School 21

Donna Gail (Plymale) Michel

June 12, 1939 ~ February 28, 2022 (age 82)

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A beloved daughter, wife, mother, cousin, aunt, teacher, friend - Donna Gail Michel passed at her home on Monday morning, February 28, 2022, in Flagstaff. She was born in West Virginia on June 12, 1939, the second child and first daughter of Donald P. Plymale and Gail Brand Plymale. She grew up on a farm in Wayne County, West Virginia, and was active in a 4-H Club. Educated at Buffalo Elementary School, and a graduate, Class of 1957, of Buffalo High School, Donna Gail earned two degrees in English at West Virginia University. During high school and college, she worked at 4-H camps in the summer and was elected to the West Virginia 4-H All-Stars, serving as their Chief in 1981.

On Saturday, August 4, 1962, Donna Gail married Reverend L. Craig Michel, a United Methodist minister, who survives her. Their first child, a son named Jon, was born in 1967; and their daughter Mary Elizabeth (Beth) followed in 1968. Jon lives in Melbourne, Florida; while Beth, passed away in 2014, lived in historic Dorchester, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts.

Donna Gail Michel was a teacher, for forty years, of High School English, Gifted Studies, and Holocaust Studies. Her teaching began at Morristown High School in Morristown, New Jersey; and in West Virginia she taught at high schools in Mercer, Kanawha, and Upshur Counties, the last twenty years being spent at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, where she also coached the Academic Decathlon Team in six national competitions. She was the first teacher of Holocaust Studies in the State of West Virginia; and during the summer of 1990 she studied at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial and Center in Israel. Donna Gail was an avid traveler and had visited all seven continents, including Antarctica in 2002.

In Flagstaff Donna Gail was a member of the Trinity Heights United Methodist Church and was active in P.E.O. and the Coconino Chapter of the DAR.

A Memorial Service will be held, at a later date, in Upshur County, West Virginia.

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