"Wild Bill" Michel

Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010

"Wild Bill" Michel, 61, died Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010, in an airplane crash at Denali Park.

There will be a celebration of his life at the First Baptist Church in Delta Junction, Saturday, Aug. 7 at 4 p.m.

Mr. Michel was raised in Upstate New York and came to Alaska in the early 1970s at the age of 24.

"Wild Bill started doing dirt work, building roads in the Sterling area, but his passion was flying. He piloted his first plane at the age of 15. He flew thousands of hours throughout Alaska, delivering supplies and building airfields in the most remote areas of the state.

"He was a man who would do anything for anyone and proved it many times. Wild Bill lived and died doing what he loved best," his family said. "He will be missed by all."

He is survived by his wife, Barbie of Delta Junction; stepsons, Jamie Foster of Arkansas, and Jesse "Moe" Sheldon of Wasilla; stepdaughter, Jodie Ward of Tennessee; sisters, Rita Marie Dreimiller, Pat Powers, and Chris Hachten, all of New York; brothers, Ed Michel of Florida, and Dan Michel of Sterling; seven step-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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