Herbert James Michaelis 1913 - 2011 Russell
Herbert James Michaelis, 98, of Russell, died Monday, December 26, 2011, at his home.
Herbert was born August 31, 1913, on the family farm southeast of Russell, the son of Honis and Mollie (Strecker) Michaelis. He graduated from Russell High School in 1931. Herb was united in marriage to Eva M. Milberger on August 11, 1946, at the Methodist Church in Russell. This union was blessed with three daughters: Linda, Patricia and Barbara. Herb and Eva made their home in Russell.
Herb joined the staff of L. Banker Mercantile in 1933. He was employed there for 43 years until 1976, retiring as manager of the shoe department. He was active in community and church affairs. He and Eva served as Methodist Youth Fellowship sponsors while their daughters were in high school. He was also active in Methodist Men and was named a Fellow of the Society of John Wesley in April 2010. He was active in the Noon Kiwanis Club and served as its treasurer for a number of years. Herb and Eva were instrumental in organizing a volunteer Hospice in Russell in 1985 and it was active until 1993. During World War II, he served from 1942 through 1945 in the 10th Tank Battalion of the Fifth Armored Division in Europe.
He was an avid sports fan and participant. He started his baseball career at age 15. While in high school, he and others convinced coach B. W. Wood to start a Russell High baseball team his senior year. He was a shortstop on several town team baseball teams for Susank and Russell. In 1934, Herb played on a Salina Ban Johnson baseball team that won the Kansas League championship and took second in a seven game “World Series,” losing to a Kansas City team. His playing career ended in 1948. He served on the Russell Recreation Commission from 1964 through 1984, including as chairman his last six year of service. He coached and managed the Banker’s sponsored Babe Ruth baseball team from 1968 until 1973. The team won the league the first year and he coached the Russell All-Star team in the state tournament in 1968. His sporting interests weren’t limited to baseball. He began bowling in the late 1930s and participated in league bowling in Russell for four decades. In 1954, his bowling team won the Class A state tournament. He was an avid fan of KU basketball and Royals baseball. Herb continued to watch sports whenever possible—in person or on television.
Surviving family include daughters, Linda Davis and husband Bob of Lawrence, Kansas; Patricia Michaelis of Topeka, Kansas; Barbara Michaelis of Hays, Kansas; grandson, Steven Davis and wife Katie and their son Landon all of Prairie Village Kansas, and many family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Eva, his parents, and two brothers, Albert Leroy (Roy) and Clarence Marvin (Mick).
Celebration of Herb’s Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 31, 2011, at the Trinity United Methodist Church of Russell with Reverend John Thompson officiating. Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell with the family present to greet friends from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Memorials have been established at the Trinity United Methodist Church, for either the Herb Michaelis Memorial or Youthville at Dodge City. Contributions and condolences may be sent in care of Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of the arrangements.