Gene Mikolai, 88, husband of Lee (Loyola Knopik) of Blue Earth, MN, passed away on April 4, 2014 at United Hospital in Blue Earth. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on April 9, 2014 at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth. Gene was buried at Calvary Cemetery, Blue Earth, with full military honors, having served from 1943-1946 in the US Navy onboard the USS Saratoga.
Gene married Marvis Erickson of Blue Earth on February 16, 1957. Together they raised six children on the farm until her death in 1969.
On August 6, 1983, Gene was united in marriage to Lee (Loyola) Knopik, formerly of Belfield, ND, at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Blue Earth. Together they had one son and continued to live on the Blue Earth farm raising hogs and later, sheep. He had a love of animals and held a strong stewardship of the land.
Gene was an active member in the VFW, the Knights of Columbus, and the American Legion where he served as past Commander and participated in the Honor Guard. He was a staunch Republican and active in local politics. Gene was a devout Catholic and long-time member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, where he also served as President of the School board. Gene was a Blue Earth Township board member. He was also actively involved as a member in the Pork Producers Association of Faribault County, MN.
He is survived by his wife, Lee of Blue Earth, son, Joe of Columbia, SC, daughters Teri Shirley of Chula Vista, CA, Gina Zierke of Blue Earth, Maria (Roy) Tuff of Punta Gorda, FL, Judi Mikolai (Jon Ridge) of New Brighton, MN, Pat Riester of Rochester, plus ten grandchildren and one sister, Evelyn of Minneapolis
He was preceded in death by first wife, Marvis, his son, Mitch and nine brothers and sisters
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com