Michelle Leigh Fladung passed away peacefully at her home on December 30, 2019 surrounded by family, friends, and her beloved animals.
Michelle was born on June 27, 1962 in Denver, Colorado to the late Donna Marie Jones and Albert Fladung. She is survived by her partner Greg Handerhan, daughters Cassie Chando and Sarah Rush, and granddaughter Victoria Chando.
Michelle was a woman of many roles and many talents. In addition to being a fantastic mother, sister, daughter, friend, and partner, Michelle was an artist and adventurer. Her art took many forms, and she found great pleasure in creating things that would bring joy to others and add beauty to the world. Michelle was an accomplished photographer, having had a number of pieces commissioned and displayed across the US, in addition to the many beautiful pieces that she composed for family, friends, and community. She was a former catering manager at Empire Eats and was also a member of the Photographic Society of America and the Wake Forest Camera Club.
Michelle also had great talents in the culinary arts and often shared these gifts with family and friends. A self-described, “epicurious culinary adventurer,” she delighted in exploring diverse cuisines and preparing creative and delicious meals that never failed to please. Michelle was also particularly gifted in the arts of cross stitch and crochet. She has thankfully passed along her talents to the next generation.
Michelle possessed an unrivaled spirit of adventure. She loved to travel, try new things, meet people and hear their stories. Equally at home at an esteemed winery as at a hole-in-the-wall diner, seated in a fine theater or on a whitewater raft, Michelle was a woman who was eager for new experiences and never held back. She took in the world with gusto and encouraged others to do the same. Her favorite adventures were those on which she embarked with her loved ones by her side.
Michelle had a flair for style and for making things interesting and fun. She had an ability to make the mundane amusing, whether photographing a seemingly ordinary object in a way that made it captivating or making a conversation livelier by offering a unique (and often humorous) perspective. She could put Martha Stewart to shame with her interior design creations, and, being beautiful inside and out, she could make anything look good; from a cocktail dress and heels to an Eagle’s t-shirt and a 1980s perm.
She had a brilliant sense of humor. Although she was a mom, she certainly knew a dad joke or two. Her house was full of laughter, and she was at the heart of it. Her humor never wavered, through good times or bad, spreading joy to those around her. Michelle could be counted on to find something funny in nearly any situation. She was also a
caring friend to those in need, whether providing a shoulder to lean on for a loved one or doing what she could to help a lost animal find its home.
Among her most cherished roles were mother, grandmother, and partner. She loved fiercely and with all she had. Anyone who talked to her knew how proud she was of her kids. Along the way, she also became a friend and champion to a number of her nieces, nephews, and her children’s friends, supporting and rooting for them as they grew up.
Michelle felt incredibly blessed to experience the joys being a grandmother. She simply adored her granddaughter, Victoria, and treasured every moment they spent together, abundant with laughter and sharing a bond like no other.
Michelle encouraged her children and granddaughter to be kind, independent, resilient, and practical but also whimsical, creative, hardworking, and adventurous. She took such pleasure in watching them become those things. Michelle also found great joy as a devoted partner to Greg. Partners in the truest sense, they did life together. They traveled, stayed in, laughed, cried, took the highs with the lows, loved each other’s children, and took care of each other. They remained side by side and loved each other through it all.
Throughout the course of her life, Michelle displayed an unfailing good spirit, grace, and resilience that inspired those around her. Her legacy will live on through the inspiration that touched the lives of so many others and from the many beautiful things she created, from her many works of art to her children.
Visitation with family and friends will be held on Saturday January 11, 2020 from 10-11 AM at Bright Funeral Home, located at 405 S Main St. Wake Forest, NC 27587. All are welcome to stop by and celebrate Michelle’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Transitions LifeCare at transitionslifecare.org/donate or Transitions LifeCare 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607-6372
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