Joann Michael

By | October 8, 2019

Joann Michael, age 88, of Buckhannon, West Virginia, passed away Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, at her home in Jackson, Ohio.  She was born Sept. 29, 1931 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, daughter of the late Donald Cahill and Margaret Vannata Blue.

Joann retired from the West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2010 following 35 years of service.  She worked in several different capacities throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, and then spent the remainder of the 1990s, until her retirement in 2010, at the French A. See Dining Center.  As the students displayed their identification card to enter the dining center, they were greeted by Joann, AKA “Grandma”.  Joann devoted herself to making each student feel loved and at home.  During her tenure at Wesleyan, she was involved in many campus activities, from judging contests and Spring Sing competitions, to attending theater productions, music concerts and attending most athletic events.  Joann also had the honor of being the Theta Chi Fraternity Sweetheart for several years.  In 2001, she was selected for membership into the Omicron Delta Kappa Society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni.  This honor indicates the campus-wide respect and love felt for “Grandma Joann”.

Joann was married to the late coach, Joe Michael, who preceded her in death on Oct. 9, 1984.  In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Harold “Mike” Michael.

Joann is survived by three daughters, Mary Arthur of Jackson, Oh., Louise “Weez” Michael of Morgantown, WV, and Charlotte Michael Critchfield (Tim) of Buckhannon, WV; one son, Joe Michael, Jr. (Jan) of Parsons, WV; two granddaughters, Micah Nehlen (Ryan) of Morgantown WV, and Jonette Michael (Eric Gadd) of Princeton, WV; six  grandsons, Cory Heflin (Ashton Amos) of Erie, PA, Ryan Michael (Casey Ballato) of Morgantown, WV, Seth Michael of Parsons, WV, Josh Michael of Parsons, WV, Waylon “Johnnie” Bailey (Angela) of Arlington, VA, and Joey Michael of Los Angeles, CA; and two step-grandsons, Aaron Critchfield (Lisa) of Buckhannon, WV, and Tyler Critchfield (Dami) of Morgantown, WV.  Joann also recently became a great-grandmother this year to two beautiful girls, Penelope Nehlen of Morgantown, WV and Layla Bailey of Arlington, VA.  Joann is also survived by her longtime nurse and family friend, Joanne Skaj.  Through the relationship with Joanne Skaj, Joann and her family became a part of a wonderful extended family.

In keeping with Joann’s wishes, her body was cremated.  A service honoring the memory of Joann will be held at a later date at the West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV.  In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate contributions be given to:  The Joann Michael Scholarship Fund, c/o West Virginia Wesleyan College, Advancement Office, 59 College Avenue, Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201. 
Arrangements are under the McWilliams Funeral Home in Wellston, Ohio.  Online condolences can be sent to the family at