Official Obituary of

Michael J. Absalon, MD, PhD

September 2, 1964 ~ March 9, 2024 (age 59) 59 Years Old

Michael J. Absalon, MD, PhD Obituary

Michael Joseph Absalon, MD PhD passed away of sudden cardiac arrest, on March 9, 2024 at the age of 59 while doing something that he loved, snow shoeing in the mountains. Mike was born on September 2, 1964 in El Paso, Texas, the oldest son of MarJo Sankey and Michael Absalon. He attended Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon, where he excelled in academics and athletics, and was a champion wrestler and an avid runner. He attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland where he graduated with Honors in organic chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he completed a PhD in biochemistry and Oregon Health and Sciences University where he received his doctor of medicine degree. He later trained at the University of Wisconsin, and eventually St. Jude’s Research hospital where he solidified his career as a pediatric oncologist.

Mike spent many years as an attending physician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he helped care for children with cancer through his unique delivery of scientific excellence, practical judgement, and down-home compassion. He developed a calling for helping those in need across the globe where he was instrumental in setting up pediatric cancer services in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, and in Gaza City. His colleagues described him as “an oncologist’s oncologist, taking on the most complex situations and bringing his amazing intellect and relentless pragmatism to the bedside to provide cures and empathetic care”.

Mike lived and raised his family in Cincinnati, where they enjoyed the music, culture and people.

His daughters remember fondly cooking Spanish dishes with their Dad, hiking in Red River George, and listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Many knew Mike as a very impressive doctor, but he was an even more impressive, loving, spirited father, and an animated story teller.

After several years living in the midwest, Mike came back to his home state to live and share his world class expertise with those he served. He and his life partner Hannah fell in love with southern Oregon and chose to relocate to Ashland in 2020 where he continued his passion for helping children at Asante Health, while enjoying time in the beautiful outdoors.

Mike was a father, friend, doctor, son, big brother, uncle, Boston Marathoner, commercial fisherman, and most of all, compassionate, caring and fun person. He was known to enjoy outdoor activities and tasty beverages with those that were fortunate enough to be in his company.

Mike is survived by the most important people in his world, his two amazing daughters, Anais and Isabella, and his life partner Hannah Allen. His father Michael, mother MarJo (Jeannette), children’s mother Kristie, brothers Jeff (Linda), Erik (Lori), John (Elizabeth), Adam, multiple nieces and nephews hold proud his contributions to his loved ones, friends, children and families in need no matter what race, religion or nationality.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.


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