Joseph Michel
Joseph Michel
Joseph Michel
Joseph Michel
Joseph Michel
Joseph Michel

Obituary of Joseph H. Michel

Lifelong resident of Olympia, Washington, Joe Michel, age 89, passed away on February 6, 2024. He was very patient, kind and caring, and was generous to others with his time and energy.


While a student at Olympia High School, Joe was in the marching band, earned a letter in music and another letter in production for helping with the audio/visual needs of the school. He graduated in 1952. In 1955 and 1956, he served in the U.S. Navy on a ship and loved touring the Mediterranean.


Joe graduated from Saint Martin’s College (now University) in civil engineering in 1962. He worked at the Washington State Department of Transportation for 25 years. He retired at age 48, then worked for HDR Engineering. During his time with HDR, he lived in Tampa, Florida; Anchorage, Alaska; Bellevue, Washington; and Las Vegas, Nevada.


Joe was married to Darlene for 61 years. They took pleasure in dancing to Big Band and popular music, as well as square dancing. In retirement, they enjoyed traveling the U.S. in their RV and exploring state and national parks. They were members of the Lazy Daze RV Club and enjoyed the campouts. They frequently traveled south for the winter. For their 50th wedding anniversary, they spoiled themselves and took a cruise to Alaska.


Joe enjoyed staying active and he was very disciplined. In his younger years, he enjoyed organic gardening, mountaineering, hiking, and jogging. He was a PADI certified SCUBA diver instructor. He taught diving at the local YMCA. He belonged to the Kelp Crawlers dive club. He loved to swim and was a member of the Masters swim club. On Saturdays, he taught swim lessons to adults. He served on the YMCA fundraising team for years, raising funds for families and youth-in-need of YMCA scholarships.


He is remembered as a loyal, dedicated, and faithful husband and father by wife, Darlene Michel; daughter, Connie (Mike) Murphy; son, Joe Michel; granddaughter, Angela Heath; great-granddaughter, Taliyah; and grandson, Austin Michel.


Services will be held Friday, February 23, 2024, 11:00 a.m. at South Sound Manor, 455 North St. SE, Tumwater, WA 98501, followed by a reception.  The graveside service will follow at approximately 2:00 p.m. at Forest Grove Cemetery, 18011 Northcraft Rd. SE, Tenino, WA 98589.


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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Funeral Alternatives of Washington - Tumwater
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