On Wednesday, January 2, 2019, Benjamin P. Michel, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, passed away at the age of 77. Benjamin was the beloved husband of Eva J. Goldenberg and devoted father of Hilary (Angelo Cocozziello) Michel, Brett (Elissa) Michel and Samantha (David) DePalma and step-father of Nancy Tartaglione (Alasdair) Moore. Proud grandfather of Christian and Haleigh DePalma, Molly and Ian Michel, Liza Cocozziello. Loving brother of John (Berit Midelfort) Michel and uncle of Elin Michel-Midelfort, Siri (Peter Dorsey) Michel-Midelfort, Jarl (Alethea Alden) Michel-Midelfort and Jan Michel-Midelfort. Son-in-law of Hildegard Gruenbaum Katz and David (Cynthia) Goldenberg. Brother-in-law of Deborah (Brett) Orlove, Denis Goldenberg, Neil (Ann) Goldenberg, Lee (Doris) Goldenberg and uncle to Joshua, Jacob, Rachel, Elliotte, Alex, Noah, Zach, Cole, William, Michael, Charles and Zevi. Loyal companion to his little canine buddy Perry. Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Rudio and Jeane Spears Peak Michel.
Ben was born in Oak Park, Illinois and graduated from Glen Ridge (NJ) high school. He spent many memorable childhood summers in Lexington, KY. Ben attended college and law school at Washington and Lee University (VA). He served as a Captain in the Military Intelligence branch of the United States Army, graduating from both the Infantry School at Fort Benning and the Intelligence School Special Agents Course. Ben was a trial lawyer and senior partner at the law firm Riker Danzig from 1967 until he retired in 2010.
He was an avid antique collector of Confederate and French weapons, American Indian artifacts, French and American Western paintings, German toy trains and British, German and French toy soldiers. Ben was a past president of the NJ Antique Weapons Association, a 46-year member of the American Society of Arms Collectors, a life, patron and endowment member of the National Rifle Association and a life member of both the PA Antique Gun Collectors Association and the Forks of the Delaware Antique Weapons Association.
A remembrance service will be held at Basking Ridge Country Club at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2019. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hope for Paws (hopeforpaws.org), USO (uso.org) or Red Cloud Indian School (redcloudschool.org).