Holly Michelle Deeley Wilhite, 52 of Florence, passed away unexpectedly in an accident on June 9, 2023. Michelle was born on December 25, 1970, to the late Emil (Bud) and June Deeley in Louisville, KY. She graduated from Bullitt Central High School in 1988. Michelle earned her BA in Speech Communication from Northern Kentucky University in 1992 and earned an MA in Speech from Miami University in 1993. In 2003 she earned both an MA and PhD in Higher Education from University of Louisville.
Education was Michelle’s passion. She had been a fixture among part-time faculty members at NKU since 1994. In 2000, Michelle was named Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Gateway Community & Technical College. In 2003, she began teaching full-time as a Professor of Oral Communication.
Michelle was named Outstanding Young Alumnus by Northern Kentucky University in 2000. She was a two-time recipient of the Looney-Bennin Community College Teaching Award at the 2011 and 2013 Kentucky Communication Association conferences. She was also the recipient of the Michael and Susan Osborne Outstanding Community College Educator Award at the 2016 National Communication Association conference. She received other awards for her teaching at Gateway in addition to awards she received for her service as a speech coach.
Michelle was an active member of St. Paul Catholic Church and many other community organizations. She has been a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels since 1991.
Michelle was preceded in death by her parents: Bud and June Deeley and brothers Mark & Thomas Deeley. She is survived by her sons Mark Wilhite and Hunter Wilhite, fiancé Andrew Farris, brothers Brian (Pam) Deeley, Timothy (Amy) Deeley, Emil Deeley Jr, Ronald ( Angela) Deeley , Gregory ( Dee) Deeley and sisters Mary Ann Vance and Jeanie Quinn ( Steve) and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Visitation will be held on Friday, June 23, 2023 from 4pm to 8pm at Linnemann Funeral Homes, Burlington. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Saturday, June 24 at 10am at St. Paul Catholic Church, Florence. Michelle will be laid to rest privately, at Cave Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences can be left at www.LInnemannFuneralHomes.com
Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington 1940 Burlington Pike
BURLINGTON, KY 41005
St. Paul Catholic Church 7301 Dixie Hwy
Florence, KY 41042
Phone: (859) 371-8051
Cave Hill CemeteryAddress: LOUISVILLE, KY
Holly Michelle Deeley Wilhite
A life well lived
To all who loved her.
Family of Michelle
Wonderful Mother & Friend
the best communication teacher this immigrant child ever had. love you forever.
Incredible Educator and Person
One of the Great Instructor
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