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2460 East County Road E
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Phone: (651) 429-6172
Fax:
Victor Mikulich

Victor Ernest Mikulich

Tuesday, May 10th, 1927 - Thursday, March 4th, 2021
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Obituary

Victor “Vic” Ernest Mikulich, 93, formerly of White Bear Lake, passed away Thursday, March 4, 2021.

He was 100 percent Croatian and spent his life fully embracing all aspects of his heritage.

Born in the mining location of Puritan, Michigan, on May 10, 1927, he was a first-generation American who went on to be a first-generation college graduate, an electrical engineer, and a man who constantly showed love to his big family and many close friends. He grew up in small mining towns of the Upper Peninsula, and always praised the hard workers that made up their immigrant community.

Vic was one of 13 children born to Anton and Sofia, and youngest of the five who grew to adulthood. His beloved siblings, Walter, Mary, Sophie, and Rudy, had a substantial influence on his life. Wanting to be like his older siblings, Vic started school at age 4, and excelled with an intelligence that notably shined through his 90s. He constantly referenced the emphasis his parents placed on education, and went on to be a proud graduate of Michigan Tech.

Like his intelligence, Vic’s mischievousness and humor was striking. As a teenager, he was known as “Punk” and he famously managed to pass his driver’s test — despite crashing into the police station in a car with failing brakes. Later in his life, the stories of his many youthful escapades endlessly entertained his family and will go down as Mikulich folklore.

After graduating from Bessemer High School at 17, he moved to Detroit for a position at a tool and die shop, working 12-hour days as a skilled laborer during World War II. The job funded his college education, and after graduating from Michigan Tech in 1949 with an electrical engineering degree, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Because of his intelligence, he was sent to work at the Signal Corp Engineering Laboratory in White Sands, New Mexico from 1950-52.

During high school, Vic went to visit a friend on the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota and had a blind date with Marilyn Merrill. They stayed in touch writing letters after his return to Michigan, during the war, and when he moved to California after the war. Vic and Marilyn were married on Aug. 14, 1954 in her hometown of Ely, Minnesota.

After welcoming their daughter Johanna (Jean), they moved to White Bear Lake, and had three more daughters: Therese, Mary Rose, and Monica. Vic and Marilyn became involved members of the community, especially at St. Pius X Parish, and with the Knights of Columbus. They also spent many years in a Catholic Study Club, whose members all became lifelong friends.

Vic always remarked that he loved going to work every day, and he thrived in his career as a Professional Electrical Engineer. He worked for 3M, Hunt Electric, and Ellerbe Architects, where he was Head of the Electrical Engineering Department. He often designed the electrical systems for schools, hospitals and medical buildings, including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. He was so proud of his work designing the lighting for the University of Notre Dame’s library and its famed “Touchdown Jesus” mural, that he hung a framed photo of the mural in the Mikulich family living room. He was praised by coworkers throughout his career and beloved by younger engineers whom he mentored.

After retirement, he enjoyed spending time with his 13 grandchildren and later, his seven great-grandsons. Two years after Marilyn’s death in 1998, Vic reacquainted with his high school classmate, Margaret, and they were married for 18 years.

He enjoyed traveling, especially to Arizona, Alaska, and made numerous trips to visit relatives in Croatia and Slovenia. Perhaps his favorite destination was the family cabin outside of Ely, Minnesota; he loved to sit on the porch and listen to the leaves in the breeze, and was enamored with the lake view.

From humble beginnings, Vic always appreciated both hard work and the simple things in life: a game of cribbage, a glass or two of Zinfandel, and listening to classical music. Even more importantly, his favorite foods: round steak and polenta, sarma, pasties, and the all-important walnut povitica — don’t forget the brandy! He was proud of his heritage and enjoyed numerous activities throughout his life with the Croatian Cultural Society, even attending Croatian language classes while in his 90s.

Vic was a man of strong faith and moral character. He spent his life committed to his wife, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandsons. Beyond his immediate family, he also had a great influence on, and was dearly loved by, his many nieces and nephews. He will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity, words of wisdom, captivating storytelling, and clever sense of humor.

We will miss him dearly.

----

Preceded in death by his parents, Anton and Sofia, 12 siblings, and wife Marilyn.

Survived by four daughters, Johanna (Mike) Peters, Therese (Rolley) Hull, Mary Rose (Dave) Edholm, Monica (Rick) Schaber; thirteen grandchildren, Michael (Erin) Peters, Jackie (Edwin) Sanchez, Carly Peters; Angela Hull, Maria (Patrick) Raines; Luke Edholm, Anthony (Deseree) Edholm, Rosa (Sungjun Kim) Edholm, David (Chandra) Edholm, AnnaMaria Edholm, Greta Edholm; Marissa (Kyle) Shannon, Anna Schaber; and 7 great-grandsons, Jackson, Cameron, Landon; Jacob, Andrew; Hunter; Leo.

Visitation will be held from 10-11am on Friday March 12 at Honsa Family Funeral Home 2460 E County Rd E, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.

Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:30am at St. Pius X Catholic Church 3878 Highland Ave, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the family to be donated to Vic‘s favorite charities

Live streaming Mass at https://churchofstpiusx.org/spxlive .
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, March 12th, 2021 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    When
    Friday, March 12th, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am
    Location
    Honsa Family Funeral Home
    Address
    2460 East County Road E
    WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minnesota 55110
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Friday, March 12th, 2021 | 11:30am
    When
    Friday, March 12th, 2021 11:30am
    Location
    St. Pius X Catholic Church
    Address
    3878 Highland Avenue
    WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minnesota 55110
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Father Joseph Bambenek
  • Interment

    Location
    Epiphany Cemetery
    Address
    Address Not Available
    Coon Rapids

Condolences

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Bill Hopkins

Posted at 12:32pm
I met him once, when we had lunch and discussed our family ties. Marilyn Merrill was my second cousin whom I never met. Vic's grandaughter Rosa Edhom, was doing family tree work when we happened upon each other onilne though our "Krupp" connections. Via and second wife (Marjorie), met me for lunch around 2008. I was so impressed with him. A Yooper, an Iron Ranger, and he made it well beyond his humble roots to stunning success...bot with his work and his family.
I add a picture of Marilyn Merrill's Aunt Kate (Krupp) Hopkins with her daughter Catherine Hopkins (Marilyn's cousin and my Aunt "Cac") My condolences to the four daughters and their extended family in the loss of this grreat man!
 
ME

Mary Edholm Posted at 01:20pm

Thank you so much Bill. I'm glad you were able to meet him and have kept the family connection with Rosa. My dad certainly lived a full and rich life, and we will cherish the time we spent with him. Mary Rose

Jim Giefer

Posted at 08:50am
I was one of the young engineer's that Vic mentored. Thank you Vic and rest in peace. Jim Giefer
 
ME

Mary Edholm Posted at 10:18pm

Thank you, Jim. I remember often hearing your name from many years ago. I know my dad thought very highly of you. Mary Rose
HS

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 05:54pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
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Flowers were purchased and a memorial tree planted for the family of Victor Mikulich.

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Bob and Lori Schnese

Posted at 08:47am
In loving memory. . Sending thoughts and prayers that God grants peace to all who shared and loved Vics earthly presence.
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Bob and Lori Schnese purchased flowers for the family of Victor Mikulich.

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