Lloyd Michels Jr.

Lloyd Robert Michels Jr., 87, of Harkers Island, passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at his home. He had been in declining health for several months.

His graveside service with military honors for family and close friends is at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Vergie Mae Cemetery on Harkers Island. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, masks and social distancing will be required. For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed on the Noe Funeral Service Facebook page.

Lloyd was the oldest child of Lloyd Robert Michels and Ida Marie Dwyer. He was born Nov. 19, 1933, in Hancock, Houghton, Mich. In the following years, he had two brothers, James Edward and Thomas J., and a sister, Mary Ellen.

Lloyd’s family moved to Alamance County, where his father worked beginning in the 1940s as an optometrist. Lloyd attended school in Burlington and later attended St. Mary’s College in Baltimore, Md., and Elon College, near his home in Burlington. Lloyd then joined the U.S. Coast Guard and soon found himself stationed at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Macon as a cook. It was during this time he was brought to the island by another sailor, Howard Jones. There he met his future wife, Lillian Agnes Hancock. Because he was called using his last name, Michels, by his fellow sailors, his soon-to-be wife also started calling him “Mike,” and she and many others continued to call Lloyd by his nickname for the rest of their lives. After dating only a few weeks, Lloyd and Lillian, who was called “Sister,” married Sept. 26, 1956. They loved each other deeply and were each other’s best friend. She was his “Beautiful Princess,” and he was her protector and “Knight in Shining Armor.”

Early in their marriage, they settled in Graham and then to Burlington, where Lloyd worked with Western Electric Corp. While still working there, he came up with the idea to build a large excursion boat to be used in ferrying and entertaining visitors leaving from the mainland towns of Morehead City and Atlantic Beach to and from Cape Lookout National Seashore and Shackleford Banks. To make it happen, he designed and oversaw the building of what became the 65-foot “American Patriot” at Julian Guthrie’s boat house in Williston.

After a few years later, he received an offer to move the business to the thriving Gulf Coast port of Clearwater Beach on the west coast of Florida. The family, which by then included two young boys, remained there for several years. Eventually, at the constant urging of his wife, they were able to return to the island, where Sister often stated it was her intention she would never leave again. Lloyd honored that request and held true to that commitment to the very end. Lloyd found a lifelong career in civil service at the naval air depot facility at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and retired from there only to start another small business in manufacturing and distributing mementoes of coastal North Carolina and its lighthouses.

He also continued to serve his country in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves for many years and eventually retired as a commissioned officer.

Lloyd and Sister were blessed with three sons, Lyle, John and Jason, and eventually with four grandchildren. They were the jewels of the lives of their parents, and there is almost nothing they would not do to support their sons and their families.

Lloyd was a devoted member and worker in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Having been raised in another church, he nevertheless supported Sister in raising their children as Latter-day Saints. The same Howard Jones who had first brought Lloyd to Harkers Island as a friend repeatedly encouraged Lloyd to attend church with Sister and to listen to missionary discussions. He was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1974. Lloyd and Sister were later sealed for eternity in a ceremony in the Washington, D.C., Temple May 2, 1975.

During the years that followed, Lloyd served faithfully in many callings. He served as stake (diocese) Sunday school president and later as executive secretary to Stake President L. Lionel Kendrick. It was while serving in that capacity he was called to be bishop of the Harkers Island Ward. He continued his church service without interruption and held positions of responsibility until just a few months before his passing.

He was a faithful and devoted husband to Sister to the very end and tended to her every need as her health deteriorated in her final months. It could be said that in her passing he lost much of his own reason for enjoying life. His own condition began to decline almost as soon as she was gone and he never again was able to regain his former vitality and vigor. Now that they are reunited, it can be said of them that, “In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!”

He is survived by his sons, Lyle Robert and wife Rachel, John Avery of Wilmington and Jason Hancock and wife Lauren; grandchildren, Andrew, Bethany, Clay Jason and Cole Thomas, all of Beaufort; sister, Mary Ellen Kivett of Burlington; and brother, Thomas J. Michels of Greensboro.

In addition to his wife, Lillian, Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, James Edward Michels.

Arrangements are by Noe Funeral Service Inc. of Beaufort. Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noefs.net.

(Paid obituary)

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