DURHAM-After a period of failing health, Joseph E. Michael, Jr., died May 26, 2005 at Exeter Hospital. He was a resident of Durham for more than 50 years.
Born at Dover Hospital on October 1, 1923, he was the son of Antoinette and Joseph Michael. He was the youngest of nine children and resided in Rochester, N.H. He graduated from Rochester High School and was proud to have earned the honor of Eagle Scout. He entered Dartmouth College with the Class of 1945, but his studies were interrupted by military service in the Army Air Corps. After returning to New Hampshire, he resumed his college career, graduating from Dartmouth and the Boston University School of Law in 1950.
He married in 1949 and began practicing law in Rochester. He was later appointed District Court Judge of Durham, and most recently had been Of Counsel in the law firm of Swanson and Hand in Newmarket, N.H. A member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, Judge Michael was licensed to practice in Federal Court. He also served as a Director of the First National Bank of Rochester and as a Director and General Counsel for the Profile Bank FSB.
He taught undergraduate and graduate law courses at the University of New Hampshire for more than four decades. Among other duties, he served as Durham Town Moderator for many years, helping to guide the town when the proposed Onassis Oil Refinery threatened New Hampshire's seacoast. A founding member of St. George's Episcopal Church in Durham, and an active church member for more than 50 years, he was a Trustee of the Diocease of New Hampshire and a delegate to many state and national conventions. Additionally, he was a Trustee of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States' Pension Fund for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley Whiting Michael; his daughter, Christine Nevada Michael; his son, Joseph E. Michael III; his daughter-in-law, Susan Lavallee; his son-in-law, Martin White; and five grandchildren-Aditep, Carmen, Isabel, and Jonathan White, and Cameron Michael; his brother, George Michael; and many beloved nieces, nephews, in-laws, and cousins.
His life was enriched by his love of the outdoors. He delighted in his hours on the water: at his cottage on Crystal Lake; during his annual fishing trip to Moosehead Lake in Maine; while boating on Little Bay; and when sailing the Eastern Atlantic Coast. He was a ticket holder and an avid enthusiast of all sports at the University of New Hampshire, and he spent many summers coaching Little League baseball in Durham. He enjoyed travel in the United States and in Europe, but his most treasured moments were spent with his family and close friends.
A private service will be held for family members. A public memorial service will be held in July; details will be forthcoming.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to the Joseph Michael Memorial Fund of the Gilmanton Land Trust. The address is P.O. Box 561, Gilmanton, New Hampshire, 03237, and contributions should be marked "Attention Nanci Mitchell."