Andrew (Andy) E. Michaelson

Andy Michaelson passed away peacefully on May 10, 2017 leaving to mourn his loving wife Carol Fergusson. He was predeceased by his parents, Lillian (Pratt) and Thomas Michaelson.

Born in Calgary, Andy moved to Edmonton as a child. He served as an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve and later attended NAIT earning a Marketing diploma.

Andy was a gentleman of many talents and a memorable personality. He had a wonderful, resonant speaking voice and began a career as a radio announcer and reporter at CHED, followed by CKYL Peace River, CJCA Edmonton, and CISL, CKNW and CJOR in Vancouver, then was a communications professional and consultant in Vancouver and Edmonton, and finally, found his calling as a writer and poet in St. Albert.

Andy had a generous, compassionate heart. He was complex, sometimes difficult, loved conversation, was a fine story teller and humourist, and collected good Scotch. Andy loved animals and birds, delighting in the variety attracted to their yard. More than anything, Andy had a highly developed sense of justice. He showed interest in others and their cultures while treating everyone with the dignity and respect that each deserved. He was particularly interested in First Nations and Metis history and culture.

Having lifelong bipolar disorder, Andy worked very hard to keep the black dog at bay and support others with mental illnesses in their struggles.

In recent years, Andy was a skilled poet expressing himself on diverse topics. Andy devoted many hours as teacher and mentor, encouraging children and adults to write and perform their poetry. He was a co-founder of Poets’ Ink, a local writing group, a member of many other writing groups and organizations, and regularly performed at poetry readings. In 2009, Andy received a St. Albert Mayor`s Celebration of the Arts Award for Arts Promotion and, in 2011, a St. Albert Community Recognition Award for Arts and Culture.

During the Christmas season, Andy was a fantastic jolly old elf, volunteering his time to various charities, non-profits and local community events to ensure as many children and parents as possible could have a wonderful memory.

Andy was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and regularly thanked military members for their service. His poem ‘A Child Sang’ was published on the Parliamentary Poet Laureate’s website in November 2006.

Andy had many good friends and associates whom he treasured. Special recognition goes to April Hildebrandt whom Andy called his `Little Sis` and who held a special place in his heart.

Especially, Andy treasured Carol who was his loving partner over many years and was with him on every step of his journey.

Andy and Carol are forever grateful and appreciative of those who helped Andy, both in recent and past years, with his psychological and medical needs as the care was always exceptional: Pharmacist Elaine Mah, Dr. Shari Fallis, Dr. Lynda Phillips, Dr. Craig Buchholz, Dr. Jeffrey Harris, Dr. Naresh Jha, Cross Cancer Institute staff particularly Dave, Carmen, Patty and the nurses in the nursing bay, Homecare, and finally, the doctors, nurses and staff at Covenant Care Foyer Lacombe hospice.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from noon to 3 p.m. at The John Beedle Centre – St. Albert Botanic Park, 265 Sturgeon Road, St. Albert AB. https://www.stalbertbotanicpark.com/ There will be an opportunity to read a poem at the public gazebo, either from your own or Andy’s writings or by another author, in remembrance of Andy.

In lieu of flowers, Andy requested donations be made to:
Writers’ Guild of Alberta
11759 Groat Road
Edmonton AB T5M 3K6
https://writersguild.ca/support-us

Women in Need Growing Stronger (WINGS) of Providence
PO Box 32141
Edmonton AB T6K 4C2
https://raisefundswithease.com/Donate.aspx?a=166A926B-1FAE-4BDA-B7CC-28D373638567

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Condolence Messages

  1. Brigitte Nelson :

    Carol, I am truly sorry for the loss of your husband. My deepest condolences.

  2. David Youell :

    My you rest in peace Andy. It was a pleasure knowing you when you lived in Vancouver. You gave me an enduring gift in that you introduced me to my wife of 40 + years.

  3. Murray Lambert :

    I did not know Andy other than in his involvement as a moderator with the St. Albert’s Place (SAP) Discussion Forum but after reading his obituary I most certainly wish that I had. It is obvious that he was a very special person who accomplished much in his lifetime. He may be gone but will live on forever in the hearts and memories of the loved ones he leaves behind.

  4. Glen Sorestad :

    My condolences go out to Carol and to all of Any’s friends and family on the loss of this most remarkable individual. I will miss talking with Andy on the telephone and hearing him read one of his recent poems.

  5. Earl Gillespie :

    I am so sorry for your loss Carol. I am thankful to have met Andy on a number of occasions and even remember my son commenting on his whit and dry sense of humor when we all went to an Oilers game together. I am sure that there will be many emotional days ahead but I hope you can take some comfort in all the special memories you have and the knowledge that you enriched each others lives on a daily basis and that you have many family members and friends that care about you and you are in our thoughts.

  6. Sue Surgenor :

    My deepest sympathy to you Carol. You and Andy had such an amazing relationship, and he loved you so much. He had many different talents and interests and such a big heart – there are so many people that will miss him, as I will miss him.

  7. Grant McLean :

    Andy was a good fellow to work with and an even better fellow to chat or visit with. I loved his poetry and his respect for the military. i will miss him.

  8. Andy,
    You are one of my most favorite people and always will be. My staff loved you for the many laughs you brought them . We will take care of Carol for you.

  9. Stephanie Werner Jane :

    Carol, I’m so sorry for your loss. As a brief member of poet’s ink I felt Andy’s kindness and encouragement for the writing community here in St. Albert. He will be missed.

  10. Dymphny Dronyk :

    Gentle thoughts to all who loved and respected Andy. My heart is with you.

  11. Susan Hempel :

    My deepest condolences Carol. I can imagine the memories you will have to reflect on and as you heal, he will make you chuckle. You had such a special bond and my love and thoughts to you in the days ahead.

  12. Heather Goode :

    My thoughts are with you Carol during this time of great sorrow. May Andy’s humour and love remain in your heart, allowing the sorrow to subside and be replaced with peace.

  13. Alice Major :

    Deepest sympathy, Carol. Andy was a big part of the poetry community and his voice will be missed. But we still have his words….

  14. Dianne and Winston Nettleton :

    A strong man with severely limited tolerance for anyone who preyed on others. A lover of birds and of poetry. The finest neighbour ever and a connoisseur of fine malts. We could not have wished for more. Dianne and Winston

  15. Jerry Bellikka :

    Carol, please accept my most heartfelt condolences on your loss. I had the pleasure of knowing Andy more than 20 years through my time in the news business and in government. We always had great conversations. Over the past few years I looked forward to the days when my phone would ring and Andy would be on the other end with his deep chuckle. He’d regale me with the details of his latest quixotic battle with a city councillor or someone else who had earned his wrath. We always laughed together ! He was a wonderful, patient mentor to my wife, Lorraine, who pursued her own love of poetry thanks to Andy’s encouragement. We will miss him dearly, and raise a wee dram of scotch to celebrate him.

  16. I’m very saddened to hear of Andy’s passing.
    He was a unique individual, which has been defined by the career path he eventually took and succeeded at.
    Andy was a great guy to work with. We had lots of fun both in the studio and away from it. For two people who didn’t know each other before our show “Mark and Michaelson” was put together on the old CJOR in Vancouver, I think we did fairly well. We developed quite the chemistry.
    I made it my goal to try to break him as often as I could so the listeners could hear the belly laugh of his and feel the humour that he sometimes was cautious about showing.
    He was a quick mind and was always coming up with ideas to do something different. He loved what he did and he did it well.
    Andy made me a better broadcaster. Andy helped me open up more and helped me realize what more I had in me.
    We lost contact many years ago. I only learned of his death on Sunday. Strangely enough, the day he died he was in my thoughts and I had just recently been talking with one of my work mates about him and our show. Since beginning my new job in April, I’ve been using one of our Mark and Michaelson coffee mugs for my morning tea. It was extra special to me on Monday morning.
    Bless you Andy. Rest in Peace.

  17. Susan Beach :

    Carol, my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and all who loved Andy.

  18. Audrey Seehagen :

    Carol, I am sorry for your loss. There was just the one interesting and talented Andy Michaelson. The writing communities will miss him dearly. I’ll always remember him as a great conversationalist, especially his rich, vibrant voice on the telephone.
    Rest in peace, Andy.

  19. Nora Surgenor :

    So sorry to hear of Andy’s passing, Carol. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time.

  20. Tracy Aisenstat :

    Before I heard of Andy’s passing, I made the beef barley soup recipe Andy had shared with me many years ago. He didn’t just type out the recipe, but wrote in great detail why certain ingredients were necessary, what you could cheat on and what you couldn’t. As I followed the recipe, I could hear Andy’s voice reading it. He had such a gift as a writer, even making a soup recipe interesting. Such a talented man who cared about so many. He will be missed.
    Carol, I am so sorry for your loss.

  21. Words like ashes, blown in the draft.
    Settling; to be consumed, adorned or uplifted to new shelters.
    The pen may be silent now, but your memory leaves the ink stain on many a poetic soul.

    Rest in peace, your words will live on.

  22. Clements Family :

    Please accept our deepest condolences during this most difficult time. While nothing will completely take away your grief, we have found the scripture at Revelation 21:4 to be especially comforting where it promises that soon God will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more. May God comfort all of you and give you peace in the days ahead. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

  23. Holly Ridyard :

    Carol, I was so sorry to hear of Andy’s passing. I will miss his humour and definitely his throaty “Ho, Ho, Ho’s”. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  24. Sally Bennett :

    Carol: I knew Andy from p.r. and communications activities in Vancouver and, more recently, from working with him on his beautiful poems. They were written from the heart. Andy didn’t really need an editor – such was his skill – but it was a pleasure to talk with him and to share many laughs. I’m so glad I had a chance to reconnect with him, after many years.
    He had a kind and caring heart, always concerned with injustices in society and for those people he thought marginalized. He will not be forgotten. All good wishes to you, Carol, as you face the future.
    He was so proud of you.
    Love,

    Sally Bennett

  25. Kelly Aisenstat :

    Very sad news. Andy was one of a kind and will be missed.
    R.I.P.

  26. Ivan Sumdal :

    My condolences. I very much enjoyed working with Andy on several poetry events some years back. He was fun to be with and very good at organizing things.

  27. david brydges :

    When I lived in Edmonton met Andy at various poetry events. He always seemed a larger than life poet who freely shared his well-earned wisdom and sound down to earth advice with an aspiring poet. He encouraged me to apply for membership in the League of Canadian Poets and joined one of my first poetry writing workshops with Glen Sorestad in St. Albert. Sometimes it is not the number of times one experiences another person but the qualitative intensity of their generosity that has so much enduring depth. Andy’s wings lived in a big blue Alberta sky. David Brydges

  28. Carol Holmes :

    My condolences to Carol, and all who knew Andy. A wonderful, strong, ever thought provoking person who blessed our lives. He will be sadly missed.

  29. Debbie Coulter :

    Sincere condolences on Andy’s passing from myself and my mother Senator Thelma Chalifoux (Ret.) I was sorry to miss the celebration of his life that my sister Sharon Morin attended. I am so happy that we had the chance for a short visit when we ran into each other at the St Albert hospital earlier this year. I know that Andy held a special place in my mother’s heart and that she would want me to pass along her heartfelt sympathy as well. Please forgive the lateness of this message and please know that I would have sent it earlier if i had been able. We all had great respect for Andy’s work and great admiration for his commitment to sharing our Indigenous and Metis stories – his poetry dedicated to my mom and her work is especially dear to us and we will treasure it, along with the memory of his friendship and the many times we shared stories and much laughter. Wishing you peace and comfort in your memories too. I hope he knows how much he is missed and how very grateful we were for his friendship.
    Sincerely,
    Debbie Coulter and (on behalf of) Senator Thelma J Chalifoux

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