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Valhalla Funeral Home & Valhalla Memory Gardens

698 Winchester Rd Ne, Huntsville, AL

OBITUARY

Ralph Edward Michel

October 28, 1955June 23, 2019

Contemplative guitarist, Ralph Edward Michel of Huntsville, Alabama died peacefully at home on June 23, 2019. Well known for his inspirational gospel hymn arrangements, Ralph had performed in Nashville, Dollywood and in congregations across Huntsville.

During a forty-year career in the funeral care industry, he offered bereavement ministry to countless families seeking respite in a disconcerting world. Ralph was a lifelong Beatles aficionado, and it could be said that his life's calling was to "....take a sad song, and make it better!" His love of ornamental gardening and cemetery beautification provide botanical proof of his hope for and belief in beauty and redemption.

Ralph is survived by his father, Perry A. Michel and step-mother, Joan Tyler Michel of Nashville, Tennessee; two brothers, David Michel of Jackson, Mississippi and Kenneth Michel of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; a handful of nephews and a niece in Nashville and Jackson. Ralph never met a stranger, so he has friends all over the south who would welcome his greeting, "Hey Buddy!"

A Memorial Service is scheduled at Valhalla Funeral Home, Friday evening, June 28, 2019 with a visitation at 6:00pm with a service to follow at 7:00pm, officiated by Dr. Bobby Burt, Pastor of University Baptist Church in Huntsville and Dr. David Michel, Ralph's brother. Please leave fond memories and condolences for the entire Michel family at www.valhallafunerals.com.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, June 28, 2019
  • Memorial Service Friday, June 28, 2019

Memories

Ralph Edward Michel

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Jay Michel

July 2, 2019

My handsome, sweet, talented nephew.... you will be forever missed. ❤️

Cindy Laird

July 2, 2019

Bro Red, Kenneth and family

My deepest sympathy. Your family has touched so many lives. Your family always welcomed me into your home. I will never forget your loving kindness to all amd flying in that plane!

Cindy Smith Laird

Ann Slay Joyce

July 2, 2019

Oh, Red, David and Kenneth ,
How sad I was to hear of Ralph’s death . You know how special your family has always been to me . Ralph was unique and a joy to all who knew him .
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers . God bless you .
Love , Ann Slay Allred Joyce

Agnes Ratliff

July 1, 2019

So sorry!!! He will be missed!! Prayers for all!!!!!
Buck & Agnes

Jennifer Whittier

June 30, 2019

Dear Preacher, We just heard about Ralph’s passing, and extend our deepest condolences. You know how much we love you and your family, and we have such wonderful memories of you all. Please know that you are and will continue to be in our prayers. God bless you!
Much love,
Jennifer and Greg

Dan Bowling

June 30, 2019

This is so sad to hear. I remember when Ralph moved into Brookhaven midway through our high school years. He was a charismatic force of nature. One day he showed up in red keds and within weeks most of the boys at Brookhaven High were wearing them, even at graduation! Our radical statement! He and I became fast friends and formed a band, R&B Blues Showband, along with a few of our classmates (I remember Steve Yawn on the drums, maybe Rusty Yates on something, unsure). We played some standard some rock and blues favorites of the time, not always well. Actually were paid a hundred bucks or so at a few events in the area, even though we really only knew about 10 songs. I lost track of Ralph but really miss him. Rest in Peace, Danny Bowling

P.A.. "Red" Michel

June 30, 2019

Thank you, one and all, for the great tributes to Ralph. From the rubbing of Mr. Roach's head at the high school graduation to his thoughtful contemplation of his hymn arrangements in numerous churches, your memorials have captured the essence of his personhood. He was a free spirit when free spirit was called for and serious Christian spirit when serious Christian spirit was called for.

The many cards, phone calls, emails and visits testify to his universal acceptance of your friendship for which we are eternally grateful.

. . P. A. "Red" Michel and Family

Vicky Kuzmitz Wallace

June 29, 2019

From the minute the Michels moved to Brookhaven I along with many others fell in love with them! Kenneth and Ralph immediately became my "brothers" and we spent many hours with other close friends at the Michel home! What a wonderful Christian environment we were surrounded with! Ralph, my heart breaks and I rejoice knowing eternity has gained an angel and I will see you and Alda and so many friends again one day!💖 I lift up Red, Kenneth, David and their family to God for strength, comfort, and peace during this time.🙏💖🙏

Ruby Midkiff

June 29, 2019

My deepest sympathy to Bro. Red Michael, David, Kenneth and the entire family. I have many fond memories of Ralph from our high school days, going to church together, and the Sound Sensation. He was everybody’s friend, and had a talent for making everyone smile, regardless of how they were feeling. My favorite memory is one I only heard about. Ralph’s high school graduation when he rubbed Daddy’s (W. L. Roach, BHS Principal) bald head instead of shaking his hand. Daddy loved it, too. I’m sure that as soon as Ralph hugged Jesus in heaven and hugged his mother, I’m sure he rubbed my Daddy’s little bald head! Ralph was loved by many people. My love to all of you.

Agnes Ratliff

June 29, 2019

Bro. Red. So sorry about Ralph! He spent a lot of time at our house during the summer. Theresia cooked lunch for him several times. You didn't know that did you? Where are you now? Someone said that you are in Jackson. Is that right? Again so sorry about Ralph. He was a clown. He used to call my phone at night and hang up! I knew it was him because then I would dial his number and his phone would be busy! So sorry.. He will be missed I am sure! If you are ever in this area come by and we will cook for you! Again sorry about Ralph!
Agnes Ratliff

FROM THE FAMILY