Mabel Jeannette Michael

Mabel Jeannette Michael, 91, Bethlehem, formerly of Altoona, died peacefully Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, surrounded by her family.

She was born in Chicago, Ill., the only daughter of the late Rhesa and Effie (Cooper) Newlin. She was the wife of the Rev. Mark B. Michael for 51 years, until his death in 1999.

Surviving are three children: Karen (Michael) Gomez of Allentown; Karl Michael of Averill Park, N.Y., and Keith Michael of New York, N.Y.; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. She was always an enthusiastic champion of her family.

In 1942, she graduated as valedictorian from China Grove High School in North Carolina. She went on to graduate magna cum laude from Women’s College UNC in 1946 and pursued graduate studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. She was a licensed minister of the United Church of Christ and worked closely with her husband in all of his pastorates. Mabel was a well-known guest speaker and was active on many boards and committees in the UCC on the local, regional and national levels. Widely known as a “wildflower enthusiast” and leader of wildflower walks, she compiled photographic wildflower guides for Canoe Creek State Park and Camp Living Waters.

Anyone who visited Mabel was treated to her home cooking and baking, her mint tea and her spontaneous lunches with fresh vegetables from her garden.

A service in celebration of Mabel’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Hope United Church of Christ, Allentown, followed by a time of fellowship. In accordance with her wishes, her body was donated to Humanity Gift Registry of Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Hope UCC Memorial Fund, 1031 Flexer Ave., Allentown, PA 18103.