Esther Lois (Griffiths) Michaud, of Pottstown, PA, passed away peacefully on September 4, 2021, age 97, in Douglassville, PA.
Born in Lakeside, California to parents Reverend Jesse K. and Josephine J. Griffiths.
Due to her father’s Presbyterian ministry, her early years were spent in a series of towns and cities across Washington and Oregon. She graduated high school in Pilot Rock, Oregon, (1942), and graduated College at The University of Oregon, (1947), with a B.S. Degree - Majoring in Music (Piano) and Education.
Esther enlisted in the Navy, as a member of the Waves; her Yeoman training took place in Stillwater, OK, (1944 to 1946).
In 1949, she married Dr. Joseph Ellery Michaud (deceased, 2011), in Arlington, VA. They moved to Salzburg, Austria, where they lived and traveled extensively for two years throughout the European continents. Esther pursued further postgrad education at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria, (Piano) (1950).
After returning to the United States, Esther and Ellery settled in Johnstown, PA, via Fall River, Massachusetts; where her husband did his residency and J. Ellery Michaud, their first son was born. In Johnstown, Ellery established a pediatric practice, Franklin Pediatrics. Esther gladly became involved in the medical community by contributing as President of Cambria County Medical Society, as well as Auxiliary Group Leader (Group#5) at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital.
Esther became largely involved in the musical community with her sought after talents as a Professional Musician/Pianist/Accompanist and Pipe Organist.
She performed as “Miss Music” on Romper Room (WJAC-TV, 1969 to 1973) and Piano accompanist for prominent local singers (most prominently, Janet Michaud, Charlotte Aubrey, Bernice Coppersmith).
Esther also enjoyed accompanying numerous musical productions at The Mountain Playhouse (Jennerstown, PA). Esther loved Jazz and also entertained at The Holiday Inn for many years.
Esther was dedicated to The Johnstown Symphony on many levels. As Board Member, (18 years), as well as President, (1962), The Johnstown Symphony Auxiliary and later, Somerset Symphony Auxiliary. She enjoyed hosting many parties and fundraisers during the musical seasons of The Johnstown Symphony at her home at Richard Court and Indian Lake, PA, celebrating guest soloists and members of the orchestra who were featured in concert performances.
Esther was a licensed pilot and flew the “Powder Puff Derby” which was an annual transcontinental air race for women pilots. As a member of the Flying Physicians Association and Member of the Somerset Pilot’s Association, she and Ellery enjoyed private air travel in Ellery’s Mooney Super 21, all over the United States. Esther wrote several articles for the “Ninety Nines”, Central Pennsylvania Chapter. This newsletter is devoted to reporting events taking place within the international women-based aviators’ organization.
In her retirement, she continued to travel the World to Greece, Wales, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland (w/Janet), Alaska, Caribbean (St. Thomas), Martinique, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Rome, where she had an audience with Pope Pacelle in 1949, and most likely many more!
She loved her days at Indian Lake and loved playing Bridge! She was an avid reader “Always took 8 books from the library”. Other community involvements include, Sunnehanna Country Club, Johnstown Garden Club, Indian Lake Golf Club.
Esther’s parish, Westmont Presbyterian Church, where she enjoyed playing the pipe organ.
Other hobbies included sewing where she created many suits, coats and dresses and gowns for Janet!
She also adored her poodles, Garcon, Bijou, Pitou, Petey, Gigi, Mitzi and Sparky!
Esther Lois is survived and reunited with son, J. Ellery Michaud (Deceased), son, John Pierre Michaud (Ignacio, CO), son, James Renee Michaud, (Deceased), and daughter, Janet Michaud, (Pottstown, PA).
Loving Grandchildren include Jacqueline Marie Markferding, (Pottstown, PA), Joseph Leo Markferding, (Nashville, TN), Matthew James Michaud, (Pittsburgh, PA) and Brian Michael Michaud, (Downey, CA.) Great Grandchildren, James Wyatt Michaud, Son of Brian Michaud and Davon Edward Johnson, son of Matthew Michaud.
A Classical Pianist Graces Us Each Day she Shares Her Talent and Her Craft Because She Loves to Play.
A Celebration of her Life will be held at Westmont Presbyterian Church, 601 Luzerne Street, Johnstown PA 15905 on November 5, 2021, at 11:00 AM. Private Interment at Grandview Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Frank Duca Funeral Home, Inc.
Condolences and other information can be found at www.ducafuneralhome.com under Esther’s obituary.