The Rev. Jon Erling “Jack” Michaelsen, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at Unity Point - Trinity Hospital, Rock Island. He was received by God as his wife and special friends, Dan and Alice Seitz and the Rev. Bruce and Cynthia Bergthold, were beside him. A funeral service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17 at First Congregational Church, Geneseo, where Jack was a member. Burial will follow in at Rock Island Memorial Park, Rock Island. A visitation was held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Vandemore Funeral Homes Ltd., Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to First Congregational Church in Geneseo, Union Congregational Church in Moline or Children’s Therapy Center in Moline.

The Rev. Jon Erling “Jack” Michaelsen, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at Unity Point - Trinity Hospital, Rock Island. He was received by God as his wife and special friends, Dan and Alice Seitz and the Rev. Bruce and Cynthia Bergthold, were beside him. A funeral service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17 at First Congregational Church, Geneseo, where Jack was a member. Burial will follow in at Rock Island Memorial Park, Rock Island. A visitation was held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Vandemore Funeral Homes Ltd., Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to First Congregational Church in Geneseo, Union Congregational Church in Moline or Children’s Therapy Center in Moline.

Jack was born on Nov. 4, 1939, in Moline, the son of E.A. and Marian (Tunnicliff) Michaelsen. He married Sharon Mooney on June 28, 1964, at Broadway Presbyterian Church in Rock Island, and they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. They were blessed with two children, a daughter, Kirsten of Rock Island and a son, Christian (Jacqueline) of Denver, Colo. One of Jack’s favorite activities was to make “fancy” pancakes for the children when they were growing up and for the grandchildren, Michelle of Davenport, Iowa; Jon of Moline and Peyton of Denver. He had three sisters: Suzanne Carleton of Rockville, Md., Jill Adams of Hampstead, N.C. and the late Ann Michaelsen.

Jack had many interests and was involved in many activities and organizations throughout his life. He never stopped learning. He graduated from Rock Island High School, attended Augustana College, graduated from Iowa State University, received an MBA from the University of Michigan, attended Oxford University in England one summer (a highlight for the rest of his life) and received his Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Seminary in 1997.

His career in human resources took him and the family from Rock Island to Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Kentucky, New Jersey and back to the Quad Cities where he worked for John Deere before he took early retirement to attend seminary. Jack then fulfilled his dream of becoming a pastor and served Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Moline for eight years. During his time of employment and in ministry, he served on many outreach and mission boards, was president of the Geneseo Kiwanis Club, was on the board of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce, headed a beautification project on John Deere Expressway, helped build a storefront school in Harlem, N.Y., served on the board of the National Council for International Visitors, served in many capacities within the United Church of Christ, traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Canada with the family, enjoyed delving into Biblical history, tried to catch the “big one” when fishing with his seminary friends on their annual expedition, was a leader in Jr. Achievement, was an avid reader and had served as a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard.

Jack took his career seriously, but he also was very much a family man. He enjoyed camping and in -10 degree temperatures with Kirsten; canoeing during tornado warnings, also with Kirsten; fishing with Christian in Alaska (another highlight); was the “King” on the “King and I” company float in the Kentucky Derby Parade in Louisville, Ky.; marched in the Norwegian Independence Day parade in Brooklyn, N.Y. (complete with knickers) with the Sons of Norway; had fun taking neighbors and friends for rides in “Guenivere” — his blue 1966 Chevrolet Super Sport convertible; and enjoyed everything Norwegian — except lutefisk!

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Drs. Purighalla, Khan and Aranas, and to our dear friends, Dan and Alice Seitz.