Michael Petrick, former department of journalism chair, dies at 70


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File Photo/CM Life Photo Staff Michael Petrick, former CMU journalism professor and chairman of the journalism department poses for a photo with his plaque during the 2006 Journalism Hall of Fame banquet on Nov. 4. Petrick was a journalism professor from 1978 to 2000. He died at the age of 70 on Nov. 29 in his Mount Pleasant home.

Michael Petrick, former journalism professor and chairman of the journalism department at Central Michigan University, died at the age of 70 on Nov. 29 in his Mount Pleasant home.

Petrick was a journalism professor from 1978 to 2000. He taught at the School of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Maryland before coming to CMU.

Petrick was department chair at CMU when he retired in 2000.

John Hartman, professor of journalism, was a colleague of Petrick's from 1984 until 2000.

"Mike Petrick was a role model for me as a professor and as journalism professor. Mike always did things the right way," Hartman said. "He was also a very thoughtful man, and he had a great sense of humor. More often than not, he had a smile on his face."

Petrick was born on Sept. 6, 1942 in Antigo, Wisc., where he graduated from Antigo High School in 1961. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he received his master's degree in 1967. Petrick furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his PhD in journalism and political science in 1970.

He worked in journalism for a number of years after receiving his PhD. Petrick started out as a reporter for the Appleton (Wisc.) Post Cresent, and eventually became news editor at the Milwaukee South Times Star. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as copy editor for the Evening Star.

Petrick then began his teaching career.

Dirk Milliman, president of Milliman Communications and CMU alum, had Petrick as a professor for journalism law.

"He was tough and awesome. He made you learn your stuff, and he taught it right," Milliman said.

Milliman also had Petrick as an adviser during his time as chair.

"He was always willing to give you career advice, and he made sure I was on track to graduate," Milliman said. "He was an excellent role model to students."

The funeral mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday. at St. John Catholic Church-Antigo. The burial will take place at Queen of Peace Cemetery.

Visitation will be at the Bradley Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, a parish wake service will be held at the funeral home.

Petrick is survived by his cousin Barbara Loh of Medfield, Mass., and their children Peter and Christopher Loh and Laura Howland, a cousin John Petrick of San Jose, Calif., and their children John Michael Petrick and Janin Hutchinson, and other cousins and friends.


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