City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

John "Jack" Albert Michaels

Raleigh, North Carolina

Age 71.
Died 09/13/2023.

John "Jack" Albert Michaels
John (Jack) Albert Michaels was born in Bellefont, PA in 1951 to Al and Mary Lib Michaels. Jack was born 10 minutes before his twin sister, Beth. After moving to Raleigh in 1954, he experienced an idyllic childhood playing in the woods and creek in Country Club Hills and walking a tree lined path to Lassiter Mill and the country store. Jack was especially proud of becoming an excellent water skier thanks to his neighbor, Mr. Hallwood, teaching him on trips to Kerr Lake. Playing ball after school with the neighborhood boys, John Bunn, Harry Walker, George Bason, Lee Salisbury, Hank Cunningham, and Fred Thornhill, was always a treat. He loved the annual Michaels family beach trips, to Wrightsville and Pine Knoll Shores, where he fondly remembered playing with his niece, Anne, and nephews, John, David, and Jeff.

Jack attended Our Lady of Lourdes through 7th grade and became the first of his group to lead the way into the public schools, graduating from Broughton High School in 1969. For the next two summers, Jack was employed as a food service counselor, or “kitchen boy,” at Camp Seafarer with some of his best friends. It was there that he learned to sail and acquired the gumption to date pretty girls.

Jack attended NC State University where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was proud of graduating in economics with honors in 1973, a major that he felt served him well in his professional life. Jack earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1977. It was there he formed his rich, lifelong friendships with fellow law students – a group that became known as the Zonkers. After law school, Jack became licensed to practice law in both North and South Carolina, taking both bar exams in one week! As an attorney, Jack gravitated to civil litigation because of the wide variety of work in things such as product liability, wrongful death cases, contract disputes, and complex vehicle accidents. For one client, Jack traveled to Indianapolis to learn to operate a big rig. Jack became a minor expert on the physics of vehicle accident reconstruction, giving seminars on that topic. Brain injury cases became a specialty. Jack enjoyed practicing law for 15 years at Young, Moore, and Henderson, PA. In 2000, he joined his brother Paul to found Michaels and Michaels, PA.

In 1972, Jack married Rebecca (Becky) Hooper. They grew up together during the next ten years, pulling for the Pack, tailgating, partying with the Zonkers, and generally having the most fun they could find. They bought their first home in Anderson, SC, where Jack discovered his love of gardening. They welcomed their son, Zachary, followed by daughters, Sarah and Virginia. Their family years were filled with music; dancing in the kitchen; tent camping; stargazing at Bald Head Island; fires in the fireplace and football on tv; and toasts as the entire family gathered at Christmas.

With his passion for adventure, bountiful energy, and love of challenge, Jack had countless hobbies and interests. He loved playing golf no matter how mediocre his game might be – enjoying the companionship of his golf buddies and hours spent outdoors on beautiful courses. He canoed the Nantahala with Becky and the Black Swamp with David Kay. He hiked the Tetons, North Carolina mountain trails, and Umstead Park. He took his wife and children on “marathon vacations,” camping throughout the United States, along the way visiting 13 different baseball stadiums across the country. Jack skied almost all of the Western US destinations on winter trips with friends and his son, Zak. He took Becky on fabulous road trips, with Jack driving and Becky navigating as they toured the southern coast of England, the Cotswalds and Wales, Normandy, the Loire valley, and Provence. The duo cruised from Prague and Budapest to Amsterdam, marveling at castles and villages along the Danube and Rhine.

Jack’s life was truly a life well lived. He touched many lives with his warmth and leaves everyone richer for having known him. Jack exemplified honor, integrity, loyalty, intellectual curiosity, appreciation for every experience that came his way, and most of all, love.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Becky; son and daughter-in-law, Zachary Michaels and Colette Blair of Lafayette, CA; daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Nick Kindig, and granddaughters Adelaide and Lydia of Richmond, VA; and daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Kevin Ganssle, and grandchildren Molly and Liam of Fairfax Station, VA. He leaves five brothers and sisters, eleven nieces and nephews, and their families.

Dress joyfully for a service in celebration of Jack’s life at Fairmont United Methodist Church, 2501 Clark Avenue, on September 23 at 3 pm. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. A livestream will be available on the church Facebook page.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations