Aug. 4, 1966 – Feb. 24, 2020
Michael Hugh Guigar, a longtime member of the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus, has died. He was 53.
Guigar was born in Marlette, Michigan, and he would go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Saginaw Valley State University.
“I’m a computer geek,” Guigar admitted to viewers of his Facebook profile. “No, I will not fix your computer for free!”
Guigar was known for loving two things: singing and cats. An all-round animal lover and animal rights activist, Guigar had a special affinity for cats and head several, including his latest, named Pharaoh Cat. Guigar sang with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus and the choir of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit. He also sang with the Detroit-Oakland chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the Gentlemen Songsters.
“Michael Geiger, affectionally known as Huggy Bear, was a faithful member at MCCD,” said MCCD Deacon Roland Smith, who sang with Guigar in the choir. “His tenor voice was a blessing to all that heard him sing. He has now joined the heavenly chorus with the other great singers.”
“He loved to give hugs,” said Brian Londrow, who directed him in both the MCCD choir and Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. “He was just an amazing person. He was an excellent musician, blessed with perfect pitch. For the men’s chorus, he was the person who made new people feel welcome. He was very warm and genuine. That’s one of the things that I appreciated about that man. For all the years I knew him, he was a very consistent person.”
Guigar, Londrow said, also had a good sense of humor.
“He portrayed Shirley Temple in one of our chorus concerts doing ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop’ complete with the polka dot dress. He loved that. The part fit him and he played that part to a T. Musically, he could do any style. He put his heart into he was doing so it really meant something.”
Guigar is survived by his partner Brent Toner. Guigar’s family asked that memorial donations be made in Guigar’s honor to the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus.