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Merle "Mike" Michaelson, 88

Merle "Mike" Michaelson, 88

Died Dec. 30, 2009

Merle "Mike" Michaelson was an educator and a churchman. He came to UW-River Falls in 1967 to chair the biology department, after having taught at Colorado State University, the University of Missouri at Columbia, and St. Cloud State University, and having done research on corn and flax for the USDA in Brookings, S.D. After retirement in 1983, he taught at Balob Teachers College in Papua New Guinea, and then returned to UWRF as Associate Dean of Arts and Science for five quarters.

He was active at Ezekiel Lutheran Church, serving as president of the church council, Sunday school teacher, and member of the adult choir and bell choir. He served as vice president of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and was a member of a national ELCA board as well as being a voting member for several national assemblies of the ELCA. He also served on the River Falls Refugee Committee.

Merle was born in Hudson, Wis., on Valentine's Day, 1921, and died Dec. 30, 2009.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Alma Sumner Michaelson; his parents; and one sister.

He is survived by his second wife, Lois; son, David (Elizabeth) Michaelson; daughter, Kristen (Robert) Althoff; son, Paul (Jean) Michaelson; and step-son, James (Andrea) Heilborn; as well as grandchildren, Peggy (Joe) Lushine, James Michaelson, Kelly and Mary Althoff, Nicholas and Natalie Heilborn, and two brothers, Vernon (Vi) Michaelson, and Kenneth Michaelson.

Merle graduated from Hudson High School in 1939 and UWRF in 1943, entering the U.S. Navy the day of college graduation. He was at the invasion of Normandy. He earned a master's degree from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Merle was a man of integrity who loved music, gardening, and people.

A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, at Ezekiel Lutheran Church in River Falls. Visitation was held from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, at Ezekiel, and on Monday from 10-11 a.m. Interment was in the Greenwood Cemetery.

Arrangements were with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.