A beloved husband, father, grandfather, William Morris (Bill) Michelet died on Monday, August 25 at 1:42 p.m. at Landmark Nursing Home in Baton Rouge at the age of 82. He was born October 4, 1931 in New Orleans, the son of Lucile O'Shaughnessy and Morris Louis Michelet. Bill was a graduate of St. Joseph's Seminary and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and served honorably in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956. He married Barbara Ann Martina in 1955 and they had four sons, Craig, Blair, Kirk and Scott. Bill served his community in many ways including his longtime service to Bell South in Corporate and External Affairs for 27 years. After retirement, he worked as an adjunct professor at the LSU Manship School of Communication, LSU Acting Director of Student Media and Media Liaison for the Baton Rouge Diocese. Bill's dedication to mentoring public relations practitioners led to the founding of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana and Public Relations Society of America chapters in Baton Rouge and the creation of the accreditation program for PR professionals nationally. He was inducted into the Southern Public Relations Federation Hall of Fame, elected to the College of Fellows, awarded Practitioner of the Year and earned numerous other awards and honors. PRAL established a college scholarship in his name in recognition of his mentorship of professionals around the country. Bill was a longtime member of St. Jude Catholic Church and served on the Public Relations Board of Catholic High School. He worked to make his community a better place by serving on many organizations including the Baton Rouge Press Club, Louisiana Association of Broadcasters, Friends of Public Broadcasting, Baton Rouge Convention and Visitor's Bureau (Visit Baton Rouge), Boy Scouts of America, Arts Council of Baton Rouge, Mayor's Youth Council and March of Dimes. Survivors include Barbara, his wife of 59 years, sons Craig and his wife Sandy, Kirk and his wife Cheryl, Scott and his wife Cindy, sister-in-law Marie Billings and nine grandchildren: Erica, Brandt, Justin, Austin, Christian, Ryan, Jessica, Shawn and Andy and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Blair, his parents and his sister Marguerite. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. George Catholic Church at Noon on Thursday, August 28, with internment following at St. George cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the service begins. Fr. Than Vu will officiate the Mass. Pallbearers will be Craig, Kirk, Scott, Brandt, Justin, Austin, Christian and, Ryan Michelet and John Purdue. Honorary pallbearers are John Hightower, J.H. Martin and John Forde. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the William "Bill" Michelet Scholarship fund for the LSU School of Journalism, care of: Public Relations Association of Louisiana, P.O. Box 14915, Baton Rouge, LA 70809.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28, 2014