Established May 13, 2010
By Richard H. Michaels
Anna Michaels arrived in Woodbury in 1935 with her then 15 year old son, Richard W. Michaels. He was attending Peekskill Military Academy at the time, and went on to the University of Connecticut.
In 1943 Mr. Michaels joined the US Army Air Corps and served as a captain in the South Pacific during World War II. After discharge he joined the family business, Michaels Jewelers, which is grandfather Abraham founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1885. In 1960 Mr. Michaels became the first certified Gemologist in the state and headed one of the first Accredited Gem Laboratories in New England. In 1986, Michaels was awarded the Shipley Award by the Gem Society for dedication to the field of gemology and exemplifying the high purpose and ideals of the society.
His distinguished community service included time as President of the Kiwanis Club and Waterbury Symphony Orchestra as well as serving on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Center Band, Salvation Army, Easter Seals, United Way, Woodbury Board of Education, and The Waterbury Foundation. He was a Corporator of Waterbury Hospital.
Mr. Michaels was instrumental in establishing the Michaels Jewelers Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Connecticut, which awards eight scholarships yearly. Additionally, Michaels Jewelers presents over 250 watches yearly to Connecticut High School juniors and 8th grade students based on service to their school and/or community.
Richard Michaels was an avid golfer, a fifty year member of the Country Club of Waterbury. He was club champion in 1960 and played as an amateur in the 1945 Houston Open.
Richard Michaels and his wife, Betty Jane raised five children, all of whom graduated from Woodbury schools: Dale (1967), Patti (1968), Karen (1970), Jyll (1971) and Richard H. (1976).
Michaels, a member of the fourth generation of the
Michaels family, became president of Michaels Jewelers
in 1993. The company currently operates ten Michaels
Jewelers locations as well as three Pandora Jewelry
locations in Connecticut.