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Edward James Mikel, Sr.

July 7, 1928 November 24, 2019
Edward James Mikel, Sr.
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Obituary for Edward James Mikel, Sr.

EDWARD JAMES MIKEL, SR., joined his beloved wife Florence in heaven on November 24, 2019. ‘Chief Ed’ served his country and community throughout his 91 years as a Navy sailor and Chief of the Forest View Fire Department. The roles he will be most remembered for are as loving husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa. His family will dearly miss his regular Sunday phone calls.

Ed was his happiest when kids and grandkids gathered together for meals, most notably at his favorite restaurant Olive Garden. He always had a camera in hand to snap group family photos. As a beaming-proud grandpa, he almost exclusively wore polo shirts and baseball caps emblazoned with logos from his grandkids’alma maters and workplaces. Ed was also a pro mechanic, baseball fan, and garage sale enthusiast.

Edward was born July 7, 1928, the second oldest of five siblings. He enlisted in the Navy at age 17. On his return, he got in touch with a pretty young woman he had met at a church dance a couple years prior. Florence and Ed were married on August 7, 1948 and enjoyed 67 happy years of marriage together.

Edward joined the Forest View Fire Department in 1955, where he quickly earned the respect of his fellow fireman by being an excellent firehouse cook. Edward and Florence had two sons, Edward Junior and Rick. The Mikels took many cross-country trips together in the family RV, frequenting so many national parks that they earned free entry for life. These trips involved camping, fishing, deer hunting, and sometimes mishaps. Fortunately, Ed’s cool head helped them get out of any pickle.

After serving many years as a firefighter with Forest View Fire Department, he was appointed to Chief. Thanks to Ed, Forest View was one of the first departments in Illinois to allow women to join as volunteer firefighters. When asked why he spread-headed this change, his response was distinctly matter-of-fact. “I thought if they could do the job, they should be able to.” The Mikel family is ever grateful for his forward thinking. The department’s first woman married a fellow Forest View firefighter — Rick, Ed’s son.

When Ed retired from the fire department in 1983, he was so well-liked that members of the community pressed him to run for mayor. Not one for politics, Ed turned his attention to enjoying retirement with Florence. There were many outings and get-togethers with their lively circle of friends. Their favorite travel destination was Hawaii, which they visited seven times.

Ed and Florence reveled in becoming grandparents. They spent every spare moment they could with their five granddaughters. They loved to have all five girls over for weekend-long sleepovers and took the entire crew on frequent excursions to Brookfield Zoo. Ed even bought an SUV (at a garage sale, naturally) so they could take all the grandkids on trips.

Ed and Florence split their time between Chicago and Florida, where they eventually moved full-time. They made friends easily. Ed could strike up a conversation with anyone and was always willing to help neighbors with handy work. As the pace of life slowed down, they still enjoyed traveling together, albeit shorter distances. They rarely missed Sunday church and lunch. You could usually find Ed and Florence at the Greenacres community pool, which they visited almost daily. Ed was the pool’s unofficial patriarch. He knew everyone and always asked after their families.

Ed spent the last few of his 91 years in Arizona, where he enjoyed time with family. He was preceded in death by his wife Florence and son Edward Junior. He is survived by his son Rick; daughters-in-law Gayle and Sandee; five grandchildren Amy, Danielle, Betsy, Ashley, and Stephanie; and seven great-grandchildren.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

8

Dec

1:00 PM 12/8/2019 1:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 12/8/2019 4:00:00 PM
Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd. Willow Springs

8999 South Archer Avenue
Willow Springs, IL 60480

Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd. Willow Springs
8999 South Archer Avenue Willow Springs 60480 IL
United States

Prayer Service

Sunday

8

Dec

3:15 PM 12/8/2019 3:15:00 PM
Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd. Willow Springs

8999 South Archer Avenue
Willow Springs, IL 60480

Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd. Willow Springs
8999 South Archer Avenue Willow Springs 60480 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Queen of Heaven Cemetery Final Resting Place

1400 South Wolf Road
Hillside, IL 60126

1400 South Wolf Road Hillside 60126 IL
United States
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