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Obituary: Eileen Michels, 1926 - 2020

by SAH News | Jun 10, 2020

Eileen Michels, 94, longtime resident of St. Anthony Park and 1666 Coffman, died May 7, 2020. She grew up in St. Paul and earned degrees from the University of Minnesota.

She was first an art librarian and later earned a Ph.D. in art history. She was the widow of the late architect Joseph Michels, who died in 2019.

A longtime member of the Society of Architectural Historians, Eileen co-wrote the history of St. Paul’s Landmark Center. She also wrote a biography and history of the architect Harvey Ellis, as well as numerous scholarly articles.

At the time of her retirement, Eileen was a professor of art history at the University of St. Thomas. She also taught in the St. Thomas continuing education program. A large group of neighborhood friends, whom she referred to as her “cheering section,” attended regularly. She was a marvelous lecturer with an extensive collection of slides. Those who attended were glad not to have to take the exam, as Eileen was known as a tough grader. Previously she had taught at UW River Falls and Stanford University.

Eileen is survived by her son, James Michels. A celebration of the lives of both Joe and Eileen will be held when possible.

Read the full obituary here

Eileen Michels joined SAH in 1967 and became a Life member in 1996.  

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