January 30, 2017
Age 76 of Las Vegas NV. Preceded in death by parents, George J. and Catherine C. (Glendenning); brother, George F. and sister Kathleen (Moorman). Survived by children, George W. and wife Cori, Ann M. and husband Mark Nathe; brother, James and wife Patsy; sister, Elizabeth and husband Bruce Backus; former wife and mother of his children, Susan Griesgraber; grandchildren, Max, Christina, Kate and Andrew; former in-laws, Mary Griesgraber and Steve Moorman and many nieces and nephews. Born on Oct. 6, 1940 in St. Paul, Michael knew that he wanted to be an artist since the time he had his first set of crayons. After graduating from Cretin in 1958, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota studying painting under Department Chairman Peter Busa. During this time he also worked as a photographer in the Navy and as a graphic designer at the Walker Art Center under the direction of curator Peter Seitz. These experiences served him well in the corporate world as he held many executive positons in advertising and marketing for some of the world’s most decorated technology companies including Control Data, BBDO, Seagate, Micropolis and Nortel. Michael’s real career began after his retirement as he pursued his passion for painting. During the last decade he held the position of Design Curator at the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Arts in Las Vegas where he held a studio and painted every day. Michael’s wide range of ability is displayed in a series parody paintings where he copied from many of the masters while putting his own humorous twist on the final product. These paintings proved to be quite popular as he sold many prints to collectors and eventually compiled them in the publication “The Art of Parody”. Michael was also known for his exquisite use of color. Most notably is his signature series of square paintings that incorporate hard-edged geometric shapes in a brilliant array of colors. These painting have been featured in exhibitions across the country and are the feature of another book “Colors Square Routes”. Although Michael’s time on Earth has passed, his legacy will live on in the work he left behind. The family also wishes to thank dear friend Johnny Del Prado whose upbeat and cheerful attitude helped Michael through some difficult times, especially during the past year as his health declined. Michael was a man of strong faith and a Celebration of his Life will be held 4-8PM Friday, March 3rd at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-228-1006. Mass of Christian Burial 11AM Saturday March 4th at the Church of St. Thomas More, 1093 Summit Ave., St. Paul. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the charity of your choice.