Kenneth "Kenny" Robert Michels passed away in his home on September 3, 2013. Kenny was a beloved father, grandfather, uncle, brother and dear friend to so many. He touched the hearts of many friends and family during his 79 years.
Ken was born on September 16, 1933, to Benjamin and Ida (Paluck) Michels in Beach, ND. He was raised on a farm with his brothers; Ben, Dick, Bill, Leonard and sisters; Betty, Maxine and Elaine.
Kenny attended school through the eighth grade before he decided to make the world his classroom. Ken enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and was trained as a crane shovel operator and he served as member of the Aircraft Repair Squadron in England. He completed his service to his country in 1955 with a secret military clearance. Upon returning to civilian life, Kenny worked in the Montana oil fields for several years. He married Lois Nelson in 1959 in North Hollywood. They returned to North Dakota and raised their six daughters in Beach.
Kenny worked for many years with Homer Madison at the Exxon Station that he eventually owned himself. Ken's Exxon was a local icon in Beach. His sponsored softball teams attended two national tournaments and were a point of pride for him over the years. He was active in the American Legion and the Golden Valley volunteer fire department for most of his adult life. He was chosen Outstanding Employee in the Beach School System before moving to Ryegate, MT in 1998. Ken was employed by the city of Ryegate until his retirement last summer. Ken is preceded in death by his parents, his best friend - Gus and his beloved daughter, Jennae Mitchell.
He is survived by his daughters: Jody (Rob) Gratz of Austin, TX and grandson, Mathew and great grandson Gavin; Julie Remillong of Salt Lake City, UT and grandchildren Rachel and Ryan; Jackie (Harold) Hollar of Hastings, MN and grandchildren Jason, Jennifer and Jordyn; Jane (Tim) Riese of St. Cloud, MN and grandchildren Holly and Levi; Janet (Bill) Williams of Ryegate, MT and grandchildren Cody and Celenaena and great grandchildren Chase, Aleka and Haiden; and son-in-law Glenn Mitchell of Ryegate, MT and grandchildren Daniel and Austin. He will also be missed by his girls, Lexi Ross and Cheyenne McCloud; all of his siblings, and his friends including Lois Michels Simon of St. Cloud, MN.
Ken's Celebration of Life service will be held at the Ryegate Fire Hall, on Saturday, September 7, at 11 am. There will be a lunch reception after the service at Ryegate Senior Center. There will be a graveside memorial for Ken at a later date in Beach, ND. Perkins Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family.
The family wishes to thank the folks at River Stone Hospice for all of the help that they provided in order to allow Dad to be in his home until the end.