Danny J. Michaels
Virginia Beach - Capt. Danny J. Michaels, USN, (Ret), 80, 30-year Naval Officer, Fighter Pilot and King Neptune VII, departed the pattern on 2 July, 2013. He passed away at his home surrounded by his family.
He was born October 23, 1932, in Charlotte, NC, son of James B. and Eleni I. Michaels. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with the Class of 1956, completed flight training in Beeville, Texas, and served as a flight instructor there before reporting to his first fleet fighter squadron.
He met his wife of 52 years, Effie, while visiting his grandparents in Greece on a port call from the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42).
During his 30 year Navy career, Capt. Michaels attained over 5,000 flight hours and hundreds of carrier landings in various fighter aircraft, most in the F-4 Phantom, which he flew for nearly 20 years. His flying tours were with Fighter Squadrons 14, 74, 102, 101, and 103. He completed two combat deployments to Vietnam, served as Assistant Air Boss on USS Independence and was the Navy's first F-4 pilot on exchange duty with the Air Force's 4453rd Tactical Training Wing. He commanded the Sluggers of Fighter Squadron 103 and Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana from 1978-80. His staff tours included twice with the Bureau of Naval Personnel and as Chief of Staff, Cruiser Destroyer Group Eight. He attended Armed Forces Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was a member of the Military Officers Association of America and the Association of Naval Aviation.
In 1980, Capt. Michaels was chosen as King Neptune VII for his efforts in forging a better relationship between NAS Oceana and the City of Virginia Beach. He also ran for Va. Beach City Council in the mid-80s.
After retiring from the Navy in 1982, he became very involved in the city and community. He was Chairman of the Virginia Beach Crime Solvers Board of Directors and Chairman of the Virginia Beach United Way Advisory Board. He served on the boards of the Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Beach Mayor's Base Economic Study and Transportation Committees, and the Virginia Beach Schools Curriculum Task Force. He was also a member of the Virginia Beach Rotary Club, serving as president 1994-95 and was named a Paul Harris Fellow.
Capt. Michaels was an active member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Norfolk, where he served on the Parish council, was a member of the Order of AHEPA, and chaired and emceed the March 25th Greek Independence Day celebration for 13 years. He was honored as a Father of the Year just this Father's Day.
He was a true leader, selflessly devoted to his family, the Navy, and the community. His gentle smile and encouraging demeanor inspired confidence in everyone he knew and met.
He was pre-deceased by his parents and his brother, Basil J. Michaels. He is survived by his wife, Effie; his son Jim Michaels, PhD, daughter-in-law Jean, and grandchildren, Jacob and Antigone, of Oakland, CA; and son CDR George Michaels, USN and daughter-in-law Pamela of Virginia Beach along with his sister-in-law Harriet Michaels of Charlotte, a host of cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with a Trisagion service to be held at 6:00p.m. in H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Rd Chapel on Wednesday July 10, 2013. A funeral service will be held on Thursday July 11, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7220 Granby Street in Norfolk. The Very Reverend Archimandrite Ambrose Bitziadis-Bowers and Reverend Protopresbyter Constatine P. Rogakos will officiate. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will occur at a later date. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Capt. Danny Michaels to the Philoptochos Society Scholarship Fund, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7220 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23505. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.hdoliver.com
Published by The Virginian-Pilot on Jul. 7, 2013.