John David Michael, age 76, of South Bend, IN died on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at his home, with his family by his side, after an extended illness. He was born on May 29, 1946 in Cass County, IN to the late Jasper and Joyce (Swihart) Michael.
John lived most of his lifetime in Lydick, IN. He left New Carlisle High School shortly before graduation to join the Navy with his cousin. However, he did complete his education, as well as beginning electrician training/work on the USS Newport News.
He served in the Navy for 3 years while stationed in Norfolk, VA. Upon discharge he began his electrical career at IBEW Local #153, and became a journeyman electrician. John continued his studies, becoming a Certified Electronics Technician, and enjoyed sharing his knowledge by teaching 3rd and 4th year apprentices at Local #153 shortly after retirement.
Some of John’s hobbies include fishing, camping, and making knives. He belonged to the PNA Fisherman’s Club in South Bend. He was a member of The Lydick United Methodist Church and a former member of the Lydick Lions Club.
John will forever be known as the “world’s greatest bull shooter”, always making up his own words of wisdom (accompanied by a toothy ornery grin). You never knew if what he was telling you was a true fact or a John fact.
His happy place was in his boat on whatever body of water he could get into, rod in hand and fisherman hat covering up the little bald spot on the top of his head. He always had way too many pockets in his vests and his trusty suspenders keeping him modest.
John grew his faith at Lydick UMC, always so proud to stand in front of the congregation on Sundays and over the fryer during his famous fish fries, both at church and at home.
Fondly referred to as MacGyver by those that knew him best, he would often pull up one of his homemade deer antler knives to fix whatever was needed on the spot or gently dig out a splinter from his little great grandkids squirming fingers with immaculate precision.
On June 6, 1986, in South Bend, IN, he married Christine (Cox) Lester who survives. John is also survived by his children, Tammy (Jeff) Kelch of Zionsville, IN, Beth (Phil) Shafer of South Bend, Johnelle Michael (Steven) Smith of Zionsville, IN, John David (Jessica) Michael, II., of South Bend, Kimberly A. (Timothy) Baldwin of Osceola, and John C. Lester of North Liberty, IN. Also surviving John are his fourteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, siblings, Pam (Jim) Werner of South Bend, Susie (Bill) Czarnecki of Bremen, IN, Vickie Pinkert of South Bend, Tom (Kelli) Michael of South Bend, Tim (Kari) Michael of New Carlisle, IN, and Kristin (Joe) Jasinski of New Carlisle, IN.
John is preceded in death by his parents, a twin sister, Janice Johnson, and a brother-in-law, Bob Pinkertt.
Funeral Services will be held 11:00 am Friday, January 27, 2023 at the Lydick United Methodist Church, 26510 Edison Rd., South Bend, IN 46628. Friends may visit with the family from 5-8:00 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Palmer Funeral Home-Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Rd., South Bend, IN 46635. After cremation, burial of ashes will take place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in South Bend.
Memorial contributions in honor of John David Michael may be made to Lydick UMC. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.Palmerfuneralhomes.com.
Lydick United Methodist Church
26510 Edison Rd, South Bend IN 46628