Noel J. Mickelson: A Life of Passion and Perseverance

Noel J. Mickelson, an accomplished artist and equestrian, captured the public’s interest primarily due to her marriage to John Amos, the beloved actor known for his iconic role as James Evans, Sr. in the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.” Despite the challenges they faced, Noel and John’s story is one of love, resilience, and breaking societal norms. This article delves into Noel’s life, her relationship with John Amos, and her personal achievements.

Early Life and Background

Noel J. Mickelson was born in Estherville, Iowa, a small city in Emmet County. Details about her early life, including her birth date and family background, remain largely undisclosed. However, it is known that she grew up in the serene Midwestern setting, cherishing the simplicity of life that surrounded her. After high school, she pursued higher education at Colorado State University.

Meeting John Amos

Noel’s life took a significant turn when she met John Amos at Colorado State University. At the time, John was not involved in acting but was passionate about football, playing for the Colorado State Rams. Their romance blossomed during their college years, despite the societal disapproval due to their interracial relationship. Noel, a white woman, and John, a black man, faced criticism in an era marked by racial tensions in America. However, their love persevered.

Marriage and Family

Noel and John married in early 1965, a bold step considering the racial climate of the time. Interracial marriages were illegal in several states, but the couple’s love triumphed over societal and legal barriers. Their union produced two children: Shannon Amos and Kelly Christopher Amos, known as K.C. Amos.

Shannon, born on August 5, 1996, pursued a career in wellness and travel, creating ventures such as Sumanah Luxury Travel and Sumanah Soul Century Retreats. K.C. Amos followed in his father’s footsteps into the entertainment industry, becoming an actor, writer, producer, and editor with notable works including “Tamales and Gumbo” (2015) and “Mercy for Angels” (2015).

Challenges and Triumphs

Noel and John’s marriage was not without its challenges. In 1965, racial segregation laws were still prevalent in many states, and the couple often faced discrimination. A particularly harrowing incident occurred during a cross-country trip when they were subjected to racist remarks and threats. This experience underscored the harsh reality of racism in America.

Despite these adversities, Noel and John remained committed to each other and their family. John’s acting career took off in the mid-1970s, with his role in “Good Times” catapulting him to fame. Throughout his career, Noel was his steadfast support.

Divorce and Life After

After a decade of marriage, Noel and John divorced in 1975. The reasons for their separation remain private, but it is clear that their relationship had reached an impasse. Following their divorce, Noel chose to maintain a low profile. Information about her life post-divorce, including any subsequent relationships, remains scarce.

John Amos remarried in 1978 to actress Lillian Lehman, but their marriage was short-lived, ending in 1979. John did not have any children from this marriage, making Shannon and K.C. his only offspring.

Personal Achievements

Beyond her marriage to John Amos, Noel J. Mickelson was a woman of many talents and passions. She was an accomplished artist, craftswoman, and a world-ranked equestrian. Her son, K.C., once described her as the ‘best endurance rider this side of the Mississippi,’ highlighting her exceptional skills in horseback riding. Noel’s daughter Shannon also spoke of her mother’s achievements, noting that she was an architect, environmentalist, and feminist who defied traditional gender roles.

Legacy and Passing

Noel J. Mickelson passed away in December 2016. Her death, while surrounded by loved ones, left a void in the lives of her family and those who knew her. In her final moments, she expressed a regret of not being able to explore the world more during her lifetime. To honor her mother’s wish, Shannon embarked on a global journey with her ashes, starting in January 2017.


Noel J. Mickelson’s life was marked by passion, perseverance, and a quiet strength that saw her through numerous challenges. From her early days in Iowa to her time at Colorado State University, where she met John Amos, Noel’s journey was one of breaking barriers and defying societal norms. Her legacy lives on through her children, Shannon and K.C., and the indelible mark she left as an artist, equestrian, and independent woman. Despite the lack of extensive public records about her, Noel’s story is a testament to the enduring power of love and the pursuit of one’s passions.

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