Frank Michaelson

Date of Death

January 11, 2022

Frank Michaelson passed away suddenly and tragically on January 11, 2022 from complications of a bacterial blood infection. He was a 72 year old strong and healthy man who was enjoying retirement and looking forward to more years of adventures.

He is survived by his beloved wife Kathy Marden; his daughters Della DuCharme (Chris) and Rachel Michaelson (Josh) and his precious grandchildren: Jake, Shaun and Jason DuCharme and Canon and Edie Kaminski. He was the son of Kathryn Zittouer of Savannah, Georgia and Franklyn J Michaelson of Los Angeles, Ca.

From the time he was a little boy, Frank’s life was all about play, preferably with a ball of some kind. He settled on football and that became his passion. He started his serious football career when his family moved to Anaheim California. He said ,”I came there as a Southern geek and left All League”. He attended UCSB where he played for the Gauchos. He made life- long friends there and always looked forward to the reunions where, 50 years later, they would still be discussing a certain play or team adventure.

After UCSB, Frank attended UC Davis Law School. In between classes, he played flag football and started his love of golf. Again, he made life- long friends and with a small group had many trips around the country playing golf, poker and during Covid enjoyed bi- weekly zoom sessions.

Frank and his first wife, Kathleen Rodriguez raised their daughters in Santa Barbara. He loved his “girls” supporting all of their endeavors and was very proud of them as they became mothers themselves.

Frank had a long and successful career as an attorney and was well respected by his peers. He particularly loved his work as a Public Defender, always a champion and fighter for the underdog.

In 1982 he joined his late cousin, Jay Michaelson and Peter Susi’s bankruptcy firm. They worked hard and played hard with fun firm trips and the unusual granting of a 3 month sabbatical where on one trip Frank survived a rigorous course with Outward Bound in the backcountry of North Carolina.

While with the bankruptcy firm, he joined the Board of Directors of Pacifica Graduate Institute where he devoted hours helping shape policy and offering his legal skills and big heart. In 2011 he became Pacifica’s legal counsel where he leaves a lasting legacy not only for his work and expertise but how he touched so many by his integrity, humor and sincerity.

Frank retired in February, 2021 and entered into what he called “Freedom”. There was no question as to what he would do, “get good at golf”. Off he’d go every morning with his sack lunch down to Carpinteria and the Tee Time range. He had a whole life there, making friends and hitting a gazillion balls.

Whatever Frank did, whether a big or small task, he did with thoughtful care. He was a thinker, he took time making decisions, always looking at all the issues and angles.

One could not have known Frank without experiencing his warmth and kindness. When he talked with people, he really wanted to know how they were, he actually listened and cared about everyone no matter who they were. He was a man with big feelings, always ready to embrace others with a big hug and to tell people he loved them.

He was not all about serious undertakings, having a funny sense of humor and , again, loving to play. He could be silly, particularly with his grandchildren and had a deep wonderful laugh. He loved country western music, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson were high on his list as well as rock and roll songs where his dancing skills shined. He was a bit of a political junkie and loved to read American history. A very soulful man, he wrote beautiful poetry.

He loved the outdoors and he and Kathy had wonderful adventures backpacking throughout the West, an RV trip through New Zealand ,a walking tour through the Cotswolds in England and a surf trip to Costa Rica. There’d also been many trips to the East Coast and Savannah seeing family and old friends.

To Frank, family and friends were everything. He didn’t demand much from life, always grateful and appreciative of what he had, never demanding or greedy. His life was not without struggles and challenges which he met with strength and courage.

Frank will be missed by all those who knew and loved him. It was a devastating shock and the loss is overwhelming.

A memorial service is planned for the spring. If you would like to be notified, please send your name and email to: You can make donations in his honor to the UCSB Football Legacy Fund at


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