Michael James Mika, age 75, of Independence, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at home with his loving wife, Mary Mika, by his side.
Mike was born March 15, 1945, in Minneapolis, the son of John (Jack) and Ruth (Bechtle) Mika. Mike graduated from Benilde St. Margarets High School in 1963, and attended the University of St. Thomas, where he was enrolled in US Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) program.
Mike was an entrepreneur at heart, and ran and operated several successful businesses, including Custom Products and Services in Minneapolis.
He was active in the Holy Rosary Parish, and was one of the founders of the Minneapolis Coalition for the Homeless, where he spent many nights in the school basement supervising and feeding the less fortunate.
He was also a board member of the Lake Street Council. Mike was involved in politics, and worked on such campaigns as Walter Judd, Zollie Green, and Arne Carlson.
Mike was united in marriage to Mary Mika (Hughes), Oct. 1, 1966, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Minneapolis.
Mike was a hard-working, generous, kindhearted man. His hard work and generosity touched the lives of family, friends, and strangers alike. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend to many.
Mike loved to tell a good story and treasured his time sharing his stories with family and friends. Mike was a skilled orator and was the voice of the Mika family history, an oral history that helped shape the lives of his children.
Mike loved a great polka band, classic cars, live auctions, and a good joke. He was a huge fan of Minnesota high school, college, and professional sports teams, particularly the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings. Mike shared his time with family and friends at various sports venues, the Minnesota State Fair, and local restaurants, where he always picked up the tab.
Mike’s favorite place on Earth was to be at home with family on the Mika farm, where he was blessed to pass peacefully, in his sleep.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ruth Mika; brother, Don (Jeanne); and sister, Joan.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Mary; children, John (Jeanette), Michelle (John), James (Katie), and Catherine; grandchildren, Jack and Joe Blanchard, Dylan and Kari Mika, Alex, Henry, and Arthur Mika; nieces, Sister Debra Mika of the Sinsinawa Dominicans of Dubuque, Joaneva Heidleburger; nephews, Ted Mika, and John Heidleburger.
A Mass of Christian burial observing COVID restrictions took place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30 at the Church of St. Maximilian Kolbe (St. Peter Campus) in Delano.
Memorials may be sent to the Sinsinawa Dominicans and Hospice of Dubuque.
Arrangements were by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.