On February 5, 2011, Harold Chester Michel passed away peacefully at his home in Bardsdale near Fillmore. Harold was a third generation member of the Michel family who pioneered farming in the Santa Clara Valley.
Harold graduated from Fillmore High School and Ventura Community College. He earned his pilotâ€™s license at the Santa Paula Airport and enjoyed many hours flying. Harold entered the U.S. Army to join the 3rd Division in Europe during World War II. After the war he returned to the love of his life, Bernice Blythe. They were married July 27, 1946. Together they raised three daughters on the family farm.
Harold was a respected member of the Bardsdale School District Board of Education. He was a lifelong Presbyterian. He worked for the Texaco Oil Company and the California Department of Water Resources while maintaining the family ranches. He and Bernice enjoyed camping and traveling. More than anything he loved to be surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Esther Michel. He is survived by his wife Bernice, daughter Sandra Crowe and husband Frank of Carpinteria, Elizabeth Kemp and husband John of Fillmore, Martha Rogers and husband Kenny of Fillmore; grandchildren Margaret Kemp, Sarah Kemp, Jacob and Nichole Kemp, Jennifer Crowe, Alison and Chris Crowe/Purdy, Marie and Brian Haase, Amy Rogers and three great grandsons, Carson and Austin Haase and William Crowe/Purdy as well as a sister Marilyn Wileman and a brother Donald Michel and wife Loretta.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Fillmore High School Alumni Association, PO Box 385, Fillmore, CA 93016.
Graveside services will be held at the Bardsdale Cemetery on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM.