Steven “Steve” D. Michael

Published 11:29 am Monday, June 24, 2024

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Steven “Steve” D. Michael passed away peacefully on June 10, 2024, at the age of 75, at UNC Hospice House in Pittsboro, NC. He was the son of the late Herman and Judy Brewer Michael. Steve is survived by his loving wife, Loretta Blum Michael; his two sons, Bryan Kevin Michael and Joshua Matthew Michael; his daughter-in-law, Claire House Michael; his four cherished grandchildren, Zack, Brooke, Abigail, and Ethan; and also his sweet pup, Maisy. He is also survived by his brother, Fred Michael; sister, Jean Michael Brantley; sister-in-law, Muriel Blum Mendel (Richard); and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his dear daughter-in-law, Lora Askew Michael; grandson, Austin Michael; father and mother-in-law, Bertram and Jennie Edwards Blum; and sister-in-law Maxine Blum Koss.

Steve grew up in Winston Salem, NC, and graduated from RJ Reynolds High School. He received his BS degree from East Carolina University and was awarded his Juris Doctor from UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill, NC in 1975. His first job after law school was with Ransdell & Ransdell in Raleigh NC, after having clerked for William “Buck” Ransdell Jr., whom he considered his mentor, during law school. From 1977-1980 he worked as an assistant DA in the Wake County District Attorney’s office. He then practiced in Manteo, NC, with Kellogg, White, Evans, Sharp, and Michael until 1985, moving to Kitty Hawk, practicing with Sharp, Michael, Outten, & Graham, until he served as a Resident Superior Court Judge, First District 1991-92. He subsequently returned to practice with his law firm in Kitty Hawk for many years until his retirement in 2016. He practiced as a mediator and arbitrator part time following his retirement from his firm.

Passionate about the integrity of his profession, Steve became a N.C. State Bar Councilor representing the First Judicial District in 1996 and served 3 successive terms. In 2004, he was elected Vice President, President Elect in 2005, and in 2006, President of the NC State Bar. During his tenure he served on various committees and later became Chair of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission. He also served on the Iolta Board of Trustees, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and was a Delegate to the American Bar Association.

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Steve loved the Outer Banks community and its people. He served on the Board of Directors of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and Duck Woods Country Club. He gladly provided pro bono service and advice to several non-profits and often mentored young lawyers.

After living in Raleigh for a few years post law school, Steve decided he needed to move to the Outer Banks in 1981 “to be close to the water”. (Fortunately, his family agreed!) He loved being on the water, fishing, boating, cooking incredible seafood for his family, walking on the beaches, and exploring the innate beauty of the area. A natural athlete, he was an avid golfer and fierce tennis player for many years. Steve also found great enjoyment being in his yard, gardening, landscaping, and taking care of DIY projects – he relished being outside from dawn till dusk, an “outdoors” person his entire life.

Steve was a true family man and absolutely loved raising his sons, and then having the opportunity to be “Pop-Pop”. Many delightful hours were spent with the grands, watching baseball games, attending recitals, building birdhouses and tree swings, playing games, or just being silly. His wife of 54 years, Loretta, was the love of his life, and they shared thousands of cherished memories of their joyous life together. In 2022, Steve and Loretta moved from Southern Shores to Chapel Hill to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

One of Steve’s most defining traits was his honesty. He never shied away from speaking the truth. In a world where such candor is increasingly rare, Steve stood as a beacon for truth.  He was an adamant believer in justice and fairness and sought to live by his beliefs.

Steve will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him. His legacy of love, intelligence, honesty, and kindness will live on in the hearts of his family and friends. A remembrance of Steve will be held at a later date.

If desired, memorials may be made to your local animal shelter, food bank, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or your favorite charity … or Steve might suggest that you give your loved ones an extra hug, snuggle with your 4-legged best friend, or simply do an unexpected act of kindness for someone in need.