Robert J. Mihalko
September 23, 1936 – February 5, 2020
With loving memory, Robert (Bob) Mihalko passed away February 5, 2020 at the age of 83. Bob was surrounded by his family at his time of passing and will be forever missed as a loving husband, father and caring friend to many.
Bob was born on September 23, 1936 in Troy, New York to John and Mary Mihalko. He grew up with his two bothers and sister in upstate New York, and at the age of 15, moved with his family to Glendale, California. He has often recounted that the weeklong trip on Route 66 across the country with his family was one of his most memorable experiences.
Bob attended Glendale Hoover High School, and afterwards attended Glendale Community College, where he was the sports editor for the school newspaper was a manager for the school’s basketball team. During his college years, Bob was a member of the California Air National Guard. Bob attended the University of Southern California, where he joined the Beta Fraternity and received a degree in Industrial Engineering. He recounted that he felt he “was born a Trojan,” given that he grew up in Troy, New York!
After graduating from USC, he took a job as a surveyor for the City of Los Angeles, and kept in touch with his college fraternity brothers. One of his fraternity bothers encouraged him to be a hasher at one of the sororities, and there he met the love of his life Johanna (Joey) Mengel.
They married in December of 1964, and soon moved to Newport Beach, California. There they had two children, Rob and Amy. Bob worked in computer sales, selling some of the first large-scale computer systems from IBM, and later worked for 3M, selling hospital food heating systems. Bob was an active parent, serving as a coach to his children’s teams (winning the Harbor Area Baseball league championship one year), leading athletic booster clubs and supporting numerous other youth organizations. Bob especially cherished his summer family trips, where the family would load up their Volkswagen “pop-top” camper, and head to various state and national parks across the western United States.
Bob’s other passion was golf. He took up the sport as a youth in New York, with some borrowed clubs and any open course he could find. He played competitive amateur golf for many years, and was a regular at the annual California State Amateur tournament in Monterey, California. One year he won the tournament in an amazing finish when he pulled a back muscle early in the round, but thanks to his daughter’s insistence on getting a golf cart (she was a “caddy” for him that day), he was able to win the final match play round. Bob also an active member of the Los Angels Open organizing committee where he volunteered at the tournament for almost 40 years. One of his highlights was announcing players on the first tee, which included some of the greats like Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods. Bob also volunteered for the Toshiba Senior Classic golf tournament (now the Hoag Classic) for a number of years.
Later in life, Bob changed careers to financial planning, and helped many people with their insurance and financial planning needs. Bob was also very active with his Catholic faith and giving back to the community. For many years he served as volunteer for the Sunday Masses at Fairview State Hospital.
Bob is preceded in death by his brother Richard Mihalko, and is survived by his wife, Joey Mihalko; son, Rob Mihalko; daughter, Amy Wolfe; sister, Carolyn Croteau; brother, Jack Mihalko, and 4 grandchildren.
- Catholic Funeral Service Thursday, February 13, 2020
- Reception Following Funeral Service Thursday, February 13, 2020
- Graveside Service to Follow Thursday, February 13, 2020
Robert J. Mihalko
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February 12, 2020
I spent countless hours at the Mihalko household throughout my schooling years with Rob and Amy. Mr and Mrs Mihalko were a staple of my youth, and their home was very much like a second home to me. I can remember very well all the fun times spent with Mr Mihalko, who was, as I fondly recall, always smiling. In fact, I would say his welcoming and genuine smile was one of my fondest memories of the years Rob and I spent together at his house. Mr Mihalko was also kind and tolerant of my sometimes overenergized and boisterous running around the house and backyard doing whatever high school boys did in those days. I will miss Mr Mihalko greatly, but I will always remember him fondly, as a wonderful part of my younger, formative years and simply from all the great times we had in the Mihalko home. Love to the Mihalko Family, Tom.
February 11, 2020
I have very fond memories of Mr. Mihalko coaching our 6th grade baseball team. We won the championship. That was remarkable enough, but what really matters is his having modeled passionate dedication to the cause coupled with calm, organized leadership. My sincere condolences to your family.