Vail Daily obituary: Michael Edmund Toughill, March 30, 1946, to July 15, 2017 |

Vail Daily obituary: Michael Edmund Toughill, March 30, 1946, to July 15, 2017

Michael Edmund Toughill
Special to the Daily |

Michael Edmund Toughill passed away at Vail Valley Medical Center after a fast and hard battle with mesothelioma cancer.

Mike was a native Coloradan born in Denver at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He graduated from Machebeuf High School in 1964. He attended Colorado University for two years before being drafted into the Army, where he served as a radio communications specialist. He worked in the Climax Mine before returning to Colorado University, earning a business degree. He became a full-time Vail resident in 1968. He was a 41-year union carpenter and served as president of Western Slope Carpenters Local 244 for many years.

Mike worked on many of the large lodges in Vail and Beaver Creek. He loved skiing and was an instructor out of the Lionshead pod. He was an avid sportsman and had a passion for hunting and fly-fishing. He loved telling stories about his beloved dog, Buns, and gold mining in Alaska and he also loved his mules. He was always ready to tell the story of how his great-grandfather came into Eagle County, helping to build the railroad and later teaching school in Edwards and Red Cliff.

Mike was a member of the Eagle County Trails Committee and was active in the Eagle County Democrats. He always offered a helping hand, a listening ear and an open heart to those who knew him and to those who crossed his path. We will do our best to carry on the “Toughill Smile.”

Mike is survived by his mother, Sue Riley; his best friend and much-loved wife of 31 years, Carolyn “DJ” Djernes; sisters Tudi Toughill, Laura Logsdon, Mary Race and his uncle, aunt, nieces, nephews and cousins to whom he was an inspiration.

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A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Contributions may be made to the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, in honor of Michael Toughill, 3011 Townsgate Road, Suite 450, Westlake Village, CA 91361. Kent Funeral Homes, of Gypsum, is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit Mike’s online memorial at to leave a condolence or remembrance for his family.

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