Norma J. Mihalak
January 25, 1942 – November 20, 2018
Norma Jean Mihalak, 76, died at the Avenue at Aurora on November 20, 2018. Mrs. Mihalak was born January 25, 1942 in Preston, Minnesota, the daughter of earl and Alice Liester. She moved with her family to Colorado Springs at the age of 13 and graduated from Wasson High School in 1960. She was proud of the fact that in her teen years, she climbed Pike’s Peak and was the only girl in the group to make it to the top, later telling others “it’s only a hard 12 hour uphill hike, folks”. Mrs. Mihalak worked summers and during the school year as a waitress to attend Augustana Lutheran College in Sioux Falls, S. Dakota. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree in 1964. After graduation she and a girlfriend took their summer’s wages and went to Europe for a year, traveling via Eurail passes, hitch-hiking and hosteling, while trying to live on $2.00 a day. Mrs. Mihalak claimed that the experience was worth more than four years of college. Upon her return she met her husband, Robert, who was stationed in Colorado Springs in the Air Force. After a brief courtship, they were married November 27th, 1965 and moved to Cleveland. They lived in what is now Slavic Village, before moving to Aurora. During that time Mrs. Mihalak was employed by the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation as a Special Education teacher. After moving to Aurora, Mrs. Mihalak worked for a few years as a Welcome Wagon hostess and then assumed the position of the co-founder and administrator/teacher of Hope Lutheran Nursery School. She was responsible for increasing enrollment from 7 to 35 children for the school’s second year. Because her oldest daughter required custodial care, Mrs. Mihalak then devoted her life to her family as a mother and homemaker. In her later years, she found fulfillment in computer activities. She was a self-taught web page designer and graphic artist. Her personal web site (www.jammie.net) was rated by the Cleveland Plain Dealer one of the best in northeast Ohio. Among other local websites is one made for Hope Lutheran Church (www.hopeaurora.org), of which she was a charter member and one for Chamberlain’s Spa and Salon (www.chamberlainshair.com) Mrs. Mihalak was also active as a member of the Committee for Human Rights for Independence of Portage County and as a member of the Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome Foundation. Mrs. Mihalak is survived by husband Robert, daughter Sarah (Dave) Wilson and son Patrick Mihalak. Surviving also are grandchildren: Cody Mihalak, Austin Wilson and Justin Wilson. She also leaves her brother Neil (Janet) Liester and sister Linda (Jim) Godwin. Mrs. Mihalak was preceded in death by her daughter Jennifer Mihalak, who died at age 33 from complications of Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. Mrs. Mihalak’s family will receive friends on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at the Hope Lutheran Church, 456 S. Chillicothe Rd. Aurora, from 10:00am until the 11:00am Memorial Service, officiated by Pastor Powell Woods. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made for much needed research to: Smith-Lemli-Opitz Foundation, C/O Gretchen Noah, 1710 South 8th Street, Fargo, N. Dakota, 58103. Her family would like to thank the staff of the Avenue of Aurora and the staff of Serenity Hospice for their kind and compassionate care given to Mrs. Mihalak. Condolences and memories may be shared at wood-kortright-borkoski.com.
- Visitation Saturday, December 8, 2018
- Memorial Service Saturday, December 8, 2018
Norma J. Mihalak
January 3, 2019
I’m the girlfriend Norma went with to Europe. It was an absolutely fabulous experience. She’s right; it was comparable to a second college education Thanks to her diary and her sister’s making that diary, postcards and various memorabilia into a scrapbook, I have a wonderful detailed account of that trip. Norma was a funny, intelligent, a little onery, and delightful companion as we hitchhiked around Europe, the British Isles, Greece, etc. What a memorable experience with a memorable friend. We never saw each other after that trip, but we kept in touch. What a loss to her family and all who knew her. My prayers and sympathies to Bob and her children.
November 29, 2018
There are so many memories I have of my mother. Like riding our bikes around the community. Going to Hienens with bottles to return. Also watching TV shows like Mash and she loved this golden girls. My best memory though will always be that she was always there for me. I love you Mom. Thanks for everything.