Michele Mary Doucette, PhD
After a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, Michele passed away peacefully in her home in the early morning hours of October 18, 2023. She was surrounded by her wife Barb, Sister-In-Law Martha, and her Australian Shepherds Coco and Zuzu.
Michele was born on June 30, 1958, in Taunton, Massachusetts, to parents Steve and Gratia Doucette. Her parents raised Michele and her six siblings, Steve and (Doris), Ron and (Margot), Marty and (Lorita), Shauna and (Raj Kirumakki), David and (Beth), and Gratia and (Kurt Hillenberg) in Indiana. Michele has a large family that includes many nieces, nephews, grandkids, and great grandkids. Michele was greatly loved by her siblings, and they saw her as a cheerful, objective, goal-minded person who always strove for excellence while simultaneously approaching every life challenge with optimism and a keen sense of concern for others.
After graduating from High School in Peru, Indiana class of 1977, Michele continued her education receiving a Bachelor of Science from Aurora University, in Engineering Science in 1978. Michele worked as a Mechanical Systems Facility Engineer at Lockheed Martin in Denver, from 1987 – 1992. Due to health concerns, Michele left the engineering field and embarked on a new path in her career studying nutrition and health sciences at Georgia State University graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science and Dietetics. She worked in the health sciences field as a Nutrition and Health Web/Writer at McKesson HBOC from 1999 to 2002. Michele furthered her education by attaining a Doctor of Philosophy, in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Emory University in 2003. Then from 2003 to 2004, she earned a post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University, which led her to a position at Georgia State University as Assistant Professor of Georgia University from 2005 to 2007.
Michele recently retired from the University of Colorado, Medical Campus as the Director of Curriculum Management. Previously, she had held positions as the Assistant Dean of Integrated Curriculum, Director of Curriculum Innovation with the University of Colorado. Michele’s career was extensive and diverse. While with the CU School of Medicine Michele’s focus areas included developing new methodologies for enhancing student medical education through the development of innovative integrative curriculum design and educational technology. Michele was greatly dedicated to her career and highly respected by her colleagues. Not only did she focus on her own career, but she also generously shared her knowledge and expertise with those she mentored.
Michele was an accomplished athlete, particularly in softball. She loved playing tennis, hiking, biking, and any activities that included the outdoors.
Michele was a talented Photographer and loved to capture gorgeous nature scenes, flowers, and pictures of her beloved Aussies. These are lovingly displayed throughout the home and were also gifted to friends and family.
Michele cared deeply about the environment, living a life dedicated to preserving natural resources. She was deeply concerned about protecting and preserving the natural environment through recycling, drove an electric car, installed solar panels in the home, and consciously minimized environmentally impactful activities.
Michele loved animals and had many dogs throughout her lifetime. Most recently, Barb and Michele added another Australian Shepherd puppy to their pack named Azul “Zuzu”, which already included their nine-year-old Aussie Coco. Zuzu provided Michele joy, laughs, smiles, and even a few shenanigans over the last difficult months. Her sweet Coco often placed her head in Michele’s lap gazing lovingly into her eyes giving her great comfort.
Michele was an avid gardener with an incredible green thumb. She loved spending time in her yard tending to her flowers, fruit trees, and shrubs. She grew her flowers and vegetables from seed every year, which resulted in an incredible display of gorgeous flowers, ample vegetables, and herbs. She loved to incorporate these ingredients into their cooking.
Michele was an amazing cook and with her nutritional background prepared healthy, balanced, and delicious meals. She loved southwestern and Mediterranean cuisine and appreciated a good glass of wine with her meals.
Michele and Barb loved to travel. Over the years, their travels included Hawaii, Italy, Austria, and Germany to name a few. One of Michele’s favorite locations was Taos, New Mexico, which is bounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. While in Taos they visited the Gorge Bridge, Taos Pueblo, downtown area, enjoyed the cuisine and watched many sunsets together. Michele and Barb filled their home with wonderful paintings by their favorite artist from Taos, New Mexico.
Michele and Barb met in the Spring of 2000, on a tennis court in Decatur, Georgia. Barb was the captain of the tennis team and requested a team tryout to Michele’s disbelief. Given Michele’s tremendous skill and athleticism, this was a humorous bone of contention between the two. Michele and Barb’s journey began before the tennis tryout. Unbeknownst to the two of them, they lived only a few blocks apart in Decatur, Georgia before this serendipitous meeting. The two started dating and got married in a beautiful and private commitment ceremony at Lake Lanier, Georgia in 2001 in front of family and close friends. Michele and Barb had a Civil Union in Boulder, Colorado and were legally married in the State of Colorado on June 30th, 2015. Michele and Barb were soul mates from the day they met. They moved into their beautiful and scenic home in Golden, Colorado in 2008. Their home overlooks Table Mountain Mesa where their puppies play, and flowers bloom year-round. The home has a large garden and Michele seized the opportunity to embellish one of her favorite activities gardening. Every year, Michele grew beautiful flowers from seed and surrounded their home with flowers, shrubs, and a stunning vegetable garden.
As the years went by, Michele and Barb shared a life that was full of many beautiful moments whether it was hiking, cooking, travel or spending time with family and friends. The passion that they shared for each other was immeasurable. An internal and everlasting love that will live on in their hearts forever.
Michele was a loving, caring, gentle soul who was filled with kindness, compassion, empathy, and love.
In lieu of flowers, we ask for contributions to “Michele’s Garden of Love”. Flowers, shrubs, and more will be planted in memory of our dearest Michele.