Headlines News
Remembering Joe Michaels

Joseph Budarkiewicz Michaels, well known across Canada’s printing community for his expertise as a press technician for manroland Canada, passed away suddenly in a tragic accident at the age of 54.

February 3, 2014  By PrintAction Staff

On January 8, Michaels and his family were traveling from Vancouver back to their home in Edmonton and were struck by a tractor-trailer on British Columbia’s Highway 16, near Valemont, about 480 kilometers from Edmonton. This particular stretch of highway is regarded as one of the most treacherous in Canada, and over 11 days in January had claimed the lives of eight people, including three members of the Michaels family.

Michaels and two of his sons, Joshua age three and Jordon age six, were killed in the accident. His wife Sharon, although seriously injured, survived the accident along with the couple’s third child, Julian, who is the twin of the deceased three-year-old.

Joe Michaels was one of the first employees who helped establish manroland Canada and had spent the past 25 years with the organization as one of its premier press mechanics for all of North America. Trained in England and then in Germany, Michaels often traveled the world from Egypt to Russia to make million-dollar presses run smoothly.


“Those who knew Joe Michaels are filled with a sense of loss and are burdened by a heavy heart,” says Michael Mugavero, Managing Director of manroland North America. “The Michaels family lost a good man, father and husband along with two beautiful children; we all have lost a valuable resource of knowledge, a true and compassionate friend and Canada has sadly lost a true patriot.

“If any of us could speak for Joe, I am sure he would inspire all of us to be good neighbours to one another, strive for the best of success possible and to keep hope and love alive. We at manroland will always hold dear our remembrances of Joe as being one of our very finest.”

Steve Bush, who first met Michaels in August 1990 at manroland Canada, describes him as the best mechanic he ever knew. The two technicians worked closely together installing, relocating and repairing presses throughout the 22 years they shared together at manroland. Bush was the Best Man at Joe and Sharon Michael’s wedding and became Godfather to their oldest son, Jordan, who passed away in the January 8 car accident.

Bush shared portions of the eulogy he is preparing for an upcoming February 8 service (details below), which was delayed until Sharon Michaels could leave the hospital, to honour the life of Joe Michaels:

“I respected Joe as a loving and dedicated husband, a father, and a man of great talent. I was always so proud to be able to say, Joe was my best friend… I have had phone calls from all over the world for Joe. Every person who has spoken to me about Joe has had such words and expressions of praise for him, as a sweet man, friendly, kind, humorous, generous, loving, caring, gentle, cultured, extra smart, diligent, in Olympian shape, strict in health and diet.

“Joe was a straight-up person with very few problems and hard working. I saw Joe except tough jobs without hesitation. Joe’s British and early-age training, that was thorough and extensive for machine shop and millwright engineering in England, gave Joe his exceptional professional edge. Joe had a high standard of excellence. He methodically researched his approach and got the job done every time.”

A time of visitation will take place for family and friends this Friday, February 7, from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Evergreen Funeral Chapel in Edmonton.

A Service Celebrating the life of Joseph Michaels will take place on February 8 at 12:00 pm at North Pointe Community Church in Edmonton.

More details, as well as a guestbook to offer condolences, can be found at 

Print this page


Stories continue below