology which permits real-time imaging of the beating heart during surgery and is now standard-of-care. In 2001, Dr. Cahalan became Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He served as chairman for 15 years and remained on the faculty until his death.
Dr. Cahalan's professional life was characterized by success in research, teaching, clinical care and administration. He authored numerous scientific articles and book chapters and served as editor of multiple major medical journals and books. He was a visiting professor or invited speaker over 200 times around the world. He mentored generations of anesthesiology residents and faculty colleagues in San Francisco and Salt Lake City demonstrating a keen ability to assess talent and help individuals develop their strengths. His leadership style was always congenial and fair-minded.
During his anesthesia training in San Francisco, Michael met and married Marianne Troy, who was the head cardiac surgery nurse at UCSF. They shared a vibrant and active life for over 42 years and spent most of their leisure time together. Golf, fishing, swimming, camping, cooking and travel were among his passions.
Dr. Cahalan will perhaps be best remembered for his character - calm, kind, funny and ready to entertain with a story. His point of view was informed by compassion and a strong moral compass. He put others at ease and accomplished more with persuasion than exertion of his power.
He is survived by his loving wife Marianne; sister, Beth Gillmor of Austin, Texas; brother and sister-in-law Thomas and Linda Cahalan of Park City, Utah and a large extended family and circle of friends.
A celebration of Dr. Cahalan's remarkable life will be announced at a later date.
Donations in his name may be sent to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. https://give.huntsmancancer.org
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Deseret News on Mar. 12, 2019.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message
29 Entries
It is with great sadness that I read Mikes obituary. I feel so fortunate to have known & worked with Michael at UCSF. My sincere condolences to you, Marianne. PKV
Pamela Vann
March 10, 2020
Recently, I heard from Roy, who was notified by Phil Crawford, of Mike passing from this life. I knew you both from before and the beginning of your relationship
and cannot imagine the magnitude of your loss. He was a great, kind, sweet man. We had so many trials and fun back at UCSF OH suite.
The world was a better place for having him in it.
Patricia Schindler
June 25, 2019
I attended many of his lectures on TEE Echo and interacted with him in question and answer sessions. He came across quite friendly and gentleman.
Rest In Peace sir.
Jai Singh
June 11, 2019
Michael was one of the good guys; an honorable man, a kindly, generous man, a colleague of no small accomplishments, and a friend with whom I worked to fulfill my ambition to make a difference. That I have outlived him scandalizes the notion that there is any justice in this universe. Michael earned and deserved much better!
Frank Lurz
June 5, 2019
I remember Mike with warmth, friendship and professional respect. We were school mates at Mercersburg Academy, and then atTemple medical school. We visited together last when he presented a conference to Anesthesia and Cardiology at the University of Washington in 1983, where I was a Cardiology fellow at the time. He was at the forefront of intraoperative utilization of TEE. I was glad to have been his friend.He was a bright and talented guy, great swimmer and Accomplished physician, researcher and educator. Im glad his life was filled with love and accomplishment .im sorry for his loss and I extend my heartfelt. sympathy to his entire family. David P. Scoblionko MD
David Scoblionko MD
April 15, 2019
With deepest sympathy, may the power of prayer ease your sorrow, bring you peace and provide much comfort for you during this difficult time. Matthew 21:22
Lisa D
April 12, 2019
Phil Larson
April 6, 2019
There are no words to describe Mike's uplifting influence on all who had the good fortune to know him. A true gentle giant. Having been his resident, colleague for many years in cardiac anesthesia at UCSF, and close friend for all of these years, I am left shaken by the tragedy of his passing. Marianne, and all of his family are in my thoughts each day following this tragic loss. He always told me that when a loved one dies after a difficult time, eventually only the good memories remain.
Lydia Cassorla
April 4, 2019
The world has been tilted slightly off it's axis with Mike's passing.
He was a wonderful amazing man and physician; so compassionate, funny and kind. He has been missed since he left UCSF, and now he will be missed forever.
I know he was your best friend Marianne, you are the couple that all other couples aspired to become!
Sending loving, healing thoughts to you and all of your family.
Sadly, he was simply taken too soon from this world, it is difficult to reconcile the depth of this loss, my heart is with all of his loved ones in this time of mourning.
Gina Intinarelli
March 29, 2019
Michael and I were over lapping residents at UCSF and after our fellowships became partners on the cardiac anesthesia service. We were different people from different backgrounds but like almost everyone who worked with Michael, we became friends. As I read through the previous comments what shines through is Michael's essence, a serious man with a sense of humor. He was smart, fair and charming and he was admired and respected by all who knew him. Michael was a natural leader, not because of what he said, or what he did. He was a leader because of what he wasthoughtful, kind and always engaged. I have not been able to stop thinking about him since I heard the terrible news and I am finally able to process it well enough to write these few lines. Marianne, our thoughts are with you.

Arthur & Marianne Quasha
Mill Valley, CA
Arthur & Marianne Quasha
March 22, 2019
It is very sad to hear about this passing. My thoughts and prayers to his family. Marianne please take care. Jane Kuhn
Jane Kuhn
March 21, 2019
God encourages us to comfort those who mourn. I am so sorry for the family's loss. You may find a measure of comfort through prayer and God's loving words found at John 6:40.
March 19, 2019
My deepest sympathies Marianne. I pray that you find comfort and peace at this difficult time. I will always cherish the opportunity I had to work as Mike's assistant for the past 12 years. You will rarely find a leader as remarkable as Mike. I always watched him interact with those that called or needed his guidance or counsel. Marveled at the way he made everyone he met feel welcome and important. I'll miss him more than words can express. He truly was one of the greatest men I've ever known.
March 19, 2019
My heartfelt sympathies go out to your family during this difficult time. I hope the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 can bring much comfort. Just knowing that there's a hope for the ones we have lost in death can be so reassuring.
March 16, 2019
Dear Marianne,
I am heartbroken to hear the news of Mike's passing. He was such a big part of my career in TEE. He was more than a colleague, he became a beloved friend. I have such wonderful memories being with you and him in San Francisco and around the world. He had such an impact on so many lives! He used to say to me well, Linda, we saved another life today because of TEE! What a legacy he has. My thoughts are with you and his family on this very sad occasion. You two were a special couple.
Linda Carlson
Linda Carlson
March 14, 2019
I had the good fortune to work with Mike on several projects involved in the early collaboration between cardiac anesthesiologists and cardiologists who depended upon the use of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to care for their patients. Mike was well informed, organized, even handed, and focused on what was best for the patient rather than who got credit for what. Under his leadership, we were able to make important accomplishments. I am sorry to learn of his passing - at too young an age - and will remember him fondly.

Alan S. Pearlman MD, FASE
Past-Present, American Society of Echocardiography
March 14, 2019
I am so shocked and saddened by Mike's passing. I just saw him lecture in Scottsdale a few months ago. As I was Mike's first fellow in 1981, we always had such nice interaction the few times we saw each other over the years at conferences. It was great catching up with him in October. His warm, wonderful personality never changed. My condolences to Marianne and the entire Cahalan family.

Larry Schwartz
UCSF Resident 1979-1982.

Sent from my iPhone
Larry Schwartz
March 14, 2019
My sincere condolences to your family for the loss of your love one. May the God of comfort be with you during this sad occasion and may his loving words at John 6:40 console your heart.
March 14, 2019
Uncle MikeYou will be missed. I will never forget the valuable life lessons you shared. Thank you for teaching us that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Love you Mike Gillmor
March 13, 2019
Our sincerest condolences to all the family of this remarkable man! Heartfelt condolences to Tom and Linda. And many thanks for the influence Dr Mike had on our family. Thank you! Sincerely, Frank and Mary Fritsch
Frank Fritsch
March 13, 2019
Dr. Cahalan was a great man who will be missed. He hired me as a resident/fellow and taught me a great deal not only about anesthesiology but also how to treat all people with kindness and respect. My condolences to his sweet wife and all who knew and loved him.
Jason Poulsen
March 12, 2019
Trout fishing with Mike on the Green is a cherished memory. He'll be missed.
Michael Tielborg
March 12, 2019
Mike will be missed by all those who knew him.
Trudy Garrettson
March 12, 2019
The specialty has lost one of its greatest advocates and intellectuals. Mike was a wonderful human being who befriended virtually everyone he met.
I recall that during one of the oral board sessions in Scottsdale, Mike invited me to play golf with him and Ron Miller...both accomplished golfers. They patiently waited at the end of every hole while I duffed my way to the green, having thirty more strokes than them at the end, Mike invited me out again even though he knew of my talent-less attributes. A true gentleman
Mark Lema MD PhD
March 12, 2019
Michael was my teacher and my friend. He was a skilled and patient mentor in the OR and a wise and beloved colleague. I will miss him dearly. The world is a lesser place without him. Marianne, Linda and I are so sorry for your loss.
Ira Rampil
March 12, 2019
Marianne and family:
I learned of Mike's early promise from his chief, Bill Hamilton at
UCSF. I am a former Past President of ASA and the ABA and thus
had frequent interactions with Mike as a colleague. He was one
of the brightest individuals I Knew and yet was very humble. When
he spoke, it was always enlightening. He was a well respected
chairman and his contributions to cardiac anesthesia are and will
be legendary. My greatest sympathy to you and your family.
Jim Arens
Brenham, Tx
March 12, 2019
Mike will be dearly missed. I was his roommate at Mercersburg and co-captain on the swim team. I will cherish many wonderful memories from our friendship. It was great to see him and meet Marianne at our 50th Class Reunion. Mike's time at Mercersburg was a precursor to his success in life. My deepest sympathy to Marianne, Tom and the entire family. H. S. Corky Gilmore
Corky Gilmore
March 12, 2019
May the family be comforted by Jesus' promise of seeing your dear loved one again. John 6:40.
A. L.
March 12, 2019
Dear Marianne & Family,
We were shocked and very sorry to hear of Mike's passing. Though I had retired years before Mike came to Chair the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah, he was always most gracious in keeping me updated on the growth and improvements he led in the Department during his tenure. He was an extraordinary Chairman, leader, mentor, educator and friend to all and so recognized in our specialty nationally and internationally. Our deepest sympathy to all his family at the loss of such wonderful individual who will be missed by all who knew him.
Love, Jean & Harry Wong,MD, Emeritus Professor
March 11, 2019