Rosine Catherine Michel, passed away at the age of 94 in her home in Herman on Saturday, January 14, 2023. It’s a cliché to say she passed peacefully, but it’s true; and as her daughter said, “she lived until she died.” Rose was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Lou, his siblings, her parents, her sister Mary Smith, brother Richard Obringer, infant son Philip, son-in-law Robert Kenny and daughter-in-law Linda. She is survived by one sister, Barbara Buck; 10 children: Joseph (Bonnie), Thomas (Carol), Steven, Anne, Paul, Joan Kenny, Jane (John) Thiry, Theresa (Ron) Thompson, Carol (Dean) Matis, and Robert; 25 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Rose was born to Felix and Elizabeth Obringer on September 8, 1928 in Pittsburgh. After losing her mother at 11 years old and her father at 13, she and her two sisters were taken in by her Uncle Bill and Aunt Katie Sommer. According to those who knew them, they were the best that humanity had to offer; Rose always said that “if they don’t get into Heaven, none of us will.” It was an upbringing filled with faith, love, and selflessness which heavily influenced the woman Rose would become.
Born in the city, it was unexpected that she’d fall in love with Louis Michel, a farmer from Herman. The trips to see one another during their courtship weren’t convenient, but the couple would not be deterred. They were married November 10, 1948, and Rose joined what she called a “most welcoming family.” Faith was key in the Michel home; Rose was an active member of Saint Mary of the Assumption Church and Christian Mothers, and she sang in the choir at church.
Raising 10 children was no small task, but Rose and Lou loved finding time for card games, trips to their camp, and sing-a-longs with their extended family. Rose played the guitar and accordion, and something she never lost was the beautiful quality of her singing voice; a memory her loved ones will always cherish.
She was a devoted wife and a true partner to her husband; a loving mother who found the balance of gentleness, kindness, strength, and discipline; an understanding aunt when you needed an ear; a cheerful grandma who pushed anyone on the giant swing set; and an adoring great-grandma who defended noisy children because, “this house wasn’t meant to be quiet.”
Rose would be the first to say, “Don’t put me on a pedestal.” However, to those who knew her, it’s difficult not to do so. She lived an incredible life that deeply touched and inspired those around her.
About a year ago, Rose said, “Do good for God. You do your best for God, and that’s the best you can do.” Not surprising, as that’s the path she chose time and again. And among those who called her Mom, Sister, Grandma, Aunt, and Friend, a familiar sentiment is being heard once more: “If she doesn’t get into Heaven, none of us will!”
MICHEL - The family of Rosine C. Michel who died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at GEIBEL FUNERAL HOME, 201 E. Cunningham St, Butler. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Saint Mary of the Assumption Church in Herman, with the Rev. Ward Stakem officiating. Interment to be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.