Master Michael J. Joseph, 6, was born in Detroit, Michigan on 11 May 1907, the son of Lebanese immigrants Peter Joseph and Catherine Rizk.
Michael, his mother and sister Mary Anna boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as third class passengers
On the night of the sinking Michael became separated from his mother and younger sister, who ended up in collapsible C. Michael was bundled into collapsible D (1). After the sinking Michael saw a great number of icebergs in the water, a scene that haunted him for the rest of his life. He was reunited with his mother on the Carpathia.
In the years after the disaster Michael lost both his parents so he went to live with an uncle.
Michael was dubbed 'Ty' by the nuns at his school who had learned of his close escape. He worked as a delivery boy for a soft drinks company for many years, married and raised a family.
Michael 'Ty' Joseph never liked to discuss the Titanic disaster, but would do so occasionally to his grandson Brian who, coincidentally, employed survivor Winifred Quick Van Tongerloo's daughter Jeanette Van Tongerloo Happel in his funeral director business.
Michael Joseph lived for the rest of his life in Detroit, Michigan. He died on 18 May 1991. On his gravestone is a small painting of the Titanic.
Phillip Gowan, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
References and SourcesJudith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4
Titanic Commutator, 1991, No. 2, obituary