Francis A. "Yogi" Michael

Nov. 29, 2012

Francis "Yogi" A. Michael, 65, of the Miners Mills section of Wilkes-Barre, passed away Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2012.

Born in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 29, 1947, he was a son of the late John and Nora (Sessin) Michael.

He was a 1965 graduate of G.A.R. 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 currently 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 2004 from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District where he was a Health and Physical Education teacher for 30 dedicated years.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children, the Rev. Father David Michael, South Carolina; Renee Andrews and her husband, William, Wilkes-Barre; Christina Nordmark and her husband, Kevin, Bear Creek Township; Janna, Wilkes-Barre; Ellen Meehan and her husband, Jared, Wilkes-Barre; grandchildren, Teri, Samantha, Kurtis, William, Michael, Marie; his sister, Lena, Kingston; brothers, Anthony and his wife, Geraldine, Nanticoke, John and his wife, Michelle, Ohio; aunt, Eleanor Hudak, Swoyersville.

His many past accomplishments include, director of athletics, Wilkes-Barre Catholic Youth Center (1970-71), teacher of health and physical education at Bishop Hoban High School (1971-74), coach of wrestling, volleyball, cross country and tennis at G.A.R. High School, coach of swimming at Bishop Hoban High School, PIAA Volleyball official, adviser to the G.A.R. 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 Division 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, Director of the District two AAA Wrestling for eight years.

As a member of his G.A.R. 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 - the most outstanding wrestler in the Wyoming Valley Conference.

He was a member of the PA American Legion Hall of Fame, Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame, Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame, National Wrestling Hall of Fame PA Chapter, and PA 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 Monday at 9:30 a.m. from Mamary/Durkin Funeral Services, 59 Parrish St., Wilkes-Barre, with services at 10 a.m. in St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church, Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre. Friends may call Sunday from 3 until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Funeral Home

Mamary-Durkin Funeral Service, Inc - Wilkes Barre
59 Parrish St.  Wilkes Barre, PA 18702
(570) 824-4601

Published in Times Leader on Dec. 1, 2012