2017-08-24 / Local News

‘Tireless worker’ Mikesell passes

By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff


VINA MIKESELL, right, hosted radio host Jack Lessenberry and his wife at a League of Women Voters event held in 2013. VINA MIKESELL, right, hosted radio host Jack Lessenberry and his wife at a League of Women Voters event held in 2013. Vina Mikesell was a tireless volunteer in Leelanau County and by all accounts will leave a large void in the community.

Mikesell, 75, of Northport, died suddenly on Aug. 15 at Munson Medical Center.

Services are planned for 11 a.m. Sept. 16 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Christ in Northport. A luncheon will be held afterward at the Village Arts Building, also in Northport.

Deb Wetherbee is the office manager for ShareCare of Leelanau, an organization that was on the receiving end of much of Mikesell’s energy.

“She had so much energy and she was so dedicated,” Wetherbee said. “She just worked tirelessly for ShareCare.”

She was also the board president of ShareCare for the last four years.

Wetherbee said she just enjoyed working with Mikesell and knew that she would catch any typos or misinformation on a flyer or any correspondence.

“Her attention to detail was amazing,” Wetherbee said. “When we were proofing something like the annual report she never missed a person who should be on the list of donors.”

Mikesell had been a member of the League of Women Voters for more than 50 years and was instrumental in starting the Leelanau County League.

“My impression was that she was always a very passionate person,” said Marian Kromkowski, a friend and fellow League member. “She was a visionary in many respects and she devoted a good portion of her adult life to public service.”

Kromkowski said Mikesell went out of her way to involve people in public service and encouraged them to attend League events. She also encouraged leadership in others, getting them to step up and take on active roles.

And Mikesell always went the extra mile, she said.

“She was a mentor, a guide, a stalwart public servant, a friend and a role model for so many of us,” Kromkowski said. “She will be greatly missed, but she left us with the confidence to carry on the work that she had begun.

“We’re still reeling from her loss,” she said.

Mikesell is survived by her husband, Phil Mikesell; two adult children, and several grandchildren.

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