CHAMPAIGN – Stephen E. Michels, 61, of Champaign (formerly Kewanee) has been released from the disease of ALS and entered into his permanent home, Heaven. His homegoing was at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at his Champaign residence with his family.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Twin City Bible Church, 806 W. Michigan Ave., Urbana. Pastor Shannon Caughey will officiate. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the church. Burial will be private. Owens Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Steve was born June 14, 1951, in Pekin, son of Chester and Gertrude Michels. He married Wendy Allen Michels on March 20, 1976.
Steve was known and respected by many as a man who loves God and serves Him. He was a member of Twin City Bible Church, Urbana, and previously of Champaign-Urbana Christian Church, Webber Street Church of Christ, Urbana, and First Christian Church, Kewanee.
He was active in each church in various capacities: Bible Study leader, deacon, Sunday School teacher, treasurer and committee member, but mostly a mentor and example for others.
He had a 37-year career with Tri Star Marketing, Champaign, retiring as CFO on April 30, 2012. He had a passion and deep dedication to his job, loving all the years spent there. He always remarked he couldn't work for a better family or company.
Previous to that he worked at Filbey, Summers, Abolt, Good and Kiddoo for two years. He graduated from Wethersfield High School, Kewanee, in 1969. In 1973 he graduated from Illinois State University and then passed the CPA exam.
He was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Illini, especially basketball. He played basketball in high school and loved church and Park District basketball and softball leagues through the years.
He also had a sweet stroke with his golf game, the highlight of which was traveling to Scotland with Dean, Jon and Russ Stewart to play. He enjoyed coaching his sons in basketball and baseball and was a dedicated and loving father. The latest spectator sports he enjoyed were watching his grandchildren in their various activities.
Steve and his wife loved spending many vacations at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, and at the beach in Perdido Key, Fla. The last family vacation was spent at Disneyworld with kids and grandkids. They loved his "magic chair" that offered preference in lines.
Survivors are his wife of nearly 37 years, Wendy Allen Michels of Champaign; and two sons, Justin (Chris) Michels of Bloomington and Troy Michels of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. His wonderful grandchildren are Parker, Hayley and Crew Michels, also of Bloomington.
In addition are special niece and family, Regina (Darrel) Rice, Caleb, Jacob, Benjamin, Hannah and Grace of Philo. There are also his step-mother, Helen Michels; and two stepsisters, Martha Mikel and Diana Pridgen and their families.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Suzanne; and a step-brother, Bill Wilhite.
Our family would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who showed so much support for Steve during his battle with ALS. We were amazed at all the practical, emotional and spiritual support given by so many. We especially thank family, friends, co-workers, Badgers and Buddies, lift teams, and finally the local MDA and Diversified Home Health Care.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorial gifts may be made to Abenezer's Hope Fund, details at http://abenezershopefund.org/get-involved/ or the Steve Michels CPA Review Scholarship fund at Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 5500, Normal, IL 61790.
Condolences may be offered at www.owensfuneralhomes.com.