Harold Michael Eulogy

In memory of
Harold L. Michael
July 24, 1920 - August 3, 1999

presented by
C. William Lovell
August 10, 1999

"He was one of the kindest, wisest gentlemen, I have ever known" is a commonly expressed assessment of the life of Harold Michael.

Harold earned this legacy through a diligent, caring exercise of many important roles in life.

He was a loving spouse and father, and persevered in these roles in the face of many difficulties, He is survived by four children/stepchildren and by 10 grandchildren.

He was a "good neighbor", in the broadest sense, illustrated by his long service to Rotary International in general and to the Lafayette Rotary Club in particular. Harold had over 37 yews of service in Rotary, serving as Lafayette Club President in 1973-74 and as District Governor in 1979-80. Harold's favorite project in Rotary was the Rotary International Foundation (he was of course a Paul Harris fellow, 3 times), and he was a true champion of this activity. He was an original member of the Lafayette Rotary Foundation Board and a Golden Service level supporter.

Professor Michael's life was deeply spiritual and he expressed these beliefs through long and dedicated service to the Redeemer Lutheran Church, West Lafayette.

Harold served as President of the Redeemer Congregation, and was the "Leading Elder" as this church and parsonage was constructed in the early 1960s. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Grace Lutheran Church in the mid-1970s.

Harold's engineering education schedule was altered by his military service in World War II, European Theatre; and he didn't have time for a Ph.D.

In his profession of Transportation Engineering, Harold is characterized as a "giant" and a "true champion"'. Much of the civil engineering research at Purdue University is accomplished through a cooperative effort of the Indiana Department of Transportation and the University, through an entity now known as the Joint Transportation Research Program. This program grew and flourished under Harold's leadership, and has been duplicated in many other states. Harold served as head of the School of Civil Engineering for 13 years, and contributed greatly to the present position of preeminence of this School. He was elected to many positions of technical/ professional leadership, crowned by his selection as a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Harold received an honorary Doctor of Engineering from Purdue in 1992.

With all of this international and national exposure, Harold still had time to serve

West Lafayette, Lafayette and Tippecanoe County as an advisor on transportation concerns.

We knew him as a "common man", with "uncommon" concerns and sensitivity for others. He never sought the limelight, but never failed to give the best of his talents to all of his responsibilities.

Harold, we will remember you as the kindest and wisest of our acquaintances. We salute your enormous legacy, and we will particularly treasure our time with you in Rotary.

Please stand for a moment of silent tribute to our departed colleague.

Copyright © 2000 Lafayette Indiana Rotary Club.
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