The author and illustrator Michelle Ingraham was born January 11, 1968 growing up by a lake nestled amidst the rolling hills of a rural NY town named Smyrna. She was the youngest of four children and the only daughter. Michelle developed an early interest in illustrating, writing and playing classical music on the piano. At age fourteen, Michelle published her first written work in Horse Of Course, a horsemen’s periodical for children. At age eighteen, she illustrated a children’s story that her father published titled “Millard”.
Weeks before her passing, Michelle had finished writing another story book, “Willy Of The Valley”, and was in the process of completing the illustrations.
Michelle was an accomplished illustrator of cards for all occasions and holidays and was well known for sending out cards of her own individual creations to friends and family.
Michelle’s vocational interests revolved around equine studies and a love of horses. She nurtured and raised a pre-weaned foal named “Darlin”, who grew up to be a big part of the family. A little over one year prior to her fatal incident, involving a spirited mare, Michelle happily acquired a job helping to groom and prepare draft horses for the popular stagecoach rides at the Gate’s Hill Homestead. At the age of nineteen on the day of her death August 19, 1987 at the Altamont Fair in Albany NY, Michelle was awarded four first-place ribbons while showing horses.
Adapted from an obituary in the Mid-York Weekly, August 1987