GREENSBORO Dr. Albert John (Jake) Michel, PhD, 80, died in the peaceful presence of his family at Wellspring Retirement Community in Greensboro, NC. Jake was well known for integrity, strong sense of responsibility, fairness, and his dry wit which remained up to his last few days.
Jake was born on October 30, 1931 in Mount Carroll, IL. Moved to Lake Mills, WI where he completed his upper school. He received his bachelor degree in Education and his master's degree in School Administration at the University of Northern Iowa. There he met the love of his life, Margaret Ann (Marge) Butterfield. He then served in the Army from 1953-1955 during the Korean Conflict. Soon after his return the couple married. Following their marriage, they both taught at the Iowa School for the Blind. In 1959, the couple moved to Laramie, WY, where Jake received his doctorate in Elementary Education at the University of Wyoming, one of the very few schools offering this doctoral degree.
In 1965, Jake became the superintendent of the Jefferson County Elementary Schools in Denver, CO., published in Ginn Publishing Co in NY, bred Arabian horses, and developed mountain property near Vail, CO. He subsequently worked for the Kettering Foundation, Dayton, OH, in the area of educational research and consulting which included schools in North Carolina. The family moved to Greensboro, NC by choice after consulting in the Greensboro Public School System where he became the first Director of Reading. In 1972, he established The Education Center, a company which publishes materials for elementary school teachers and students in the U.S. and abroad. This helped establish The Michel Family Foundation Teaching Resource Center for teachers through a partnership with the UNC-G School of Education. He was devoted to the learning of children and to helping them reach their potential. He believed if education is interesting children will learn.
Jake was an eternal optimist and visionary. In 1986, he and his wife Marge purchased and restored a Queen Anne Victorian Mansion in Asheville, NC and developed the property into a Four Star, Four Diamond restaurant and hotel. In his retirement, his passion was for the restoration of the Old Presbyterian Graveyard located behind the Greensboro Historical Museum.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Margaret, daughter Mary Temoche, daughter Susan and friend Keith Hensley, son Joseph and wife Hilburn, grandchildren, Lauren Temoche, Olivia Temoche, Amelia Temoche, Grace Michel, Katharine Michel and Robert Michel. He also leaves his brother Mark Michel and wife Joan, sister-in-law Nancy Johnson, nephews Matt, Kelley and Andy Michel, nieces Darcy Howard and Andrea Cusack.
A celebration of his life will be Monday, August 13, 2012, at 2 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church where he was a faithful member. The family will gather with friends in the Virginia Gilmer Room following the service.