- 71 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 25, 1943
- Date of passing: Mar 9, 2014
|Let the memory of Kenneth be with us forever|
Ken Lee “Kenny”/“KLM” Michaelis was born January 25, 1943 on the family farm northeast of West Point, and grew up there. The sixth of seven children of Ben and Sylvia (Wostoupal Toelle) Michaelis, Ken graduated from Guardian Angels Catholic schools in 1961. He served as a 4-H club president and a state FFA officer, winning the National Beef Award and representing Nebraska at the 1960 International Livestock Judging Contest in Chicago. Ken earned a Bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, served two years in the U.S. Army, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburg in 1972. He returned to Nebraska to practice law, and on August 31, 1974, Ken married Iona Rae "Onie" Riesselman at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Butte. The couple settled in West Point, where they raised their four children. Ken was admitted to the bar in Nebraska and Pennsylvania, and practiced law in Omaha, Scribner, Beemer, and West Point. He was a member of St Mary’s Catholic Church and the American Legion. A man of strongly held opinions, Ken had a sharp mind, a compassionate heart, and a way with words. Always a student of history and current events, Ken was a proud “Jeffersonian Democrat” who loved the ideals of the French Revolution – liberty, equality, and fraternity. He ran for public office several times, campaigning against corruption and as a defender of the common man. In 2004, Ken suffered a massive stroke that took away his speech and limited his mobility. However, he still found joy in life, remaining active in the West Point community and watching his children grow into adulthood. The Michaelis family wants to thank all those who showed Ken such kindness in his last years, especially the gang at Petro Mart and all those who worked at J.D.’s, Pizza Ranch, the West Point Livestock Auction, the West Point Living Center, and the Cuming County Fair. Ken is survived by his wife of 40 years, Iona, of West Point; son Rory (Behnaz) Michaelis of Amsterdam, Netherlands; son Kyle Michaelis, daughter Kari (Nathan) Atkins, and son Troy (Paola) Michaelis, all of Lincoln; grandsons Samuel Michaelis and Jonathan Atkins; brothers Robert (Carolyn) Michaelis of West Point, James (Sharon) Michaelis of Dodge, and Dennis (Linda) Michaelis of West Point; and sisters Jean Popken of Scribner, Arlene (Les) French of Wood River, IL, and Ruth (William) Nagengast of West Point. Ken was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law Duane Popken; and parents-in-law Raymond and Ione Riesselman.
"May God bless your family. I highly commend families for supporting State FFA officers. What a blessing they made for others!
Signed, retired Ag Instructor / FFA advisor"
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