Rev. Christopher A. Mickel

Rev. Christopher A. Mickel 56, of Rock City Falls, passed away Thursday, April 5, 2012. Born in Amsterdam City Hospital on August 20, 1955, he was the son of Walter and Elizabeth Mickel. Chris grew up in Gallupville and was a member of the Gallupville United Methodist Church and the Gallupville Fire Dept. He was a graduate of Schoharie Central School, SUNY Cobleskill, and Clarkson University. After graduating he was employed as a Chemical Technician at Schenectady Chemical.

Chris then went on to graduate from Drew University Theological School with a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees. Upon graduation, he served as Minister of the United Methodist Churches at Branden and Pittsford Vermont, and then Rock City Falls and Middle Grove in New York. Chris also served on the Board of Trustees at Drew University.

Padre, as Chris was known by many, was heavily involved with the community, serving as member, treasurer and chaplain of the Rock City Falls Volunteer Fire Department; treasurer of the Milton Grange, chairman of ECHO; and assisted with the local food pantry in Rock City Falls. He attended the Ballston Spa United Methodist Church.

Chris is survived by his parents, Walter and Elizabeth Mickel of Gallupville, sister, Paula Ecker of South China, Maine, brother, Walter Mickel, Jr of San Jose, California and two nephews, Jesse Ecker of Portland, Maine and Nathan Ecker and his wife Lori of Austin, Texas.

Funeral services will be held 10am Wednesday, April 11, at the Ballston Spa United Methodist Church, 101 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa. Burial will follow at 2:30pm Wednesday at the Gallupville Rural Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Tuesday from 5-8pm at Armer Funeral Home, Inc 39 East High Street, Ballston Spa.

Memorial contributions may be made toward the Mickel Scholarship for Country Pastor Students at Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940.

Guest Book

Rev Doris Miller - Formerly of Troy Annual Conference

My prayers are with your family as you grieve Chris. It was a pleasure and honor to serve with Chris as a colleague. We also co-led confirmation class at Shenendehowa UMC. I will never forget the Sunday after 9/11 when there was a small electrical fire in a wall - Chris was calm, while ever the firefighter (with just a hint of excitement in his eyes). Chris dealt with the fire dept. while I set in motion evacuating the sanctuary and rest of the building.
Chris will be missed by many.

Doris Miller
Portland, Maine

Priscilla (Sadler) Holcomb

Mr. & Mrs. Mickel,

I just found out that Chris had passed. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great person. I still remember coming over as a teenager and watching him make his tomato sandwiches for work and just visiting with everyone. We had tons of fun when we went to the lake to go water skiing. My hubby even remembers going with everyone. It was like one big family. If you need anything, just let my mom know. My thoughts are truly with you at this time. I'm sending a big hug!!!

Laura (Downing) Bevevino

We were so fortunate to have spent many years of our childhood with your family, and are so thankful that our parents always included us in their visits to your home. It was like we had two more brothers, an extra sister, and another set of parents who always made us feel loved and welcomed as if we all were their own as well! Every day spent with you has always been treasured and fondly remembered by us all - we had so much fun with all of you, and some things we kids did we still laugh about to this day! I had run into Chris now and then through the years, and it really didn't surprise me that he went into the ministry; in fact, it felt almost natural that he would be chosen by the Lord to do His work here on earth. We just seemed to pick up wherever we left off in conversations ... almost as if time had stood still. Kind of like today with seeing you - the love for all of you remains embedded in our hearts. Our hearts hurt even though we know he is with Jesus now. I pray that God will send His Comfort to each of you, and to all of us who were blessed by knowing Chris. Love you!

Harold (Chip) Sparrow & Darlene (VanderBogart) Sparrow

We are saddened to hear of Chris’s passing and are thoughts are with you and your family. Although we have not been in touch with Chris since our high school days; Darlene and I often spoke of our fond memories when we all use to pal around together. We often talked about the track meets, our hunting and fishing excursions, snowmobiling, and the puppy Chris gave Darlene. Along when the cougar raided the pheasant coupe and how Daisy use to kick Chris every time she was milked. Chris always brought a smile to everyone’s face and has touched all of our hearts he will be sorely missed.

Our Deepest Sympathy,
Chip and Darlene

Ken and Cindi Palmatier, Rock City Falls NY

Chris was an old and dear friend and we have many great memories of times shared together. He was our Pastor at our Simpson Methodist church in Rock City Falls, a fellow member of ECHO food pantry, a brother in our fire department, and he performed the marraige ceremonies for both our son and daughter. I have many pictures of Chris in my photo albums and will always remember the wonderful and very special person he was. Rest in peace Chris, you've earned it.

Pastors Nancy and Larry Russell, Oneonta District UNYAC

Our deepest sympathy is extended to all of you, family, friends and all who knew Chris. May our Risen Lord, comfort you and embrace you with everlasting love. We will be praying for you. Peace and care to you.

Lou Pitcher

Mr and Mrs. Mickel, Chris was such a great guy. He was a member of the Titus Lake Water Ski club. He could do it all. Barefoot, fly the kite and trick skis. Chris was such a good friend to me and my family,esp. close to my Dad, Chet Pitcher. He will be truly missed,I will never forget him.

Diane Sharrow

I was honored to know Chris. I was a member of the Pittsford United Methodist Church. Chris helped me on my christian journey. I think I connected with him because he was diabetic because my Mom was too. He was there when my Mother died. It was hard to have him leave at Pittsford. I wish I could have seen him one more time . Beth I am so sorry for your loss. I will really miss him.Your family is in my prayers. Love, Diane, Scott and Janessa Sharrow

Rev. Sam Newton-Barre, Vt.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. In 1992, I followed Chris as pastor in Brandon and Pittsford. I can't think of a better pastor that I have followed as he was always very supportive and helpful with any questions or needs that I had. Health wise most of us knew that Chris was living with a time- bomb. However the way he lived his life filled with faith, peace, grace, and calmness was a powerful inspiration to me and all he met.

Ann Hauprich

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Mickel –

It was my great honor to attend the United Methodist Church in Middle Grove during the years when “Pastor Chris” preached from the pulpit. He was an inspiring power of example who consistently demonstrated the meaning of being a TRUE Christian.

While many of his sermons touched my heart, the one that most profoundly impacted my soul was on the topic of forgiveness. That was roughly two decades ago and I’m ashamed to confess that I was holding a grudge against someone who had hurt me. But after Pastor Chris preached on the importance of forgiving “seventy times seven”, I resolved to henceforth strive to do just that.

After moving away from Middle Grove, I lost touch with Pastor Chris for a time, but was elated to discover him seated among mutual friends inside of The Coffee Planet during 2007 -- the year of the Village of Ballston Spa’s Bicentennial celebrations.

Our perky companions typically included Saratoga Knights of Columbus member Rich Gorman and retired mail carrier Bob Bush as well as Louie David, whom we affectionately called “The Honorary Mayor of Ballston Spa.”

It was during one of our round table discussions that Pastor Chris agreed (who was then assisting Pastor Sally White at the UM Church on Milton Avenue in the village) to let me interview him so that a celebration of his life might be added as a chapter inside of a book I was in the process of completing titled Ballston Spa: Legacies Unlimited.

It was during that Internet café interview that I had the privilege of getting to know about his early years on the family farmstead in Gallupville and all he had accomplished before assuming his pastoral duties in Middle Grove and Rock City Falls. Pastor Chris also filled in the gaps of all he had endured with amazing grace when health complications necessitated that he give up some of the things he most enjoyed doing.

What impressed me most was that Pastor Chris NEVER ONCE complained about the crosses he had been called upon to bear; rather he accepted them as part of God’s plan for his mission on earth. Perhaps that’s why the image of Pastor Chris effortlessly climbing up Jacob’s Ladder before gleefully sliding down it in his firefighter’s uniform is one that now makes me smile.

I pray hearing of the countless souls who were touched by your beloved son’s ministry will bring you and your entire family comfort as you mourn his passing into eternity.

Our loss is truly Heaven’s gain.

With deepest sympathy,

Ann Hauprich

Judy Farrell

My deepest sympathy to Chris' family. I first met Chris years ago when he used to take Tina to Krislyn's and Leo's Diner. Now in recent years Chris would meet the Catholics after our 10:30 Mass and his service next door to the White House. What a nice young man. May his soul rest in peace.

Marylou Rorick-Baldwin

Chris was a good man & a close friend. I will always admire his strength and courage. My condolences to his family. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal. You will be missed deeply.

Bonnie (McDermott) Zanger

I am sending condolences on behalf of my family, the McDermott's. We had some great times together; friendship, square dancing, get togethers at the house. It seems like a life time ago that we hung out. It sounds like Chris lived a very full, busy, active life.

Prayers are sent your way to cope with your loss.


Bonnie (McDermott) Zanger
Schoharie, NY

John Stanton

Aunt Beth, Uncle Walt, Paula, and Mick, you have our deepest sympathies in this most trying time. Chris will be missed by all that he has influenced during his lifetime. You are all in our prayers and thoughts. John, Alex, and Andrew Stanton

Kim and Sam Oathout

A shining star in our family. He will be missed.

Gerrylynn Ricker

Paula and family, I am so sorry for your loss.

Rev. Dr. Richard Capron

Wish I could be there at services to share personal remembrances of Chris. A former student and friend of mine from Drew, I always treasured the moments we shared stories at Troy Conference get-togethers. And I was genuinely disappointed when he forsook the pickle business. My prayers are with the family.

Richard Capron
Oberstweiler 12A
Idar-Oberstein, Germany 55743

Jesse Ecker

My uncle was a great man. He did more for this world than many of us ever will. His courage through life and his generosity is admired by all. He will be missed.

- Jesse

Rev. Dr. Don and Sandy Wheeler

Our sympathy to the Mickel family. Chris was a friend, and a brother in Christ.
Dr, Don and Sandy Wheeler
1571 East Reno Road
Azle TX 76020