Catherine Cantrell Franke Michel
Catherine Elizabeth Michel 89, was born February 7, 1932 in Kansas City, KS to Edgar L &
Catherine Leora (Montgomery) Cantrell. She was raised by her great aunt and great uncle,
Betty and Otto Franke, due to the death of her mother and she took their name. She went to
her eternal home on November 12, 2021 at Paramount Health and Rehab in Newton.
She entered teacher training in ballet when she was 14 at the Detroit Conservatory of Music
and was soloist at the Elaine Arndt School of Ballet. When she moved to Atwood, Kansas
during high school she enjoyed sharing her love of dance and gave classes in ballet. She
graduated from Atwood High School in 1949 and Shimer College, Mt Carroll, Illinois in 1951
with drama being her major.
September 13, 1952 she married Gilbert Chris Michel at St. John’s Lutheran Church,
Rochester, Michigan. They lived in San Diego while he was in the Navy. She resumed teaching
ballet classes when they moved back to Atwood after her husband was discharged from the
Navy. Tina, Trudi, Tamara, and Troy were born to this union.
They moved to Newton in 1976 and practiced Chiropractic for 30 years, and she worked as his
assistant. She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and served as Preschool Chairman and
prayer shawl ministry. She was the Scholarship chairman Of the Kansas Chiropractic Auxiliary,
as well as Treasurer and President. She was a direct descendent of William White and was a
member of the Mayflower Society.
Survivors include: Husband, Dr. Gilbert Michel, Daughters, Tina Denning of Tulare, California,
Trudi Zeckser of Gardner, Kansas and Tamara & husband James Frewen of Frisco, Texas, 6
grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her son, Troy, parents, and great aunt & uncle who raised her.
Funeral service will be at Zion Lutheran Church in Newton at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 17, 2021 the family will receive friends from 12 noon to service time and again following the services at the church on Wednesday.
Graveside services will be at a later date at Fairview Cemetery in Atwood, Kansas.
Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church Preschool, Newton Library Large Print & Audio Department, or Victory in the Valley and may be left with Petersen Funeral Home.