Michael Ehringhaus Obituary, Death – After a two-year battle with cancer, Michael Erskine Ehringhaus, Ph.D., died on April 30 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Portland, Maine. Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2020, and his health deteriorated swiftly after repeated strokes in early 2023.
Michael was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 11, 1946. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1971. Michael began his teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse on Ocracoke Island with his ex-wife, Ann Ehringhaus. Michael earned a master’s degree in education with honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He continued his studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education after finishing a fellowship, where he met Carolyn, who subsequently became his wife. He and Carolyn taught in a Maori community in New Zealand after getting a Certificate of Advanced Study in 1977. The couple subsequently relocated to Alaska, where they focused on building adult basic education programs in the state’s interior.
Michael and Carolyn departed Alaska in 1986 to pursue doctoral studies at Syracuse University. Michael and Carolyn had their first and only child, Justin, in 1993 while working for Educational Testing Services in New Jersey. Michael and his family later relocated to Portland, where he commuted to Measured Progress in New Hampshire until his retirement in 2010. Michael’s quick wit and cheery personality won him friends and family alike. He was a vibrant individual who will be remembered. He spent hours online viewing live concerts in his final months because seeing live music was no longer a possibility. Michael, an accomplished photographer, has spent the preceding five years honing photographs he captured during his more active years.
Carroll Niles, Michael’s sister, died before him. Carolyn Odell, his son Justin, the pets Nukka, Kumi, and Kiera, and his brother Charles Odell of North Carolina survive him. He was laid to rest in Limington’s Cedar Brooks Cemetery. The family wishes to thank the Portland Fire Department for their assistance with lifts, as well as the Dempsey Center for their cancer support programs. We are especially grateful to Hospice of Southern Maine (and its Gosnell Memorial Hospice House) for providing Dad with compassionate care in his final weeks. Please send a donation to the two charities listed below in lieu of flowers.