Ralph Frank Michaels, a retired project manager for the city water department, died of mesothelioma May 16 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 68 and lived in Catonsville.
Mr. Michaels was born and raised in West Baltimore. He was a 1955 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a degree in business from the Johns Hopkins University in 1973.
After serving in the Army from 1955 to 1957, he worked as an engineer at Montgomery Ward's retail and mail-order facility on Monroe Street.
After the Ward's store closed in 1978, he worked as a consultant for several years before joining the city Public Works Department's Bureau of Water and Wastewater as a project manager. He retired earlier this year.
Mr. Michaels enjoyed camping and travel. He also collected vintage cameras and enjoyed completing woodworking projects in his garage workshop. He was especially fond of making cradles.
He attended St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church, 6950 Dogwood Road in Woodlawn, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Mr. Michaels is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Anne W. French; a son, James C. Michaels of Towson; a daughter, Elizabeth Anne Mirkin of Willamette, Ill.; a brother, Michael T. Michaels of Annapolis; a sister, Mary Lou Potthast of Easton; and six grandchildren.