Michael Ann “Micki” Towell passed away Jan. 7, 2010, at Portland Providence Hospital, with her family at her side. She was born Nov. 8, 1940, in Eureka, Calif., to George and Lenore (Michael) Falkenstein.
Soon after, her family moved to Bottineau, N.D., where her grandparents and other family lived. Micki had many happy memories of North Dakota and especially of her summers on Lake Metigoshe.
Micki’s family moved to Marysville, Calif., when she was a teenager. After graduating from Marysville High School in the top of her class, she enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, she participated in the burgeoning student movements of that era and was also active in the Berkeley Presbyterian church.
She spent a memorable summer in Sitka, Alaska, working in the TB ward of a hospital and doing other volunteer work. Micki graduated from Berkeley in 1961 with a degree in psychology and then began teaching in Winters, Calif.
Micki married James Arthur Towell on June 27, 1964, at Marysville Presbyterian Church. They moved to Tacoma, Wash., when Jim was stationed at Fort Lewis, then moved to Bremerton, Wash., in 1966, where they raised their children, Andy and Kristie.
In Bremerton, Micki taught at Brownsville and Woodlands elementary schools. After earning her master’s degree in library science from University of the Puget Sound in 1981, she worked as an elementary media specialist.
Micki loved teaching and she was the consummate librarian — there was no question too obscure. Most importantly and above all other activities, Micki was a wonderful mother who was truly interested in and supportive of her family.
Micki and Jim moved to Seaside, Ore., in 2001. Even though she was retired, Micki was busier than ever. She served as president of the Seaside Historical Museum, created countless beautiful quilts, belonged to Cannon Beach Presbyterian Church and took many long bird-watching walks on the beach.
She had an unquenchable interest in the world and its people. Each year, Jim and Micki would travel — throughout the United States, Central America and Europe. In 2007 and 2009 she traveled with a group of teachers from the group “Children of the Nations” to Malawi and Uganda, Africa.
During these trips, she worked with children and teachers from those countries, sharing teaching techniques and her love of books and storytelling.
She made life-long friends on these journeys.
In October 2009, Jim and Micki moved to Hood River, Ore. Micki loved being close to her grandchildren, and treasured cooking with them, volunteering in their classroom at Pine Grove Elementary and bringing them with her to Riverside Community Church. Her time here was absolutely precious and will never be forgotten.
Micki was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Jim Towell, of Hood River; her son Andy and his wife, Darcie, and daughter, Kiera of Woodway, Wash.; her daughter, Kristie, and her husband, Guy, and their children Toby and Tavish, of Hood River.
Services will be held on Jan. 23 at Cannon Beach Presbyterian Church. Her ashes will be buried at Pine Grove Butte Cemetery, Hood River. Memorial contributions can be made to Children of the Nations (COTN), Attn: Larry Arnold, P.O. Box 3970, Silverdale, WA 98383, and the Micki Towell Scholarship Fund in care of Woodlands Elementary School, 7420 Central Valley Road N.E., Bremerton, WA 98311-8963; (360) 662-9700.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center, 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to sign the family guest book.
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