Joseph “Joe” R. Maichel of Bismarck passed away due to cancer on May 17, 2023.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, May 23, at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 519 Raymond St, Bismarck.
Visitation will be held from 6:00-7:00 PM, Monday, May 22, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Pkwy, Bismarck. A rosary will begin at 7:00 PM.
Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bismarck.
Joe was born on Nov. 24, 1934 to John and Sarfina Maichel on the family ranch southwest of Stanton, ND. He grew up on the ranch, attended a rural grade school and graduated from Hazen High School. He earned an accounting and Juris Doctor law degree, graduating with Distinction from the University or North Dakota. He was also a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program.
After graduation from law school, Joe began his career as a Special Assistant Attorney General assigned to the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s Office, a position which he held for 12 years. He then became General Counsel for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and later MDU Resources Group, Inc and its subsidiaries. He served as President and Chief Operation Officer of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a position he held until his retirement. Joe served as an officer and on the Board of Directors of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and MDU Resources Group, Inc., and was active in federal and regional utility associations. As an adjunct professor, he taught two Business Law courses at Bismarck State College for 23 years.
Joe met his wife, Hilda, in Bismarck ND, and they married in 1961 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. They recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. To this union three children were born, Mary, Mark and Scott.
His Catholic faith was very important to him, having attended daily Mass for over 40 years. He taught ninth grade CCD classes for many years. His hobbies were many. Having grown up on a ranch in which they raised horses and cattle, he loved horseback riding and participated in rodeo calf roping. He always enjoyed watching rodeos. He was a voracious reader, often reading two or more books a week and frequently reading while doing another activity at the same time. He was a self-taught photographer with a good eye and timing for subjects that made for excellent photographs. Needless to say, our family events were well-documented.
Nothing delighted him more than finding a new camera, or developing his latest roll of film in his own darkroom. He was also good at leather working and made very useful, practical gifts for family and friends. Joe also earned the Master Gardener designation, and his manicured yard was always a treat to look at during the summer, with thick green grass and gardens filled with colorful flowers, with help from Hilda.
Despite his work demands and the many leisure activities that he enjoyed, family always came first for Joe. He was always dreaming up fun things for his family to do, and spent many hours building his children a tree house, backyard putting green, teaching them how to garden, playing games with them, reading to them, and taking them on little adventures and trips, or out for a Dairy Queen treat. He was always there to help his children with their homework lessons and attended all of their school and sporting events. He was a good story-teller and always had a joke to brighten your spirits. He was a good father and a wonderful husband, and he will be greatly missed.
Joe is survived by his wife of 62 years, Hilda; children, Mary (Jerry) Guler, Mark, and Scott (Anne), and a very special love, Dakota Maichel, who is his only granddaughter; and his sister, Dorothy Hulligan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Eva and Ann; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Harry and Susanna Deichert; and many friends and colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.