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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Michael Hilsenrad ’65

Michael Leonard Hilsenrad, age 78, passed away on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 at Green Meadows Nursing Home. 

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he was the first born son of Elsie and Philip Hilsenrad. He attended Fern Creek High School and Northwestern University, completing his undergraduate studies at Antioch with a degree in Liberal Arts. 

Michael then received a Masters in Instructional Technology at the University of Southern California. Later in life he got his second Masters in Teaching.

In 1961, while attending Antioch College, Michael played piano in a rock band with legendary blues musician John Hammond ’65. 

He was also the first freshman in Antioch’s history to direct a school musical. Michael’s life passions included a love for art, theatre, music, and making favorite meals with family. He loved the oldest cultures and had a deep appreciation for beauty and innocence. Michael was a man of God, a poet, a composer, a playwright, a teacher, and a gifted actor. He was a fierce protector of the highest ideals of virtue and he was in search of understanding the universe and the purpose of our lives within it. Michael had an eye for raw talent and nurtured that in others. He demanded respect. He directed others to be true to yourself and do what you love. 

An artist, a seeker of meaning, a father. A fine intellectual instrument wielded bluntly. A lover of women, whiskey and wine. Michael loved his family deeply and had his own way of showing it. 

He is survived by seven of his eight children from three marriages: Jesse and wife Mary, Sarah and husband Scott, Joe and wife Angela, Matthew and wife Bethany, Noah and wife Ivette, Esther, and Justina and husband Chris. His son Gabriel passed away in 2006. Michael is also survived by his seven grandchildren, Madelyn, Jacob, Coltrane, Gabriella, Grace, Sophia, and William, and his younger brother David and wife Maureen. Part of his passion, creative drive, and confidence lives on in all of us. Michael leaves a phenomenal legacy of people who make the world brighter. May he rest in peace. Memorial donations may be made to Kosair Charities, Helping Children in Need. Cemetery Details Cave Hill 701 Baxter Avenue Louisville, KY