Glen  Michel's Memorial

Glen Michel
(1937 - 2012)

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General Details

Name: Mr Glen Michel
Gender: Male
Age: 74 years old
Lived: Friday, 17 September 1937 - Friday, 30 March 2012

My Story

Glen Newton Michel died at 11:35 PM on Friday night, March 30, 2012, at his home in Sacramento, California. He had courageously fought off cancer for many years, after having several cancer diagnoses and successful surgeries since 2007, and following a difficult final struggle he passed away surrounded by his beloved family. There will be a memorial celebration of Glen's life at a future date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Glen's memory to The United Way, Habitat for Humanity, or the charity of your choice.

The son of Glen N. Michel, Sr., and Ellen Bailey Michel, of Everett, Washington, he is survived by his beloved wife of over forty years, Nancy (Barger) Michel, their daughters Deborah Michel, Denise Michel, their son Paul Michel. Glen is also remembered by his sons in-law Olaf Klaschik and Eric Grendon, as well as by his grandchildren Bryan, Victoria, Emma, and Ryan. Glen is also remembered his only brother, John Michel of Miami Florida, and by several cousins, nieces, and nephews throughout the country.

Glen was a long-standing member of the Boy Scouts, up to Assistant Scout Master. He graduated from Polytechnical High School in Log Beach, CA in 1959, attended Long Beach State University, and received a degree in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside.
A veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency, Specialist 4th Class, Glen was stationed in Munich, Germanyfrom 1956 to 1961.
During the 1960s Glen was active in the Japanese American Citizens League, where he served a term as that organization's president. Glen was also a member of the California Democratic Council, the Sierra Club, and was a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

Glen worked for many years in the aerospace field during the 1960s, and participated in work for the Saturn, Apollo, and Moon lander programs while employed at N.A. Rockwell in 1961, and at Wyle Laboratories in 1972, where he met his wife, Nancy. After receiving his degrees at UC Riverside, Glen was accepted at McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, CA. It was during his studies there that Glen was drawn to his work with the Explosives Technology firm in Fairfield, CA. This is the company that manufactured the demolition processes that implode buildings safely, and the explosive bolts for space craft escape hatches. Glen worked with E.T. from his thirties in the early 1970s until his retirement.

Among Glen's interests and hobbies were touring the wine country, season tickets to the A.C.T. in San Francisco, and attending the Symphony and nearly any live music event. He was a great fan of Jazz, but appreciated nearly any musical genre, and likewise found many forms of reading very inspiring. A Unitarian Universalist, Glen was a lifetime advocate of the Civil Rights movement, feminism, and more broadly universal human rights. A peace-and-freedom Democrat, Glen was not one to suffer fools gladly, but rarely had an unkind word for anyone who wasn't a disgraced president or totalitarian dictator.

Glen always held a strong interest in science, environmentalism, politics, language, history, and had a passion for science fiction. He adored hiking in the mountains, especially the Sierra Nevada, where he spent many summers with family and friends. He was an avid cyclist, and belonged to the Sacramento Wheelmen cycling club, as well as various political endeavors state wide. It was during some of these political campaigns that he met two of his greatest friends, Anne and Boren, who became fast friends with Glen and Nancy and who continue to be extended family members.

Perhaps among Glen's most notable interests was travel, which he shared with his wife Nancy, and which spanned much of the United States including Hawaii, and many other countries as well, including: Germany, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, France, Belgium, Amsterdam, Denmark, Turkey, Greece, China, Africa, Israel, Egypt, and Syria, among others. Glen studied many languages, enough to navigate several countries abroad, and always returned from each new journey to a far distant land with rich stories and many amazing photographs.
Often Glen and Nancy traveled to foreign lands with family and friends, meeting in Provence, Florence, Turkey, or Greece.

Some of his most fantastic travels took place during his last five years, after he was first diagnosed with cancer, almost as though with each remission he celebrated by taking another wild trip abroad - to China, Africa, and most recently to Egypt and Syria, during the onset of the "Arab Spring" revolutions in the spring of 2011. While their children and grandchildren worried about their day-to-day safety, Glen and Nancy sojourned through some of the most hotly contested sites of middle-Eastern foment and uprisings, only to return with amazing tales and sun-tanned faces, and some of the best photos ever.

But possibly Glen's greatest adventure was with his family, as his number one focus at all times was his beloved wife Nancy and their children. Now grown and with children of their own, Denise and Paul have looked to Glen often for guidance and advice, as he has been an inspirational man and father. Deborah, Denise, and Paul have each turned to Glen over the years many times to help sort out their lives, and however often he was able to offer wisdom he was just as likely to consult with Nancy - for Glen was first and foremost a caring and devoted husband and partner.

Glen and Nancy always tried to share decisions, plans, and heartaches, and even when they disagreed they still maintained that one thing they always agreed on was their love for one another. Glen came to fatherhood a little later than some, arriving in Nancy's life when they were both in their early thirties, and she was already juggling three children on her own. With what can only be called heroism or insanity, Glen jumped right in and started trying to learn how to deal with three kids on the fly; they now fondly say that "Dad was our miracle".

Despite going instantly from bachelorhood to being a father of three, Glen never lost sight of what drew him initially, and he never lost touch with the romance with Nancy that was the center of his world for over forty years. He gave her loving cards, flowers, and gifts often, and kept each and every love letter and card over the years until they literally filled trunks. Theirs was a love affair to truly inspire admiration, and it weathered many storms and obstacles over the years, finding them still deeply in love to the very end.

They created a marriage that has been the rock of their entire family, and help us all through many hard times and difficult losses, including this most recent loss as it gradually became clear that Glen was making his final journey. Their love was a marriage of peers, and they approached this final challenge with courage and grace, helping the entire family adjust to what everyone knew would be a very difficult loss.

No one could ever hope for a better father, husband, lover, or friend than Glen. He was an amazing, brilliant, funny guy with a huge heart and a dozen quirky traits that only endeared him to everyone all the more. Whatever he took on, Glen engaged it with dedication and passion, and he never took his responsibilities lightly. He was more than willing to be an equal partner in his marriage, treated his staff on the job as equals, and always spoke to everyone he met with respect, as a friend and a peer.

Whatever he was doing at any given moment, Glen always tried to approach it with a positive and mindful attitude, never once as though anything were beneath him. Some of Glen's happiest times were spent at his work bench in the garage, fixing or building something, tinkering away or whiling away an hour or two with friends or family as they worked together on some project. Many a Christmas Eve was spent with Glen helping assemble some gift for a child or grandchild, and each Christmas morning each child found notes in their stockings with clues to follow to find a special gift at the end of a little scavenger-type hunt.

Among all the photos of Glen, those that seem to be the most prolific are the ones where he is surrounded by his family, and those are the pictures that show him at his happiest moments. While gatherings of friends and family will never be the same without him there, they will forever be enriched by the memories of Glen's playfulness, his kooky sense of humor, his terrible puns, his ever-vigilant readiness to step up and help out whenever chores or errands needed to be done.

Always first to help with cleanup after a family feast, Glen was ever cheerful and calm, happy to be able to help out whenever he could. Though we will always fondly recall Glen whenever we listen to a piece of music he was especially fond of, or watch Monty Python, or try to work the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, or sort through the piles and piles of photos he took over the years, it might just be that we remember him most frequently whenever we are taking on some daily chore, and find inspiration in the peaceful and loving way Glen gave his all even to the most mundane task.

Never one to boast, Glen was an accomplished man, wealthy in his family, friends, and adventures. So it is not only in the grand destinations and snapshots of Glen and Nancy at the Pyramids or in Paris or on the Great Wall of China that we will remember Glen's achievements and adventures; it will especially be in those quieter, more intimate moments at home with the family when he was, finally, one of the most human and endearing fellows one could ever hope to meet. We have loved him beyond what any of us can express, will all miss him more than words can ever say.





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Biography

Fathers Name: Glen Michel Sr.
Mothers Name: Ellen (Bailey) Michel
Spouse's Name: Nancy (Barger) Michel
Children's Names: Deborah Michel, Denise Michel, Paul Michel
Siblings Names: John Michel
Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
City of Residence: Sacramento, CA
Occupation: Executive
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Unitarian-Universalism

Interests

Favourite Sport: Cycling
Favourite Team: His Family!
Favourite Book: Anything by Issac Asimov
Favourite Movie: Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail
Favourite Music Genre: Jazz
Favourite Artist: Van Gogh
Favourite Charity: United Way
Other Interests:
Bay to Breakers Marathon, Fine wines, attending concerts, U.S. and World travel, family holidays and gatherings.

Passing

Place of Passing: At home, Sacramento, CA
Date of Passing: 30 March 2012
Cause of Passing: Cancer
Type of Funeral: Memorial Celebration of Life TBA
Place of Burial: N/A
Plot Number: N/A
Funeral Director: N/A
Funeral Location: TBA
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