JA Snow Funeral Home


Bernd Michaelis

Bernd Michaelis, devoted husband of Monika for over 51 years, died suddenly at age 74 at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on September 6, 2015.

Bernd was passionate about his much loved country of origin, Germany, as well as his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He returned frequently to Germany for business and for vacations. He was the owner of a very successful small business, Canimpex. He was a highly intelligent, self-educated man who started life in Jena, Germany, before the country’s division into East and West.

Bernd and Monika arrived in Canada in 1962, and they married in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964. They lived in Hong Kong from 1983 to 1996, while Bernd was still employed by the international firm, Carl Zeiss.

Although Bernd and Monika did not have children, they mentored close friends and neighbours, and offered generous hospitality to their visitors (human and animal), many of whom became their extended surrogate family. Bernd had a remarkable gentleness with his budgies, who responded to his voice and his caring rituals. He loved classical music and German cultural programs which he received on his internet radio. Bernd and Monika had only recently returned from their annual summer holiday in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island.

The suddenness of Bernd’s death will be a shock to all who knew him, as he was physically energetic, and drove long distances at a stretch for his work. He was stoic about the robustness of his health, determined to problem-solve whatever physical challenges he experienced.

He will be deeply missed by his loving wife Monika, and by his three sisters: Marita Ulbricht (Peter) in Jena, Germany; Marlis Chrappek (Norbert), Hamburg, Germany, and Christel Colmorgen in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bernd was predeceased by his mother, Johanna Kraft, whom he greatly admired, and who died in Jena in 2011 at age 92. Bernd’s father, Kurt Michaelis died tragically when Bernd was only two years of age. Bernd was always fond of his nephews Frank and Jörg, also in Germany.

A funeral visitation with reception will be held on Wednesday, September 16 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm in JA Snow Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive, Halifax NS. Donations to the QE II Foundation Emergency Department would be appreciated by the family. Special thanks are offered to the competent, compassionate Emergency Room professionals, whose kind efforts helped to soften an overwhelmingly sudden and unanticipated loss.


  • Funeral Visitation & Reception

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Bernd Michaelis

have a memory or condolence to add?

Randall Chase

February 15, 2016

I met Bernd in Hong Kong at Carl Zeiss Far East in 1994. He was a kind and gracious host to my entire group, and is without a doubt one of the nicest people I have ever encountered. I am saddened to learn of his passing.

Jordan Mallon

January 12, 2016

I am only just now learning of Bernd's passing, and am greatly saddened to hear it. I knew Bernd through my dealings with him here at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He was professional, dedicated, and honest, and I always admired him for that. He made clear both his love for his wife and his passion for his work. The world could use more people like Bernd, and is all the poorer without him. My sincerest condolences to his wife and family.

Andre L Martel

January 11, 2016

I am sadden by the news of Bernd's sudden passing. Myself, including my entire lab team, students, volunteers, visiting scientists, here in Gatineau Quebec, all of us benefited from Bernd's expertise in microscopy and in imaging. It is Bernd who assisted us in getting excellent imaging equipment for our laboratories, equipment we are using regularly to do our work here at the Museum. My condolences to all the Michaelis family, especially to his wife, Monika.

Paul Saunders

September 30, 2015

We at PixeLINK are so sorry to hear of Bernd's passing. Bernd was well respected by everyone within the company for his knowledge, integrity and passion. We will miss his visits to Ottawa and would like to offer our sincere condolences to Monika.

Marcos Zentilli

September 22, 2015

Bernd helped me build up and maintain my lab during my career at Dalhousie Earth Sciences for decades; Bernd was always cooperative, effective and fun to talk to. We remember Monika as well, as co-worker and friend. Very saddened by his death. My sincere condolences.


September 14, 2015

I am deeply saddened in hearing the news. It is totally unexpected. I feel sorry for the loss of Monika. Please accept my condolences.

Sandra Barr

September 12, 2015

Bernd was a great help to me in my early years at Acadia. I am so sorry to hear this sad news. My sincere condolences to Monika.

September 12, 2015

My relationship with Bernd was a business one, yet he invited me to his home when I visited Nova Scotia and I recall his hospitality fondly. He seemed to have a respect bordering on deference for formal academic qualifications, insisting on referring to me as Herr Doktor, but it was his own knowledge and deep understanding of microscopy that brought us together and formed the basis of our business partnership. He had a fatherly way of tolerating my faults and foibles and, in particular, lack of knowledge of his subject, a knowledge that he generously shared. He had long been planning to visit us in Wales, which would have given me the opportunity to return his hospitality, but he had not managed to fit it into any of his busy schedules and sadly now never will. All of us here will miss him.

Jim & Rita Mahar

September 12, 2015

We are so very sorry to hear of this sudden loss of Bernd. You are in our prayers.

PB Flynn

September 12, 2015

So sad to hear such unexpected news. We are so sorry for your loss Monika. All our thoughts & prayers are with you ... Bernard, Christine, Megan & Shauna Flynn