School 25

James E. Mikula

January 23, 1947 ~ August 10, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old


James Edward Mikula, 76, of Ligonier, infinitely loved and forever cherished passed from this life August 10, 2023. He was born January 23, 1947, in Uniontown, a son of the late Mathew J. and Helen J. (Bealko) Mikula. Jim graduated from St. Vincent College, Latrobe with a bachelor’s degree and obtained his masters from Penn State University. Jim started his career teaching English at Greater Latrobe High School, where he directed and choreographed the school’s musicals and theater productions. With his directing, creativity, and sense of humor, he inspired countless generations of theater lovers. He was an inspiration to so many students over the years while teaching and working in community theater. While teaching, he performed and choreographed summer stock productions as well. Retiring after 30 years, he devoted his time to his many passions, including performing, directing, and choreographing local theater in the area. He managed several Farmers’ Markets in the area, most recently, Latrobe Farmers’ Market. Jim was a mainstay at local craft fairs, demonstrating his quilting talent. He was a master quilter, winning numerous awards and even had quilts published in a quilting book. He was a regular participant at Twin Lakes Craft Show. Besides quilting he loved crocheting rugs using recycled materials. He was also a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Ligonier. Jim was devoted to his family and many friends he had made over the years with his infectious personality, sense of humor, and love of life. With his passing, a bright light has been extinguished in many hearts, but his vibrant memory will live on. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his spouse, Dennis Smeltzer; sister Mary R. Strcula; and his brother, Thomas Mikula. He is survived by his three siblings, Carol Sikora, of Uniontown, Mathew J. Mikula (Marie) of Olney, MD, and Jacqueline M. Verney (Thomas), of Mechanicsburg, PA. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Jeanne Mikula, of Irwin; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. A memorial of Jim’s life will be scheduled at a later date.

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