By DEAN SHALHOUP, Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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MERRIMACK – After church one Sunday about two years ago, Kim Hartshorn and her boyfriend met several of Kim’s relatives at her ailing grandmother’s house for what they feared might be one of their last visits. It wasn’t long before the curly-haired tech wiz from Merrimack, whom Hartshorn had dated since their freshman year at Merrimack College in Andover, knew just what he wanted to do.
“My grandmother was very sick, and he knew how much she meant to me,” the young woman, now Kim Lo Verme, said Tuesday evening. She was standing next to her grandmother when Michael walked over and said, “I want to ask you something.”
Michael Lo Verme got the answer he’d hoped for, and the young couple was officially engaged.
Kim Lo Verme smiled through tears Tuesday at the Rivet Funeral Home as she recounted her late husband’s thoughtfulness, a trait Lo Verme’s family and friends say exemplified the 23-year-old academic and professional overachiever whose tragically brief life revolved around Kim and their 15-month-old daughter
Lo Verme died Friday afternoon after suffering severe injuries when the motorcycle he was operating crashed as he entered the F.E. Everett Turnpike from Exit 8. Police said Lo Verme’s cycle was struck by several vehicles; he was pronounced dead at a Nashua hospital.
The funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Rivet Funeral Home, 425 Daniel Webster Highway. Burial will follow in Last Rest Cemetery.
Donations in Lo Verme’s memory can be made to an education fund for his daughter, at Kaylee Maria Lo Verme, c/o 23 Bates Road, Merrimack, NH 03054.
Eileen Lo Verme recalled her youngest son as an incredibly inquisitive, curious child who delighted in taking things apart just to see if he could put them back together.
“I always told him, ‘look with your eyes, not with your hands,’ ” she said as a parade of mourners entered the funeral home to pay their respects. But Clifford Lo Verme, an engineer who began his career at the former Sanders Associates, knew his wife’s directives were futile. “He loved opening things up to see what made them work,” he said, recalling his son tagging along when he and other Sanders employees got together at the old Garde Rochambeau Hall on Lock Street to repurpose computers for schools and organizations.
“He came every Wednesday for a year,” Lo Verme said. “I don’t know if it kindled his interest in computers, but he certainly loved going with me.”
Born in Brunswick, Maine, Michael Lo Verme was 8 when his parents and two brothers, Stephen, now 28, and David, 25, moved to Merrimack. At 14, he founded a cottage industry he called “Mike’s CAT 5,” selling so-called category 5 computer Internet cables after his dad taught him how to make them. A favorite family tale revolves around the little business, Cliff Lo Verme said.
“He went and got a UPS shipping account, figuring he’d soon be shipping cables all over the place,” Lo Verme recalled as his family smiled. “One day, we got a bill for an errant charge, we had no idea what it was about.”
Moments later, though, the Lo Vermes had the same thought: “Michael,” Cliff Lo Verme said. The youngster came clean. “I had to tell (UPS) they’d given an account to a 14-year-old,” Lo Verme said.
Another “most memorable moment” took place in Maine, when Michael was 4. Friday, Eileen Lo Verme said, was shopping day, and Michael wouldn’t miss it.
“He talked to everybody. One day, (an employee) asked him if he was going to work in a supermarket someday,” she said, already laughing at the punch line. “He said, ‘nope, I’m gonna own it.’ That was Michael.”
In school, Michael Lo Verme pressed himself to achieve, brother David recalled, but recently that changed. “We realized how much of his own person he’d become lately,” he said. “He once felt he had to live up to others. But now I feel like I have to live up to him.”
At 17, Michael Lo Verme became the youngest New Hampshire resident to become a Cisco certified network engineer, his father said. “He had to wait to get his certificate because you had to be 18 to be eligible,” he said.
At the time of his death, Michael Lo Verme had worked at Opnet Technologies in Nashua for just five days, his father said. Still, many co-workers contacted the family or turned out to pay their respects, which his family sees as a tribute to their late son’s personality.
Above all, though, Michael Lo Verme’s main daily mission for the past 15 months has been the same, his mother said. “Every day, it was ‘gotta get home from work to see Kim and Kaylee,’ ” she said. “That was his thing.”