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Joseph F. Michael



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Joseph F. Michael, 97, of New Milford died June 24 of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was born in Danbury, November 1, 1917, to Lebanese immigrants, Farfora (Nakly) and Moses Michael.

His wife of 75 years, Mieke Buter Michael of New Milford; four children, Monica Kim Michael Roberts, and husband Benjamin, of Newtown, Victoire Michael Sickinger, and husband Peter, of Richmond, Va., Richard Michael, and wife Marianna Adler, of Austin, Texas, and Felicia Michael, and husband Robert Brophy, of New Milford; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren survive Mr Michael. His sisters, Adele Michael Farmer and Rose Michael Dratch; and brother, Moses Michael, Jr, predeceased him.

During World War II he served in the US Maritime Service (Merchant Marine).

Mr Michael was a division manager for Encyclopedia Britannica, the top tier of sales management for the firm, for the Hartford and Boston Divisions from 1960 to 1982. Earlier, he was president of the firm his father and uncle had founded in Danbury, the Michael Fur Company, which processed fur for the production of men’s hats.

The family lived for many years in Redding, where Mr Michael played an active role in the community, the school board (chair), community theater, and politics. He ran as a Democrat for the State Senate in 1956. After retirement he did charity work including for the Danbury Hospital chapter of the Kidney Foundation.

He embraced life with zeal and had many interests and talents: painting and drawing, photography, gardening, and sports. He was a passionate backyard barbecuer, voracious reader, and a lover of music of all kinds, especially jazz. But the greatest joys in his life were the people in it. His love for his wife was enduring and deep, and his pride in their family shone in his eyes whenever he looked at them. A doting grandfather and great-grandfather, his personal warmth, charm, good humor, unswerving loyalty, and generosity yielded countless friendships lasting decades. He was fiercely protective of those dear to him. His infectious laugh still rings in the ears. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

A private interment in Redding, October 3, will be immediately followed by a memorial gathering.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org/ct, or to Opengate, Inc, Somers, N.Y., at www.opengateinc.org.

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