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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
MICHALSKI, Ann. (Harvey, Illinois, Dec. 21, 1932--Dubuque, IA, July 19, 2014). The daughter of John Campbell O'Hara and Esther Mary Murray, Ann graduated in 1950 from Loretto Academy, Chicago. While visiting colleges, Ann "fell in love at first sight" with both CLARKE COLLEGE and the City of Dubuque. She graduated from Clarke in 1954. Ann later served on the Board of the Clarke College Alumni Association. She married James Joseph Michalski on April 12, 1958 in Hazel Crest, IL.

Ann's first job was as a social worker. Later, she taught high school at Mother of Sorrows in Blue Island, IL and Elizabeth Seton in South Holland, IL, and, in 1972, received an MA in Theology from Saint Xavier College.

Ann and Jim moved to Dubuque, in 1979, where their son John attended college at LORAS COLLEGE. She became a Pastoral Associate at St. Patrick's Parish, where she worked until 1986. From 1986 until her retirement in 1998, she worked as an Administrative Assistant, Development Director and finally, Director of Human Resources at The Gannon Center for Community Mental Health. In the 1980s and 1990s, she also served as an Adjunct Professor of Religion at Clarke University and Loras.

Ann was a dedicated community activist and advocate for many issues. She was a member of the Mental Health America Board. She was very committed to revitalizing downtown Dubuque and was a long time member of the Housing Commission, the Community Development Block Grant Commission, Dubuque Main Street, Dubuque Initiatives, and the Solid Waste Management Board. In 1996, she was elected to the Dubuque City Council and served three terms, leaving office in 2007. Her principle commitments as city council member were to coalition-building, advocacy for the voiceless, and promotion of quality of life. She was especially proud of having worked to pass a Human Rights ordinance protecting the LGBT community, and to re-open Main Street in downtown Dubuque.

She served on the Dubuque Symphony League, the Fine Arts Commission and the Four Mounds Association, and was a strong advocate for the CARNEGIE-STOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY. In 2008 she became president of the League of Women Voters.

Ann was an Associate of the SISTERS OF CHARITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (BVM). She was a staunch liberal Democrat-a great fan of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson-and believed that government should work actively to improve people's lives. Ann was very proud to have been inducted into the Dubuque County Democratic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Special achievements include the Clarke Humanitarian Award, Dubuque Mental Health Advocate Award, the State of Iowa Volunteer Award, the Gannon Center Outstanding Staff Member Award, Iowa Community Mental Health Center Outstanding Staff Award, National League of Cities Outstanding Woman Elected Official, CWV Human Rights Award, the 2007 Elisha Darlin Arts Award, the Library Advocacy Award and the Barbara Boatwright Lifetime Achievement Award.


"175 Years" Vol. II Telegraph Herald, p. 89

Obituaries. "Dubuque Today" by the Dubuque Advertiser

Hogstrom, Erik. "Michalski Remembered for Her Passion," Telegraph Herald, July 21, 2014