Her post includes a video of the actor giving an inspirational message to a youth hockey team. Doug Westcott, a photographer whose son Drake knew Mantenuto from his work with youth hockey, also took to Facebook to mourn his death. At the age of 21, the aspiring athlete became a father for the first time – welcoming his daughter Ava, now 14, with his childhood sweetheart Kati Vienneau, now 33. His friends in Washington, meanwhile, are planning a memorial service for him on May 11 at North Fort on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In the wake of his death, social media was flooded with posts from friends and fellow soldiers sharing memories and well wishes for his family. Colleagues confirmed to DailyMail.com that Mantenuto had a history of mental health problems and said he spoke about his experiences while teaching an awareness course at Fort Lewis, Washington. 'I don't know what Mike was thinking when he killed himself,' said Wilson-Heid. He added: '[Mantenuto] did teach a class - I forget the name but was really geared towards getting help if you need it. But right when he thought he lost his shot, it turned out the fight had made him stand out. Michael Mantenuto, a former actor and college hockey player who played Jack O'Callahan in the 2004 Disney film "Miracle," died Monday, April 24, 2017. Graddon added: 'Uh huh. Michael Mantenuto’s suicide was officially ruled by the King County’s medical examiner’s office in Seattle. Like his father, Mantenuto proved talented and was accepted into the University of Maine on a hockey scholarship. His father James 'Ed' Mantenuto was the principal of nearby Holliston High School and also coached the hockey team, regularly bringing his young son to practice. The married father-of-two also transferred out of the Special Forces K-9 Unit shortly before his death, telling one friend that 'I need to get my life together and I couldn't do it by doing that'. 'That was something he volunteered to do. Yes.'. I don't know why he didn't call one of us. Michael Mantenuto was hospitalized for depression in 2015 and had a history of mental health problems dating back to the time before he started acting, DailyMail.com can reveal. Michael Mantenuto had a lifetime of training for his Miracle role. This stuff is real and it breaks my heart that I lost such an amazing leader and friend. , On April 24, 2017, Mantenuto was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 35 in Des Moines, Washington. His father was just so proud of him. His Hollywood career wasn’t as … On the 24th this amazing man passed away. “To be able to combine the acting, all the expression, the hockey, and be able to segue from one career that I loved so much to another where I wanted my life to go … It was pretty special.”. ', Kelley added: 'Everybody I've talked to says he was just an incredible guy. Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty. His father Ed, a hockey coach, put him in skates at an early age, and Mantenuto later tagged along with him to practices before he was old enough to play for his dad in high school. His time playing hockey allotted him the opportunity to audition for, and ultimately win, the role of Jack O'Callahan, a player on the 1980 Olympic men's ice hockey team, who beat the Soviet Union team in what is now referred to as the "Miracle on Ice". Mantenuto, who is described as 'an outstanding soldier' by friends, excelled during training and later told Martell that he found the notoriously tough Special Forces course 'easy'. Michael Mantenuto, hockey player and star of the Disney film Miracle, has died at the age of 35.. TMZ is reporting that Mantenuto was found dead on … Sgt. Although he would not confirm whether a suicide note had been found, he did say that Mantenuto's lifeless body could have been undiscovered in the remote area for up to 12 hours. At the time of his death, he was planning a summer trip up Mount Rainier with another member of his support group named Joe. In addition, Teena says the actor “started a substance abuse program to save lives,” adding, “He is such an amazing person … He has touched a lot of people’s lives.”, Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt, Director of Public Affairs for U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, tells PEOPLE, “Our deepest condolences go out to Michael Mantenuto’s family, friends, and teammates,” adding, “The cause of death is still under investigation.”.