Michaelis, Jean Marie passed away peacefully on December 3rd just two months shy of her 93rd birthday. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Ruth and Oscar Erickson, her younger sister Sharon, her beloved husband of 65 years, Virgil, and her sons John and Joe. She is survived by her daughter, Joan Pelto and her husband Michael, grandson, Christopher Pelto and his wife, Cyndie and their children Andrew and Lauren; granddaughter, Kathleen Opeka and her husband, Daren and their children, Gwendolyn and Dylan, her daughter-in-law, Linda Michaelis and her daughter, Allyson, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jean was born in North Dakota and grew up on a farm near the town of Hazen. It was a good life, but not always easy. As the oldest daughter, Jean often took on the role of a caretaker, looking after her parents and sister through illnesses, injuries and disabilities. After she graduated from high school in Hazen, the family moved to Buffalo, Minnesota where she took a job as a nursing assistant while she was attending the Minnesota School of Business. In 1951, she met Virgil on a blind date and after a whirlwind courtship of 11 weeks, they got married and moved to Monticello, MN where Virgil worked as a mechanic at Gould Brothers Chevrolet. In 1958, Virgil became one of the owners of Gould Brothers and Jean accepted a job as a teller at the Monticello State Bank to help pay the bills. For her, banking became a long and successful career ending with her retirement as a bank officer in 1995. Retirement didn’t mean sitting still; by then, the family business, Gould Brothers, was thriving and Jean and Virgil were all in. Their success required hard work and sacrifice but it also allowed them to travel the world and enjoy the other fruits of their labors. Jean was still a caretaker too; managing the household, raising three children, doting on her grandchildren and later, great grandchildren and taking care of her elderly mother and disabled sister. One of her more unusual responsibilities was her after hours role as a dispatcher for Gould Brothers tow trucks to car accidents for the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and for stalled, stuck or broken down vehicles of any kind.
After Virgil passed away in 2015, Jean moved to the Highview Hills Senior Living facility in Lakeville, MN and became an exercise enthusiast at age 86. Her 500 plus workout sessions with a personal trainer at Highview Hills allowed her to live independently, walk and travel without any assistance and aside from a few vitamin supplements, take no medications of any kind. She was also able to retire from caretaking and just relax. Anyone who knew Jean would describe her as kind, gentle, generous and wise. Everyone liked her and if they knew her well, they loved her. If she had had a motto, it would have been “Family First.” She hosted countless large family gatherings/meals on special occasions or no occasion. Her rhubarb and apple pies were legendary. She made it all look effortless. She was always ready with words of encouragement and support for anyone who needed it. Visitation Friday, December 17, 2021 3-6 PM Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel 250 E. Broadway Monticello, MN. Also 1 hour prior to the service at 11 AM on Saturday, December 18th, 2021 all at the funeral home. Arr. Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel 763-295-2918 www.petersongrimsmochapel.com
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