Honoring Wes Michaels, a Heroic Dad

Wes Michaels gave his life to save his daughter

Wes Michaels was taking a rare day off on Thursday, June 17. It was his fifty-eighth birthday so he left Heidi, who is twenty-six and the youngest of his three daughters, in charge of the gas station he owned in Mentor, Minnesota. But when Wes heard there were tornadoes forming in the area, he jumped in his pickup truck and headed to the station to check on Heidi. Sure enough, within minutes, a twister was bearing down on the little station. Wes ordered everyone into the cooler right before impact. As Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Jon Tevlin wrote today, which, fittingly, is Father’s Day:

Michaels was a big man, about 6 feet tall with a broad chest, “a strong man who wasn’t afraid to use his strength,” according to his former boss, Orville Lee. Instinctively, he positioned his body above that of his daughter, and took the brunt of the force from debris as the building crumbled around them. Heidi escaped with a few cuts and bruises, but Wes Michaels died.

In the 1998 movie, The Man in the Iron MaskGabriel Byrne as D’Artagnan, Captaine Lieutenant of the Musketeers and Captain of King Louis XIV’s Royal Bodyguard, throws himself between twin brothers Louis and Phillippe as the former lunges to stab the latterr, taking the blade himself. D’Artagnan is the father of the twin boys, and as his life ebbs away, he dismisses the sadness of his fellow Musketeers, managing to whisper happily, “All my life, this is the death I have wanted.”

Like Wes, my birthday is June 17. Like Wes, I have a daughter I would gladly die for. Unlike Wes, however, fate has not summoned me to be a hero. WIth reverence and humility, I salute you, Wes. You were a hero to your girls in life and now in death. That is all a man can ask, and more than most men will achieve. Your family grieves, but I know that they are comforted by the great love that you even now are surely showering down upon them.

Click here to view all my posts about parenting.


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
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Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

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Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

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Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!


Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
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Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

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SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

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Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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2 Responses to “Honoring Wes Michaels, a Heroic Dad”

  1. V.E.G. Says:

    Wes Michaels is of German and Norwegian origin. He was eligible for membership of the Sons of Norway and was a hero!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    There is no question about that. Wes was a true hero.

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