Eastman, Michael James

Eastman, Michael James

October 23, 1948 – July 26, 2016
Age 67 of Minneapolis, passed away surrounded by family on July 26, 2016. Michael was born October 23, 1948 in Sterling, Colorado. A 1966 graduate of Fort Morgan High School, Michael earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in a combined social work, psychology and special education program. He met his husband, Christopher L. N. Watson, while in graduate school. Michael and Christopher were set to celebrate their 40th anniversary on November 6. They were officially married on August 11, 2013. They lived in Ann Arbor, MI, Sacramento and Oakland, CA and Minneapolis. Michael is remembered for his quick and mischievous wit, compassion for children and animals and his generosity. One of his greatest joys was giving gifts to family and friends. A self-taught pianist, he attended the University of Michigan School of Music with the initial intention of becoming a concert pianist. His beautiful grand piano was his prized possession. Michael held a position in early childhood special education for the Minnesota Department of Education. He was instrumental in creating the Center for Inclusive Child Care at Concordia University and initiated a feasibility study for infant mental health for the State, which was one of the catalysts in bringing attention to the issues of infant and early childhood mental health. Michael was preceded in death by his biological father Max Morris, brother Charles, mother Harriet (Tanny) and father John Eastman. He will be greatly missed by his loving husband Christopher, his sisters Maxann (Tom) Hulse, Elizabeth (Greg) Wagers, and Patty Green, his aunt Dorothy Minister, nephews, nieces and cousins. A remembrance and gathering has been held. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Center for Inclusive Child Care, Concordia University, College of Education, 1282 Concordia Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104,inclusivechildcare.org (Published in the Star Tribune on July 30, 2016)