Michelle Magdalene (Thompson) Sickels entered heaven Sunday, December 13, 2020. Her life was devoted to many artistic endeavors. Her joy was in her family and many friends. Her love and devotion to her husband, Ron strengthened their marriage of over 28 years. Her love for and relationship with Jesus Christ gave her a new life – life eternal.
Michelle was born in Nampa, Idaho on May 5, 1970. She was the first of three children in the Robert (Bob) and Merilyn Thompson household, followed by Jason Earl and Mindee Suzanne. Michelle attended elementary school at Sunny Ridge Elementary in Nampa. The Thompson family moved from Nampa to the Longview/Kelso Washington area in 1979. She then attended Butler Acres Elementary and Coweeman Junior High (both in Kelso, WA) and graduated from Kelso High School. It was during her high school years that she met her husband to be, Ron Sickels. In 1988 the family moved back to Nampa and Michelle completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Art and an Associate’s Degree in Business from Northwest Nazarene College. Several years after Michelle’s family had moved back to Nampa and Ron had moved to Nampa as well, Ron and Michelle were married at College Church of the Nazarene in Nampa August 1, 1992. Her working life began working in the field of art. She worked as a sales person at Prints Plus in Nampa, then worked as a framer at 3-D Framing in Boise. Using her artistic and business skills, she opened her own shop “Sonjay Framing” in downtown Nampa, naming it after reversed syllables of her brother Jason who had passed away. Upon her father’s death and wanting to follow in his footsteps as a teacher and artist, Michelle decided to go back to school to earn her BA in Art Education from Northwest Nazarene University. Her first teaching job was at Vallivue Middle School, where her father had taught art. She taught art at Vallivue for 10 years as well as creating the school yearbook and was the girls’ volleyball coach. Ron and Michelle moved to Pendleton, OR in 2014,where Michelle secured an art teaching position at Sunridge Middle School. She encouraged her students not only to produce artistic work but to appreciate the art that was all around them (color, texture, design) in their choices of clothing, jewelry, haircuts, personal decorative space, etc. One of the enhancements to her love of art and the quality of her own presentations in the classroom was due to her continued desire to learn. She attended various art conferences across the United States and was also a presenter and co-presenter throughout her career. One of the most influential persons who contributed to her art education career, was Patricia Zoot. Over a number of years Patricia took Michelle on a 12 day cruise where they explored art works from Venice, Italy to Barcelona, Spain; a second cruise from Stockholm, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark; and on another adventure spent two weeks in Paris, France. Through these travels Michelle saw first hand many of the great paintings, sculptures, drawings, and artistic works that she shared with her students. Time that Ron and Michelle spent together and with family and life-long friends strengthened their marriage and love for one another and others. Golf was a choice activity. Ron hunted and brought food to the table. Michelle’s artistic ability decorated their home and her classroom. But any time spent together was what solidified the closeness between them—just being comfortable and enjoying the company of one another.
Michelle is survived by her husband, Ronald Wayne Sickels; mother; Merilyn Thompson; sister; Mindee Scott and nephews, Dyson and Kaden Scott. Preceding Michelle in death were her father, Robert Earl Thompson, and brother; Jason Earl Thompson.
Due to COVID, a united celebration of Michelle’s life will be postponed and announced at a later date.
Years ago, the family determined to assist students through scholarship donations given to Northwest Nazarene University. Three scholarships are currently assisting students. The final scholarship was to be the “M and M Art Scholarship.” This scholarship represents Michelle and her sister Mindee, whose careers have been in the teaching field of art as well as graphic and digital design. Those wanting to contribute to the M and M Art Scholarship may do so through University Advancement, NNU, 623 S. University Blvd., Nampa, ID 83686.
An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
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