Paul and Linda Michael

Both Paul and Linda Michael have had their share of life experiences: “We’re old, so we have a lot of stories,” Paul jokes.  But in all seriousness, he shares that “we wake up every day so grateful to live here – Linda and I do.  Every day.”  And they mean it.

Paul and Linda were introduced by friends.  It was a second marriage for both of them – they have seven children and more than twenty grandchildren between them.  Among other things, they share a love of small towns.  “I love the small communities,” Linda says enthusiastically. “I have lived in Boyne City, Charlevoix, and East Jordan.  I enjoy knowing the people - they’re friendlier here!”  Paul moved here in 1968 when he was hired by East Jordan Iron Works to head up their accounting and administrative departments.  He was eager to get back to a rural community after serving in the Marines, going to college, and working in Detroit; “at the time I thought ‘I cross from one side of the city to the other each day and see 100,000 people, but they don't see me.’”  He wanted to live somewhere that he knew the people and they cared about each other.  He has been devoted to this small town and the people in it ever since. 

The Michaels have been donors to the Community Foundation since 1993 – they are passionate about scholarship funds. “The Rotary Club decided to move the East Jordan Rotary Vocational Education Scholarship Fund here because there is stability at the Community Foundation – I know that what I give and the money that I raise will continue to help our young people long after I am gone thanks to the professionals that oversee the Fund,” explains Paul.  Linda adds, “and the truth is that the Community Foundation has proven investment performance!”

Paul contributes to the Fund in all sorts of creative ways: he sells maple syrup he makes locally, collects grocery store receipts that can be cashed in, and, along with Linda, does the leg work for a large garage sale that benefits the Fund.  Paul and Linda have also included the Fund in their estate plan to provide a gift when they are both gone.  Paul says, “you know, we see our young people grow up before our eyes and it is a good feeling to know that in some way we are helping them become positive members of society.  It really means so much.”  We couldn’t agree more.