James David Michelson, 75, of Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, passed away suddenly on Sunday, Sept. 22. James was born to Gustave and Anna (Herngren) Michelson on March 19, 1944, in Pennsylvania. He grew up in Secane, Penn., with his two brothers, Ed and Tom, and one sister, Karin. He spent many summers in Ship Bottom, Long Beach Island, N.J., where he enjoyed sailing most. Jim graduated from Pennsylvania Military College, (now known as Widener University) in Chester, Penn., in 1967 and then joined the U.S. Navy where he served on the USS Norris during the Vietnam War.
Through two marriages, Jim became father to four daughters: Michele, Rachel, Erin and Blake. He enjoyed taking photos of all scenery, especially of the N.J. shore and mountains of V. Over the years, he lived in many places incl. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Oklahoma and Vermont. He eventually retired and relocated to the Virgin Islands where he gained his Island family, whom he cared for greatly.
The beach was always where he belonged. Jim loved “his” island and encouraged everyone to come visit him there. Jim was known for being a jack-of-all-trades and being able to show anyone how to fix anything; as well as educating people on literally the history of anything from history to philosophy, religion to inventions or even politics. It did not matter what it was, he knew the history and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with everyone. Spending time with his family and friends was always important to him whether it was to go sailing or go to the beach or gather everyone together for a meal and just be with each other.
James leaves behind his four daughters and their families: Michele Davis, husband James Davis of Orland, Maine, and grandsons: Bryan Davis (Waterbury, Vt.) and Kyle Davis (Orland, Maine); Rachel Michelson and granddaughter, Molly Hurlburt of Johnson, Vt.; daughter Erin Michelson of Hyde Park, Vt., granddaughters Keara Michelson (NYC) and Maggie Duxbury (Hyde Park, Vt.), and grandson, Jesse Ingalls (Morrisville, Vt.); and Blake Lewis, husband Jeff Lewis of Eden, Vt. and grandchildren: Merasia, Connor, Mason and Kendall.
He is also survived by his two brothers: Thomas Michelson of Stowe, Vt.; nephews: Tyler and Sydney Michelson; brother, Edward Michelson of California; wife, Ruth Michelson; and nephews: Dan of Texas, David and Joshua Michelson also of California. James also leaves behind his two beloved dogs, Barney and Patches, as well as numerous friends and family all over the U.S. Virgin Islands. Jim touched many lives, helped many people and brought them all into his home and heart.
James was predeceased by his father, Gustave Michelson; mother, Anna Michelson; and sister, Karin (Michelson) Vitello.
A Celebration of James’ life will be held in Vermont from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the Morrisville VFW Post 9653 at 28 VFW St., Morrisville, VT 05661. An additional celebration of life will be held at a later date in Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local Animal Shelter(s), VA Hospital and/or the American Lung Association.