Francis (Yogi), 65, of the Miners Mills section of Wilkes-Barre, passed away Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2012.
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Born in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 29, 1947, he was the son of the late John and Nora Sessin Michael.
He was a 1965 graduate of GAR Memorial High School, where he served and remained active as class president. In 1971 he graduated from the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in education.
He and his wife, the former Marie Tirpak, celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on July 18.
He was most recently employed by Williams Bus Lines, Brucelli Advertising, AAAA Driving Academy, AAAA Limousine Service and King's College. He retired as the athletic director for Solomon/Plains Junior High School in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District in 2004, where he was a health and physical education teacher for 30 dedicated years.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children, the Rev. David Michael, South Carolina; Renee Andrews and her husband, William, Wilkes-Barre; Christina Nordmark and her husband, Kevin, Bear Creek; Janna, Wilkes-Barre; and Ellen Meehan and her husband, Jared, Wilkes-Barre; grandchildren, Teri, Samantha, Kurtis, William, Michael and Marie; his sister, Lena, Kingston; brothers, Anthony and his wife, Geraldine, Nanticoke; and John and his wife, Michelle, Ohio; and aunt, Eleanor Hudak, Swoyersville.
His many past accomplishments include director of athletics, Wilkes-Barre Catholic Youth Center (1970-1971); teacher of health and physical education, Bishop Hoban High School (1971-1974); coach of wrestling, volleyball, cross country and tennis at GAR High School; coach of swimming at Bishop Hoban High School; PIAA volleyball official; advisor to the GAR High School Key Club for 10 years; high school and college baseball official for 20 years; high school football official for 30 years; high school and college wrestling official for 38 years. He officiated two NCAA Division I wrestling championships, 30 Divisional I national wrestling qualifiers, 20 PSAC championships, five PIAA individual wrestling championships, six regional wrestling championships and one PIAA team wrestling championship. He served as director of American Legion Baseball (in charge of 10 regional tournaments and director of two state tournaments) and director of the District 2 AAA wrestling for eight years.
As a member of his GAR High School wrestling team, he was a four-time champion of the Wilkes-Barre High School Wrestling Tournament, four-time place winner District II wrestling, two-time Northeastern regional champion and the 1965 PIAA state wrestling champion. He was selected as the George Hooper winner (most outstanding wrestler in the Wyoming Valley Conference)
He was a member of the Pennsylvania American Legion Hall of Fame, Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame, Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame, National Wrestling Hall of Fame Pennsylvania Chapter and Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.
He was a member of the Knights of Lebanon, Knights of Columbus and St. Anthony/St. George Maronite Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre.
A funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday from Mamary-Durkin Funeral Service, 59 Parrish St., Wilkes-Barre, with services at 10 a.m. in St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church, Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre. Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Published in Citizens' Voice from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2012