July 16, 1958 – July 29, 2020

   Michael John Staggs, 62, died in a paramotoring accident on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 near Larkspur, Colorado.  He was a resident of Monument, Colorado since 2001.

   He was born on July 16, 1958 in Arizona. He served 10 years in the U.S. Navy and was a Navy SEAL, after which he earned his PhD and became an expert in cyber security.  He worked for many years for a variety of companies as an engineer, and later worked in digital forensics.  He was most recently employed by Digital Guardian as a Digital Forensic Scientist, Cyber Security PreSales Engineer and Consultant. 

   Michael was a consummate outdoorsman, avid reader, mechanically inclined, and a true Renaissance man. A shortened list of his active interests includes hunting, gardening, African grey parrots, beekeeping, science fiction, history and historical fiction, cooking, dogs, weightlifting, koi, the technology of drones and computers, orchids, fishing, the Colorado wilderness and paragliding – and he became deeply knowledgeable in each of these areas. Although reserved, he became a skilled and highly sought-after public speaker.

   He was preceded in death by his parents; two siblings; and the grandparents who raised him, Elmer and Rosalie Staggs of Tucson, Arizona. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Cassandra (Sandi) Watson-Staggs; his step-son, Christopher Watson; extended family members and a host of close-knit friends.

   His cremains will be interred at Pikes Peak National Cemetery, with friends scattering some of his ashes in places he loved.

   In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to “Tunnel to Towers Foundation”, 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10306.

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This Obituary Has 8 Condolences

  1. I’ve known MJ since 1990 and I can not imagine the world without him. I learned so much from him and I will always remember him and cherish those memories!

  2. I had the pleasure of working with MJ at AccessData & Nuix and MJ was the most sweetest, unique and full of knowledge man that blessed me knowing him and how safe you felt knowing he was around. I could write so much more, but I know everyone who knew him could. This news is such a HUGE shock to all who knew and adored him. My prayers to MJ’s wife, family & friends!

  3. My dear Sandi,
    How blessed you were to have him in your life, and the beautiful memories that you have of your husband, I never met him . The pain that you are feeling right now, may our God keep surrounding you with His strength and love. What a guy and I know so many were blessed by knowing him, I only wished that could have been one of them but I know you and I know that some of him rubbed off on you (visa versa) and I have been blessed by knowing you. Can’t wait to hear more stories of him when you are ready. My love and prayers are with you. Love Judithmary

  4. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing MJ as a colleague and friend, and often looked to MJ as a mentor as he was a well of knowledge. MJ was always thorough and shared everything he knows about a subject with you, sometimes more than you’d want to know :), but that’s one of his great qualities. There are many great things about MJ, but I’ll miss most his sincerity, tenacity, and passionate intensity in our occasional debates about things.

    He’s missed.

  5. Sandi, I didn’t know your husband but the details about his life, the comments from his friends, and the length of your marriage speak to MJ’s character and integrity. I’d enjoy hearing the story of your lives together. I’m here any time when you want to talk. LaVonn

  6. I was shocked and saddened to learn of the loss of M.J. I had the opportunity to work with him and immediately discovered that we had so much in common with our military backgrounds. M.J., rest in peace as you were full of life.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish we could have met. Love you. Your cousin💜

  8. I, as I am sure many are, am still processing this news. I have known MJ for many years, and worked with him at a couple of companies – he is probably the closest thing I have ever had to a ‘big-brother’, and I will miss that greatly. I always marveled at how disarming his personality was and how skillfully he would challenge your convictions and thoughts, provoking a desire to understand the topic more deeply – and how varied the topic matter always was.

    I think a true measure of a person lies not in their direct accomplishments but rather the impact they have made in the people around them. His unparalleled skill and desire at learning from others and his passion to teach/mentor is something I think everyone will miss. He truly was a warm blanket in a cold storm, and I cannot begin to fathom the deep loss others closer to him are feeling.

    You have my sincerest of condolences, but more importantly my appreciation for being a part of what MJ was to me and everyone else. I will miss him greatly, but smile often in reflection at having known someone truly larger than life, but humbly so.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas MJ –

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