Lorraine Maxine Annie Reid Michael was born on March 21, 1921 in Ilfracombe, Queensland, Australia, to William Rupert Leslie Reid and Louise Wilhelmina Buetel Reid, who predeceased her. Her husband of 46 years, Dr. David Edward Michael, predeceased her on June 28, 1992.
A very young Lorraine moved with her family from the outback to Glen Iris, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, where she was reared and educated. As a young woman she worked as a legal secretary for Sir James Forrest, a leading commercial attorney and national leader. Together they served their country during World War II in leadership roles with the Australian Civilian Office coordinating food rations and supplies. During this period she met American Army Captain and dentist David Edward Michael of Jackson, Ohio. Within a year of the conclusion of the war Lorraine traveled from Australia to Jackson, Ohio where the couple was married at the Jackson Presbyterian Church on October 9, 1946.
Lorraine is survived by three children born of this marriage: David Reid (Phyllis) Michael, Stephen Dana (Shellie Leach) Michael, and Lesley Michael (Tommy) Hoyle. She is also survived by four grandsons: Aaron (Andrea) Michael; Adam (Susie) Michael; Ethan (Shyla) Michael, all of Oak Hill, OH; and Seth (Heather) Michael, of Jackson, OH; and three step-grandchildren: Jennifer Davis (Jamie) Ratcliff; Michael Davis; and Jaylin. Step-grandson Jeffrey Davis predeceased her. She is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren.
During her life in Jackson, Ohio, Lorraine was active in the community as a member of the Reading Club, Literary Club, Garden Club, and was also involved with efforts to support the Jackson City Schools and various projects aimed at community improvement. Her commitment to community extended beyond Jackson County through her work with the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs, which supported regional and State-wide civic improvement programs and legislative activities. She was elevated to district and state offices by that organization. Lorraine also supported the arts, including Rio Grande College theater productions through sponsorship, as well as appearing in several productions. She unselfishly made dozens of presentations to adult groups and children’s classes regarding her Australian homeland. 1985 brought her recognition by then Governor Richard Celeste, as a naturalized citizen and model of patriotism and community involvement.
After a long and productive life in Jackson, the Michaels moved permanently to Green Valley, AZ. Lorraine continued her active lifestyle and was deeply involved in village government, as well as continuing her contribution to social and civic life. Varied entities benefited from her support including a local theater group, artistic endeavors, the Tucson Symphony and the University of Arizona women’s softball program.
According to her own account, one of her most satisfying experiences was her 25 years of service as a volunteer at the Whipple Observatory operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, at Mount Hopkins near Green Valley where she led tours and conducted seminars about the observatory’s activities. She found inter-action with the astrophysicists and engineers stimulating. Then in her spare moments, she taught line dancing until she was 85 and bridge until she was 89. Intermittently, she provided literacy classes to prisoners at the Pima County Jail as the opportunity arose.
After selling her house in Green Valley, she resided at the La Posada Retirement Village for several years until her return to Jackson, Ohio, where she resided at the Holzer Assisted Living and then finally to Jenkins Care Community, where her adventurous life journey ended on March 31, 2017.
Private services were held by the family. A garden in honor of Lorraine is being planned and a dedication ceremony will be announced as these plans are completed. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lorraine M. Michael Memorial Fund, c/o Atomic Credit Union, 498 McCarty Lane, Jackson, OH 45640.