Jesse Michalak, 28, Loved Exploring Nature's Beauty,


Jesse Daniel Michalak, 28, died unexpectedly while swimming in the Pacific Ocean in Washington State on January 15, 2021.

Jesse was born on November 22, 1992, in Ypsilanti, MI, the youngest of six children. He graduated from Saline High School and attended Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University.

As a youth, Jesse was both a Cub and Boy Scout, a skilled travel soccer player, and a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, MI, where he participated in many activities. He grew to love nature and water-related activities while spending time at the family cottage on Cavanaugh Lake in Chelsea, MI. Jesse was a hard worker who was eager to lend a hand when he saw a need.

As an adult, Jesse read frequently and across a range of topics. He was continuously seeking deeper understanding and challenged those around him to examine their beliefs as he examined his own. He enjoyed taking road trips to explore the natural beauty of places like Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. He chose to experience nature by immersing himself in it (e.g. standing outside in a hailstorm to watch the beauty of the lightning). Jesse was welcomed and loved by all who met him and in recent years had been a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Saline, MI. We remember Jesse as an intellectually curious and spiritually-seeking student of the world. He was deeply empathetic and had a strong desire to be a healing force.

Jesse is survived by his parents, Dennis (Nancy) Michalak, Paula (Jim Bergh) Michalak; siblings David Michalak, Matthew (Sarah) Michalak, Christopher Michalak, Joel (Kathryn Skitt) Michalak, and Sarah (Jayme) Rubley; niece and nephews Ryan, Caleb, Asher, William, and Ruby (Matthew), and Benjamin (Joel); aunts Christy Walker and Michelle (Roger) Zahm; cousins Evelyn Maguschak, Amanda Bly, and Jacob Walker (Christy), Joshua Zahm, Cassie (Kyle) Hammermeister, and Alec Zahm (Michelle), Ian Johnson (Steve); and extended family John (Liane) Measell, Christine Measell, Kayla and Tyler Measell (John), and Gemma Hammermeister (Cassie).

Jesse was predeceased by his grandparents Bernard and Rosemary Michalak, Fred Johnson, Frances Johnson Measell, and Howard Measell; uncle Steve Johnson; and cousin Carson Bly (Christy).

The immediate family will be having a private memorial service on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline. The event will be live-streamed at 12:00 P.M. and all are welcome to watch on the funeral home’s facebook page. The family would like to invite all who knew Jesse to attend a virtual memorial service on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 1:00 P.M. For details of the services and to post memories, photos, and condolences, please visit In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Peace Neighborhood Center of Ann Arbor ( or National Alliance on Mental Illness of Washtenaw County ( The family would like to thank the many caring people who supported Jesse throughout his life – encouraging, listening, sheltering, and loving him. We are deeply appreciative.

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