Michalek, Maurice E. “Mike” (1924-2012)

Maurice “Mike” Michalek, 87, of Argyle, MN, died on Wednesday morning, February 22, 2012 at North Valley Health Center in Warren, MN.

Maurice was born on August 8, 1924 in Manvel, ND, the son of Peter and Anne Mary (Kyncl) Michalek. He attended Warren High School until he joined the Army Air Corps on December 8, 1942. Mike was a tail gunner on a B-17G with the 8th Air Force 390th Division stationed in England. On his 24th mission over Germany on March 8, 1944, his plane, Heavenly Body, was shot down during the first daylight bombing of Berlin. He was captured and imprisoned for 15 months. He was transferred to several Nazi prison camps during that time. In May of 1945, Russian troops liberated his camp at Stalag Luft 1. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Cross and Air Medal with 5 clusters.

On August 2, 1945, he married his high school sweetheart Phyllis Ruth (Bunny) Ovask in Warren. They moved to Poulsbo, WA in 1950 where he worked at the Naval Undersea Weapons Engineering Station at both Keyport and Bangor, WA for 26 years. His work with torpedoes took him to missile testing grounds from Hawaii to Florida. He was awarded monetarily by the Navy for many beneficial suggestions he submitted for the torpedoes he improved during his career. He retired in 1976.

Bunny died in 1999 after 54 years of marriage to Mike. On May 1, 2003, Mike married Carol (Ethier) Donarski of Argyle, MN. They found each other at a time that was right for each of them. Mike and Carol traveled between Carol’s home in Argyle and Mike’s home in Poulsbo several times a year. They enjoyed trips to Alaska, Canada and Branson, Missouri.

Left to mourn his passing are his wife, Carol of Argyle, MN; two daughters, Nancy Ann (Charles) Trauth and Merrie Elizabeth (Art) Edralin.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis; brothers, Pete, John and Albert and sister, Lillian Novak.

[Interred Calvary Catholic cemetery]

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky