Noel J. Mickelson

John Amos and Noel J. Mickelson: A Legacy of Love, Art, and Resilience


John Amos, a revered figure in American television and film, has been embroiled in a family controversy involving allegations of neglect. Meanwhile, his late ex-wife, Noel J. Mickelson, left behind a legacy marked by her artistic talent and unwavering strength. This article delves into the life and legacy of John Amos and Noel J. Mickelson, exploring their enduring love, the challenges they faced, and the ongoing disputes within their family.

Early Life and Background

Noel J. Mickelson hailed from Estherville, Iowa, a quaint city in Emmet County. Growing up in this serene Midwestern setting, Noel cherished the simple pleasures of life. Though details of her upbringing remain veiled in mystery, it is known that she pursued higher education at Colorado State University, where she would meet John Amos, a connection that would shape both of their lives significantly.

Love Amidst Adversity

Noel and John Amos first crossed paths during their college years at Colorado State University. John was an active member of the Colorado State Rams football team, while Noel’s field of study remains undisclosed. Despite societal disapproval due to racial disparities—Amos being a Black American man and Mickelson a White woman—their bond blossomed into a relationship. They faced significant challenges during an era marked by racial tensions in America, yet their love endured.

In early 1965, defying societal norms and legal obstacles, Noel and John married. At that time, interracial marriages were prohibited in about 16 states across the United States. It is likely they sought out a state where their union would be legally recognized. Their wedding, though not widely publicized, was a symbol of love conquering all, and their story became a beacon of hope for many.

A Family Legacy

Noel and John Amos had two children: Shannon Amos and Kelly Christopher Amos, fondly called K.C. Amos. Shannon, born on August 5, 1966, speaks fondly of her upbringing filled with love and care from her parents. She has made a name for herself in the fields of healing arts, wellness, and travel, organizing global wellness retreats. K.C. Amos, inspired by his father’s career, ventured into acting, writing, producing, and editing, with notable works such as “Tamales and Gumbo” (2015) and “Huntsville” (2016).

Challenges and Triumphs

The couple’s marriage faced significant societal and legal challenges due to the racial prejudices of the time. One particularly traumatic event occurred while traveling cross-country. Stopping for gas in Arizona, they were confronted by a white man with a loaded shotgun who hurled racist remarks at Amos and their daughter. This incident underscored the pervasive racism they faced and was a pivotal moment for the family, highlighting the harsh realities of American society.

Despite these challenges, John Amos’s career began to take off in the mid-1970s. He gained widespread fame for his role as James Evans, Sr. in the popular sitcom “Good Times.” Throughout his journey in the spotlight, Noel remained a steadfast support, embodying strength and resilience.

Divorce and Life Beyond

After nearly a decade of marriage, Noel and John Amos divorced in 1975. The reasons behind their separation remain private, but it was evident that their relationship had reached an impasse. Despite their divorce, they continued to co-parent their children with dedication and care.

Following their separation, Noel chose to maintain a low profile, leading a life focused on her passions. She was an accomplished artist and a skilled equestrian. According to her son, K.C. Amos, she was hailed as the ‘best endurance rider this side of the Mississippi,’ with her horse, Ondelay, becoming a symbol of her unwavering determination. Noel’s daughter, Shannon, also highlighted her mother’s achievements, noting that she was a world-ranked equestrian, an architect, and an environmentalist. Mickelson’s dedication to her craft and her feminist ideals left a lasting impact on her children and those around her.

Legacy and Passing

Noel J. Mickelson’s life extended far beyond her marriage to John Amos. She was a fiercely independent woman who excelled in her pursuits, leaving behind a legacy of artistry and resilience. Her estimated net worth of $8 million in 2024 is a testament to her success in various fields, including her career as an artist, craftswoman, and equestrian.

Tragically, Noel passed away in December 2016. In her final moments, she expressed regret over not being able to explore the world during her lifetime. Honoring her last wish, her daughter Shannon pledged to take her mother’s ashes on a global journey, commencing this poignant endeavor in January 2017.

A Life Remembered

Noel J. Mickelson’s story is one of enduring love, artistic achievement, and steadfast resilience in the face of societal challenges. From her early years in Iowa to her marriage with John Amos and beyond, she navigated life’s complexities with grace and determination. Her legacy lives on through her children and the countless lives she touched through her art and passion for equestrianism. Noel J. Mickelson remains a symbol of strength, embodying the belief that love and talent can transcend all boundaries.

The Controversy Surrounding John Amos

In recent years, John Amos, now 84, has been at the center of a family dispute involving allegations of neglect. These allegations were brought forth by his daughter, Shannon Amos, who has accused her brother, K.C. Amos, of not providing proper care for their father. Despite these claims, John Amos has consistently denied any neglect and has expressed his support for his son.

Through his longtime spokesperson, the actor told The Times that he is “feeling well and working diligently on various projects,” including a docuseries that he and his son are producing, as well as a music release. “I’d like to add that everywhere we go together, people refer to my son K.C. as my twin. I’m proud of him for who he is as a person: a caring, thoughtful human being who respects me and I him,” said the statement.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that an elder abuse report was generated on February 8, and that there was an “open and ongoing investigation” into the matter. Shannon Amos has alleged that her father’s health issues “have been downplayed despite multiple hospitalizations” under her brother’s care. She insists that her concerns are not about money or rivalry but about ensuring the safety of her father.

A Family in Turmoil

The Amos family’s turmoil became public last summer when Shannon Amos claimed on Instagram that John Amos was “a victim of elder abuse and financial exploitation” and that his life was “hanging by a thread.” John Amos has repeatedly denied these claims, stating that he was hospitalized at the time but was recovering after doctors successfully drained some fluid from his lower body.

Shannon Amos also alleged that her brother no longer had the authority to make medical decisions for their father. She issued a press release defending herself and speaking out against her brother as the Custer County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado continued to investigate allegations of elder abuse.

In response, K.C. Amos posted a TikTok of his father saying that before entering the hospital, he “had some ongoing issues” with his daughter who he felt “has taken advantage of me.” He added, “She’s the one that I would attribute my elderly abuse to.” However, a representative for Shannon Amos said that John Amos did not recall any of the statements he previously made regarding the issue.

Legal and Emotional Struggles

In July, K.C. Amos was arrested in New Jersey on suspicion of making “terroristic threats” against his sister amid their public dispute. Shannon Amos reported that her brother had threatened to kill her and raised concerns about “the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it would be carried out.”

The LAPD officials were looking into allegations of neglect regarding the care of the actor, and Shannon Amos’ claims that her brother wasn’t getting him proper care. Despite the ongoing legal battles and emotional struggles, John Amos has continued to stand by his son, asserting that the allegations are false and unmerited.

The Impact on John Amos’ Career

Despite the family drama, John Amos has continued to focus on his career and personal projects. He remains active in the entertainment industry, working on a docuseries and a music release with his son, K.C. Amos. The actor’s dedication to his craft and his family’s support has allowed him to navigate these challenging times with resilience.

John Amos’ legacy in Hollywood is marked by his groundbreaking roles in television and film. From his iconic portrayal of James Evans, Sr. in “Good Times” to his powerful performance in the seminal miniseries “Roots,” Amos has left an indelible mark on the industry. His contributions to the arts and his ability to overcome personal and professional obstacles serve as an inspiration to many.


The lives of John Amos and Noel J. Mickelson are a testament to resilience, love, and artistic achievement. Noel’s story of enduring love, artistic prowess, and strength continues to inspire, while John’s ongoing battle with family controversies and his commitment to his career highlight his perseverance. Despite the challenges they faced, both Noel and John have left legacies that transcend their personal struggles, embodying the belief that love and talent can overcome all obstacles.

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