In Memory of Ilse Michelson

On Tuesday morning, May 24, 2022, Ilse Michelson, loving wife, mother of four, and grandmother of seven, passed away at the age of 81. She was born in 1940 in Leipzig, Romania, to German parents, Ludwig and Ottilie. She emigrated from Germany after World War II with her parents and brother, and they started a new life with literally nothing but the two suitcases they had each brought with them. She later married her husband, Helmut, and she supported them both as a secretary while he attended seminary. After Helmut joined the Army as a chaplain, she became a stay-at-home mother to their four children. She will always be remembered as a fabulous cook, and guests who came over for dinner were treated to a meal worthy of a five-star restaurant. Nothing made her happier than to bustle about in the kitchen and to serve people in one form or another. She also enjoyed growing anything and would constantly putter in the garden, pulling weeds and breathing life into what-should-have-been-dead plants. Many a plant owes its existence to her green thumb which she got from her mother, whose gardens were the stuff of legends.

Anyone who met Ilse knew there was a positive spirit about her with not a hint of negativity. She was a devoted follower of Christ, and she lived a life worthy of Him. She doted on everyone and was such a positive, generous, and encouraging person, always seeing the bright side of things, no matter the circumstances. Even after her first cancer diagnosis almost 20 years ago, not a word of complaint passed her lips. She would constantly say, “God is good,” and she meant it. Statistically, the cancer should have killed her many years ago, but her relentless drive, positive outlook, and her love for her family kept her going. She had a reason for being here, and she was going to give it all she had. In the end, her fourth experience with cancer was too much, even for her. As her strength waned in her final days, it became more difficult for her to move. True to form, one of her last motions preceding her death speaks to her positive spirit. She flashed the “OK” sign.

And that’s where she leaves us. She is OK. She is in the presence of her Savior and Lord, probably bustling about the kitchen and baking some brownies and streuselkuchen, imploring that He not get up or trouble Himself as He sits at His own table. She fought the good fight, she finished the race. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We love you, Mom!

In memoriam

Ilse Ellen Michelson, 1940-2022

***In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to New Beginnings of Central Florida