Michelsen, Donald Lewis

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Donald Lewis Michelsen, of Blacksburg, died on the evening of July 23 at his home. He was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, to Anna Woelber Michelsen and Harold Lewis Michelsen.

Don is survived by Barbara, his wife of 50 years; daughter, Karen Michelsen; of Blacksburg and Albuquerque, New Mexico; son and daughter-in-law, James and Mary Michelsen of Vienna, Virginia; and children, Shannon, Eric and Brian; and son and daughter-in-law, David and Jessica Michelsen, of Exeter, New Hampshire; and daughters, Emily and Sophie. Also his brother and sister-in-law, George and Mary Michelsen, of West Unity, New Hampshire; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Joyce and Austin Hess, of Akron, Pennsylvania, survive.

Don received his bachelor of science degree from Penn State where he was a member of the professional/social fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma, his master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He worked for Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, for five years and came to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech in 1966 where he served on the Chemical Engineering Faculty until his retirement in 1992.

He was a member of the Men’s Weekly Breakfast Group at Gillie’s, a longtime active member of Blacksburg Presbyterian Church and former president of the board of his beloved Community Foundation of the New River Valley. During his years in Blacksburg, Don was involved in many community groups and was particularly concerned for the use of The Brown Farm, now Heritage Park, as a nature conservancy. Don will be remembered for his integrity, tenacity of spirit, and his love for family and friends. He was deeply concerned for the environment and those less fortunate.

A service in celebration of Don Michelsen’s life will be held on Saturday, July 26, at the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, 50 N. Franklin St., Christiansburg, VA 24073. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.