Michael R. Mihalik (1944-2008)

One of the chapel's most loyal parishioners, Mike Mihalik, passed away yesterday. He was the balancing force to Guinan's, the guy who made everyone breathe a little easier when he was around. Mike was born at Butterfield Hospital in Cold Spring, N.Y. He is survived by his wife Sue and daughters Lisa, Jennifer, Krista. His ashes will be buried at St. Philip's Church next to the grave of his son Michael W., who died on July 27, 1997.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 23rd at St. Philip's.


Tim Donovan said…
About Mike,

When a man is measured questions need to be asked include; was he reliable, was he trustworthy, did he love his family and friends, was he helpful, fun and affable?

Truly Mike, you were this and more. To know you was to love you - and to be loved in return.

You helped me and my family in so many ways when getting started in Garrison. But more than anything you gave me confidence in my early days that everything will be hunkey-dorey.

Sue and family, please know you are all in our deepest thoughts and prayers.

The Donovan Family
Anonymous said…
May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.

Slainte Mike
Angelo said…
Mike was a good friend as well as a Father-In-Law. Will certainly miss Sunday visits as and all those little things he did to help.

Chin-Don Mike....
ColdSpringer47 said…
Mike was my only sibling and we were but three years apart, he the senior. Ours was a very complicated relationship with the full spectrum of emotions being displayed in various chapters of our lives. We both at times loved each other and yet sometimes wished the other would move to Montana. The death of our father in 1953 I believe was absolutely the most defining chapter in the evolution of our relationship, because as "men" we were very much in our formative years. That our truncated family did as well as it did is a tribute to our late mother Margaret Mihalik, one of the greatest women to ever grace this planet. I regret, as so many of our family members and friends do, that Mike and I couldn't have been consistently much closer. I can't explain that, even if it were appropriate to do so now, but I do not deny my share of the responsibility. Yet even in times of distance, I never lost the sense of what a very intelligent, capable, and genial man Mike was. His penetrating blue eyes, deep voice and stocky build contributed to the commanding presence that came from his heart. He touched many lives, including mine, in very big ways and his bravery and responsiveness saved another man's life. He taught me a lot and I know I should have thanked him more.

I believe that Mike is having the most wonderful talk with his son Michael now, perhaps better than any that happened in this life. And I will have a similar talk with both of them some day. And none of us will care one bit then that it didn't happen here.

My heart goes out to Sue, Lisa, Jennifer and Krista who will miss Mike every bit as much as they miss young Michael. Yet I know they are so very strong and will eventually thrive as a living legacy to the leader of the band.

Bob Mihalik
Sue Mihalik said…
About my husaband:
My man touched so many people in his short life. He is my best friend and is till with me and he will stay with me until he feels I am strong enough to be alone. I am truly touched that an Irish wake was held for him as this was one of his wishes that we had discussed so many times. He is now in heaven with our son Michael and I am sure they are saving a seat for me in the future. Thank you Wendy for the wonderful story of Old Mike in your wonderful book. He will live on forever in print and in the hearts of so many people who's lives he had touched in his short life. Love to you all. Thank you also for all your prayers. Our children and I truly appeciate them and hope you will continue to pray for us all.

Sue Mihalik
Anonymous said…
I'm not sure how I found this website this morning, but I suppose the Lord brought me here to find out that someone I loved dearly over the years is now gone. Just as my heart broke into a million pieces after hearing that a great love in my life Michael had passed tragically in 1997, I now am sitting here feeling the same loss all over again. My love and thoughts have and will always be with this family, who I loved with all I have, and will love forever more. Sue, you were like a second mother to me, and I love you dearly. You are going to have some welcoming committee up there! My love to all of you -- I know you are hurting very badly right now. I am so, so sorry. All my love forever.

Anonymous said…
In the book "Little Chapel on the River," Mike was describe like myself as being, "one of the regulars." Well, there was nothing regular about Mike, he was an outstanding husband, Father and to everyone he knew, a great friend. Our loss of the "Little Chapel," was and is a pain that runs deep in all the hearts of so many who called it second home. Mike is finally having a chance to catchup with his son, and telling all the tales that occured since his early departure, no doubt over a few beers. I saw yesterday at Guinans the "last bottle of Shaefer" that he had signed and dated, Mike Mihalik, Feb 2004. God bless you, we will never forget you....
Ed Preusser
Phalanx said…
Uncle Mike and my dad have been friends since primary school (which dad refers to as the beginning of time), so Uncle Mike was a fixture in my life. From him I learned many good life lessons, the most important of which include don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things, along with how hard work, elbow grease, and an occasional beer could fix, invent and improve anything...accept the kitchen wall, which is a structual necessity. It would take me days to recount all the fond memories I have of Uncle Mike, so I will wrap up with a poem...

Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away.

-J.F. Kinkel
Anonymous said…
Mike was a breed of his own. He was always laughing at work, and he always had a smile on his face. He will live fore ever in our minds and our hearts.
Anonymous said…
Mike was a great person to be around. He was always smiling and he was a pleasure to be with. He was a friendly person to the people he came into contact with at West Point. See you again someday Mike
Anonymous said…
Mike Mihalik. 1,000 watt smile. Killer dimples. Eyes bluer & more sparkly than Paul Newman's. A hot guy with a cool car. No wonder I was in love. I was about 7 or 8 at the time. Mike's parents and ours were good friends - his Dad was in our parents' wedding, and our Dad bought Mike his first bike after his father died. Mike was a very good friend of my sister Barbara, who had grown up with Mike, and others the same age in Cold Spring. What fun they all had together! I remember one particularly hot summer day - our parents were away, and the usual crowd had assembled at our house to hang out. What started as a flick of water from the kitchen faucet to someone's face, escalated to the sink sprayer, to the outside hose, and eventually to buckets of water being dumped on the unsuspecting from the roof of our 3 story house at 4 West St.! Mike was like a big brother to us, and as Tom, Betty & I got older, he also became a good friend to us all. We each have our own memories of Mike, and will cherish them over the years - until we meet again. God bless you Mike. I know you will be watching over Sue & your girls, and smiling down on us all.
Agnes Impellittiere
Anonymous said…
Dear Mike;
Words cannot describe how heart broken I have been all week after learning of your passing. We worked together for a long time at West Point and not once had a bad word between us. You taught me to laugh and take things as they come. I saw how strong you were when your son passed away. My life will never be the same, I will miss you coming in my office and most of all I will miss your booming voice and great presence.Thanks Sue for sharing him with me!
Always a friend-Buttercup!
Anonymous said…
My prayers go out to all the Mihalick's. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful man with us.

Mike and I shared the experience of losing a son. We only spoke of this once, it was undertsood that words were useless.

I am grateful for all the times at Guinan's where we shared a pint and a laugh. The bond Mike offered didn't require words.

May the grief you must be experiencing be eased in the knowledge that in Mike's brief time here on earth he helped many of us in many ways. He is loved.

Beth Montgomery Coursen
Anonymous said…
Krista, Jenny & Lisa.. I am so very sorry for your loss of your father.. and Mrs. Mihalik I am so very sorry for the loss of your soulmate.. I knew him a few short years compared to your many.. but he seemed like a good guy.. and a wonderful dad.. It's been some time since I have seen any of you.. but you are all in my prayers everyday...

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die...



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