MINERAL RIDGE - Michelle Ilona Mickelson Griffiths, Ph.D. 78, passed away at 4:36 p.m. on Sunday February 7, 2021 at the St. Elizabeth Health Center. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio on December 9, 1942 the eldest daughter of Adolph J. and Helen (Vargo) Mickelson.
She was a 1960 graduate of Niles McKinley High School and graduated summa cum laude from Kent State University in 1983. She was a member of Xi Mu Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta National English Honor Society. She won the Arthur E. DuBois Award in recognition of excellence in critical writing. A Dean's List student, she earned an Associate degree "With Distinction" from KSU. A staff writer for the student newspaper and editor of the campus literary magazine, she was a member of the Student Publication Policy Committee, Student Senate, and Student Senate High Court. She was appointed a Graduate Assistant at Kent, where she taught English classes. She earned her Master's degree at Kent in 1986. Michelle was appointed a Teaching Fellow at Kent and taught at Kent for several years, earning her Ph.D. in 1997. She also taught at Youngstown State University and KSU Trumbull, where she was English Coordinator of the Skill Center. Finally she taught at Mount Union College.
As a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Niles, she taught every grade from second through twelfth in the Sunday school. She was Director of the Vacation Bible School, Deacon, treasurer of the Deacons, member of the Christian Education Committee, the Self-Study Committee, and the Pulpit Nominating Committee. She was a consultant for church self-studies in the Eastminster Presbytery. Later, as a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Mineral Ridge, she was a Deacon, treasurer of the Deacons, member of the Health Ministries Committee and the Christian Educational Committee and Director of the Vacation Bible School.
Michelle loved to travel, and she and Glenn visited 38 states and Canada. She was a great reader of books and enjoyed watching movies, sports and attending YSU and Mt. Union football games. She was an avid Cleveland Indians Fan.
Throughout the years, she survived two kinds of cancer, two open-heart surgeries and had a pacemaker, a defibrillator and an artificial heart value. Michelle is survived by her husband of 59 years Glenn E. Griffiths whom she married on October 7, 1961 by Rev. Jay R. Bishop in the First Presbyterian Church in Niles; son, Paul C. Griffiths of Niles; daughter, Alison B. Griffiths of New Springfield; granddaughter, Maddie (Matt) Roberts of Austintown; great granddaughter, Juliet Roberts; two sisters, Chris Mickelson of Columbus, Mary Beth Donaldson of Columbus; niece Jenny and nephew A.J.; great nephew, Jackson. She was preceded in death by her parents. Michelle's funeral will be at 4:00 p.m. on Friday February 12, 2021 at the Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home where family and friends may call one hour prior to the service. Rev. Dr. Bernard Oakes will officiate. Michelle will be buried privately at Kerr Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mineral Ridge Presbyterian Church or the donor's favorite local charity of their choice.
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