Mr. John James Michael, 90, of Monroe, passed away Saturday, January 25, 2020 at his home. He was born September 24, 1929 to Warren and Catherine Mueller Michael in Erie County, Buffalo, NY. Prior to his passing he suffered the loss of these beloved family members, his parents; two daughters Darlene Mrak and Barbara Michael; three grandchildren Chuck Battaglia, Shawn Lopez and LeighAnne Eckert, sister Mary Wilson and his brother Bud Michael.
Mr. Michael served in the US Army Air Corp and was a "Tail Gunner" during the end of World War II, he later served as an air traffic controller in Saudi Arabia after the war. He was an avid golfer and was well known member at Innsbrook Country Club while he lived in Merrillville, IN. He enjoyed golfing, gardening, and building model planes. In addition, he loved to bake homemade bread and potato rolls (if you ever had one you would understand why his family would fight over them and even hide them in their pockets and deny having any so they could have more). His speed and agility helped him to secure a position with the Buffalo Bills as a running back for a few years until he injured his knee and was forced to retire early. He was a devoted husband and father and touched many lives with his generosity and passion for life. One of his greatest honors was bestowed upon him in 2015 when he was chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Mr. Michael leaves behind a large family to cherish his memory, they include: his wife Judith Johnson Michael; daughters Jacqueline Collins (husband Jim), Kimberly Agro, Jody Gimbrone (husband Lou), and Rene Michael; sons John J. Michael Jr (wife Linda), Christopher Christman (wife Christine) and Jason Christman; thirteen grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren, and the newest member to the family Maggie (his Boston Terrier).
A Memorial Mass will be in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in the upcoming days. The family will decide the day and time once they can coordinate with out of town family members.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of Union County; 700 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe, NC 28110 or The Wounded Warrior Project; 1990 Fordham Drive Suite 100, Fayetteville, NC 28304
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