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Gerald Michels - Hunter KS
7/4/1930 - 9/4/2011

Gerald Mike LaVerne Michels was born July 4, 1930, to Nathan Howard and Nina Alberta (Tolbert) Michels at the home of his grandparents, Clarence and Gertie Tolbert, in the Blue Hills north of Hunter. Gerald was the third of six children. He attended the Blue Hill Church where his grandfather, Reverend William Michels, preached. He attended the Blue Hill School, and later, the Hunter High School, where he graduated in 1948. During his high school years he worked for Charlie Schneider at the Blacksmith shop and stayed with them in town. He loved his high school sports of football and basketball and numerous times talked about running the Kimmer Special with Gene and Pete and scoring every time. After high school he worked at the Sale Barn in Beloit. He was involved in a traveling rodeo where he rode the bulls and broncos. His final reunion with the Boys - Tom, Harland and Paul - was at Mike and Twila's 40th Anniversary dance. On February 10, 1952, Mike wed Twila Hayes here at the Grace Chapel. To this union came four children: Gordon Lin, Roxanne Marie, Gary Lee and Gregory Dean. Mike and Twila shared over 58 years of marriage. Mike joined the National Guard of Mitchell County. His parents were so proud to have the four living sons serving the country at one time. Mike worked for Farmway Co-op a number of years delivering propane and working at the station. He also drove a school bus six years when USD 299 originated in 1967. Mike loved the farm life - the cattle and the crops. He farmed with his father-in-law, Winston Hayes, until his death in 1985, then took over the farming himself until he retired in 2008. Mike was a gentle but proud man who worked hard to support his family. His face bears the battle scars of sun exposure from years on the farm equipment. Mike never missed a sporting event that his sons played in, or the second time around with the grandkids. He enjoyed many hours of sports on TV while Twila traveled with her Home Interior. In September 2000, his cancer surgery was a life changing operation. Mike never complained but learned to live with the challenges he faced. It has been said that Mike spoke more after surgery than before. He made the best of what life handed him. He drove himself to all 36 radiation treatments in Salina following surgery. In 2008, he and Twila were diagnosed with cancer and moved to the nursing facility in Salina for 60 days. Both, not given much hope, showed how strong-willed they could be and, beating the odds, returned home to the farm where they had lived since 1964. When Twilas health declined in 2009, Mike took care of her at home until just before her death on December 25, 2011. He was overheard once saying he knew what the saying, A housewife's work is never done meant as he cooked and cleaned and drove her to the doctors visits. After almost 11 years of treatments for his cancer, Mike decided to stop treatments and live out his days. In May, a fall and hospital stay made him aware he could not stay on the farm. He moved back to the same nursing home in Salina, where he passed. Preceding Mike in death are: his parents; four brothers, Marvin, Milton, Virgil and Donald; his wife, Twila; one great grandchild. Survivors include: his children, Gordon (Judi) of St. Marys, Roxanne (Doug) of St. Marys, Gary Lee of Salina, and Greg (Roxane) of Salina; 14 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren with one new one arriving this month; sister Marlene (Jim) Applebee of Goodland; and cousins, nieces and nephews. Visitation - 1-7:00 P.M. Tuesday, September 6, at Hall Chapel. Family will be present 5-7:00 P.M. Services - 10:30 A.M. Wednesday, September 7, at Grace Chapel United Methodist Church in Hunter. Interment in Greenwood Union Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Community Vacation Bible School.

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