Ethel Green Mickelson, 93, passed away on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas with her daughter by her side. Ethel Green was born on Dec. 18, 1918 in Ware County, Ga. She was the third of seven children born to Mamie and James Green. Even though she grew up during the great depression, Ethel had fond memories of her childhood. She often spoke about going to her grandmother’s farm and playing with her siblings and cousins. She especially liked sneaking to the pond for a swim. Ethel recalled her mother as an “angel” who did not believe in scolding her children as she thought it would make them “nervous”. Ethel’s parents had formal educations, which was very unusual for the time. They instilled in Ethel and her siblings the importance of education; a characteristic that Ethel would later pass on to her own children. After graduating from Nicholls (Georgia) High School in 1937 she attended Brewton-Parker College, a Baptist college located in Mt. Vernon, Georgia. Ethel, with the help of her older siblings, paid what tuition they could by picking cotton. At the time of graduation Ethel did not have enough to pay for the remaining bill and received notice she would not be allowed to graduate. The college president loaned her the money with the agreement she would repay the loan once she started teaching. When Ethel contacted him to repay the bill he told her “all was forgiven”. She remembered this generous act of kindness through her own giving spirit throughout her life. While teaching at Black Creek Elementary School near Ellabell, Georgia, Ethel was introduced to a young serviceman named Matt Mickelson. They dated for one month before he asked her to be his bride, and they married a few months later on Jan. 12, 1945. They lived briefly in California, Georgia and Florida before settling down to raise their family back in Matt’s hometown of Baudette, Minnesota. Ethel taught elementary school for a total of 37 years. She loved children; her own children, ‘her’ school children, her grandchildren, and even complete stranger’s children. She was an active member of First Lutheran Church, and taught Sunday school, attended Ladies Bible Circle and was part of the church quilting group.
Ethel was preceded in death by; Matt, her husband of 64 years; five of her siblings; James Green, Madge, (Green) Mauldin, Peggy (Green) Simpson, John Green and Edna (Green) Mercer.
Ethel is survived by her five children; Matt (Barb) Mickelson, Baudette, MN, Craig (Marcy) Mickelson, Thief River Falls, MN, Tom (Donna) Mickelson, Thief River Falls, MN, Peggy (George) Visio, San Antonio, TX and Jim Mickelson, San Antonio, TX. She is also survived by her six grandchildren; Emily, Cooper, John, and Chris Mickelson, Olivia and Matt Visio. She loved her native Georgia and remained in touch with her surviving sister Lois (Green) Meeks, and in-laws, Clark (widower of the late Peggy) Simpson and Lucy (widow of the late John) Green along with many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the thousands of ‘her’ school children she had the privilege of teaching over the years.
Funeral services will be on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 10:30 am at Wabanica Lutheran Church, rural Baudette, Minnesota. Ethel will be laid to rest in the churchyard cemetery next to her husband, Matt. In honor of Ethel’s love of Southern food, her nieces (Joanne Simpson and Bonnie Anderson) from Georgia will prepare a country breakfast to be served in the church fellowship hall following the service.