O'Hara Music Teacher Was Committed to Quality Education

Article excerpt

Alma Hall Michael grew up on her family's cattle farm in western Missouri, but farm life wasn't her destiny.

"They also had horses on the farm," said her son, Ralph S. "Mike" Michael III. "But my mother was never too happy about riding a horse and the horses knew it."

Mrs. Michael became a prominent Fox Chapel-area businesswoman, music teacher and golfer. She was devoted to quality education, serving as a trustee of Fox Chapel Country Day School and becoming a co-founder of the Shady Side Academy auction.

"Even after I graduated and went on to Stanford University, my mother continued her commitments to the schools," said her son, a banker with Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati.

Alma Hall Michael, of O'Hara, formerly of Fox Chapel, died on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in her home. She was 90.

She was born in Kansas City, Mo., and spent her early years on the family farm until she went away to school.

"She attended the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Mass., where she continued her interest in music and the piano,"

said Michael.

Four years after her 1938 graduation from Walnut Hill, Ms. Hall received her undergraduate degree in music education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Before marrying Ralph Michael Jr. in 1951, Miss Hall managed a clothing store in Kansas City.

"My father was a Navy veteran who saw action in the Pacific during World War II," Michael said. …