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Michael Neil Sharpe

March 27, 1952 ~ June 15, 2022 (age 70)

Obituary

Michael Neil Sharpe, Ph.D.

March 27, 1952 – June 15, 2022

Michael Neil Sharpe, age 70, resident of Circle Pines, MN, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2022 at United Hospital in St Paul, MN, surrounded by his family.

He was born on March 27, 1952 in Superior, WI to Cathryn M. and Clarence J. Sharpe. As a young boy, he loved going to the movies with his brother Skip, sister Joan, and cousins, and making money on his paper route. He graduated from Superior Senior High School, Class of 1970, where he met his first wife, Carol. As a young adult, Michael became an avid guitarist, working in a music store and playing in a band, the Kustom Four. A lifelong musician, he recorded many songs on his reel-to-reel, and later, his computer.

After high school, Michael attended University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Social Work & Psychology (1975), and his Masters in School Psychology (1977). Later, he worked towards his doctorate from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. In 1999, he earned his Ph.D. in Social & Philosophical Foundations of Education. His entire career focused on implementing many special education projects, research, and developments. He worked at the Rum River Special Education Cooperative (RRSEC) as a school psychologist and grant writer when they lived in Princeton, MN in the 1980s.

In 1985, he and Carol welcomed the birth of their son, Ryan, and in 1989, their daughter, Whitney. In 1990, they moved to Cambridge, MN. Over the years they enjoyed watching The Simpsons, taking family vacations to California, Hawaii, and Washington DC., building LEGO, playing video and computer games, and traveling to Superior to visit Michael’s siblings and parents, especially his niece Katie. Later when Ryan moved to Japan, Michael and Whitney would visit him twice, in 2010 and 2012 in Tokyo and Nagoya.

After 21 years at RRSEC, in 1998 Michael left to work for the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration in Minneapolis, MN. He also partnered with the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education as a Principal Investigator of numerous research grants and was the Director of the North Central Regional Resource Center. There he led the team in grant writing, researching, and providing technical assistance to states across the country, so he could improve schools for all students, including students with disabilities.

In 2003, Michael moved to Circle Pines, MN, with his current wife, Maureen. Together they enjoyed going to the beach, watching British TV shows, spending time with family, and traveling around the United States and internationally, visiting places such as France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Aruba. In 2008, they earned an opportunity as education consultants to serve and visit Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the CNMI. During these trips, they would also bring books and materials to the schools and appreciate local colleagues providing them with traditional indigenous cultural experiences.

Michael retired in 2018 from the University of Minnesota, but always stayed busy consulting and grant writing, and enjoyed working from home. In his retirement years, he spent his free time vacationing with Maureen, recording guitar music in his home studio, grilling outside, watching documentaries, finding Udemy courses to try, going for walks, reading many non-fiction books, and perfecting his baking skills. He made many pies and cookies, lamenting at any tiny imperfections and never giving up until he perfected a recipe. Michael was a brilliant, generous man who will be greatly missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence J. Sharpe and Cathryn M. (former Crusher) of Superior, WI, and his father-in-law Joseph B. Jann of St Paul, MN.

He is remembered by his wife, Maureen Hawes (former Jann), his first wife, Carol Sharpe (former Anderson) of Anoka, MN, their two children, son Ryan Sharpe of Osaka, Japan, and daughter Whitney (Josh) Burg of Eden Prairie, MN, his brother Clarence “Skip” T. (Connie) Sharpe of Esko, MN, his sister Joan E. (Ted) Dahlgren of Duluth, MN, his mother-in-law Margaret E. Jann of St Paul, MN, and his niece Katie Hanson of St Paul, MN.

Visitation will begin at 9:30am and Funeral Mass at 10:30am on Tuesday, June 28 at the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord in St Paul, with burial at Resurrection Cemetery to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Habele Outer Island Education Fund, a nonprofit supporting Micronesian students with education opportunities and materials https://habele.org/

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Tuesday
June 28, 2022

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church
1938 Stanford Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Funeral Mass
Tuesday
June 28, 2022

10:30 AM
Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church
1938 Stanford Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Guaranteed delivery before the Funeral Mass begins

Interment
Tuesday
June 28, 2022

12:00 PM
Resurrection Cemetery
2101 Lexington Ave. S
Mendota Heights, MN 55120
Guaranteed delivery before the Interment begins

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