Winifred N. “Winnie” Michel

Winifred N. “Winnie” Michel

Winifred N. “Winnie” Michel, age 102, entered her heavenly reward Thursday, January 13, 2022, from Auburn Manor in Chaska, Minnesota.

Born October 18, 1919, in Bethlehem, PA, she was the daughter of George and Myrtle Cronce Strahler. She graduated from Liberty High School, worked at Lehigh University, and was a member of South Side Moravian Church, all in Bethlehem.

On February 3, 1945, she married the love of her life, the Rev. Richard E. Michel, and served alongside him at Moravian Churches in Daggett, MI; Sharon Moravian in Tuscarawas, OH; Palmer Township in Easton, PA; Dover First in Dover, OH; West Salem, IL; and Unionville, MI. They retired in 1984 and lived in Gnadenhutten OH where Rev. Michel immediately went to work supporting Tuscarawas County clergy in their respective churches. After their second retirement, they moved to Chaska, MN in 2007 to be nearer their daughter and her family.

Winnie made any house they lived in a home, and she was the ultimate hostess, always making sure her guests were well-fed and housed. Her life epitomized Hebrews 13:2 – “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Anyone who was lucky enough to put their feet under her table was in for a treat!

She was active in all endeavors of the churches where she and Rev. Michel served, including singing in the choir, making sugar cakes, teaching Sunday school, quilting, Ladies’ Aid Society, and Women’s Circles. Winnie never met a stranger and was Rev. Michel’s devoted helpmeet until his death in 2012, after 67 years of loving marriage and thousands of competitive games of Scrabble.

Winnie is survived by her son, Richard E. “Rick” Michel, Jr. and his wife Jeannie of Dover, OH; daughter the Rev. Sharon and her husband Kim Benson of Chaska, MN; two granddaughters, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer “Jenny” and her husband Paul Moran of Waconia, MN; and Kristell Benson of Chaska, MN. Her great-grandchildren, Evan, Emily, and Sophie Moran were a continuing source of joy to Winnie.

Other survivors include her sister, Millicent “Millie” and husband Don Zeitner of Bethlehem, PA, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her sister Ruth Bourguignon and brothers Albert Tigar and Bob Strahler and their spouses; sisters-in-law Marguerite Benedett, Elizabeth Persons, brother-in-law the Rev. Bernard Michel, and their spouses.

Cremation has taken place in Minnesota and services, entrusted to the care of the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia, will take place in Tuscarawas County later this year.

Winnie’s family is thankful for the excellent care she received at Auburn Manor, where the staff cherished her like a beloved member of their family.

Memorial contributions may be made to a church or charity of the donor’s choice; Moravian Care Foundation (Auburn Homes); or the Moravian Music Foundation.

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