James Mikel, of Long Prairie, passed away on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at the Centracare Melrose Nursing Home. James was 85 years old.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, January 30, 2023, at the St. Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie at 10:00 AM. Visitation will take place on Sunday, January 29, 2023, at the Iten Funeral Home on Browerville from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, with a rosary being prayed at 3:45 and a prayer service at 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue to the day of the Mass at the church one hour prior to the service.
James Louis Mikel was born on March 31, 1937, the son of Louis and Merlie (Demars) Mikel of Browerville, Minnesota. James went to school through the 9th grade. He then worked at his family farm until he joined the National Guard, serving his country for one year, training as a tank driver and sharpshooter training.
While out fishing with friends on Mill Lake, James met the love of his life, Barbara Eggerth. The couple was united in marriage on April 18, 1959, at the St. Mary’s of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie. Their union was blessed with five children, Michelle, Mike, Sharon, John, and Jeff. The couple purchased their farm on a wing and a prayer in 1965. There the couple would raise their children, and work side by side in their true passion. James loved farming. Working with his hands, caring for the milk cows, cattle, and fields, brought a sense of accomplishment to him. He and his family spent countless hours bailing hay, chasing the cows, and feeding them first, because they make it possible for us to eat. James was firm with discipline, but a jokester at heart. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his downtime. He could be found in the shed restoring an old tractor or car, meticulously working to get it just like new again. His boys had the opportunity to join their dad at area auctions, keeping up on costs and new and old trends, as his kids grew into adults, Sunday dinners were spent at his daughters. His favorite moments were spent with his family, especially as he aged and became grandpa, then great-grandpa, and the opportunity to be great-great grandpa! He relished watching the next generation grow and experience farm life and keep the Mikel’s brown eyes twinkling on.
On Thursday, January 26, 2023, James took his last breath here on earth at the age of 85. He leaves behind his children, Michelle (Jeff) Opsal, Mike (Donna) Mikel, and Jeff (Kathy) Mikel; 9 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; sister, JoAnn Hedlund; brother, Eugene “Patrick” Mikel. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; parents, Louis and Merle Mikel; infant children, Sharon and John; grandson, Darryl Kingbird Jr.; brothers, Frank Mikel and Richard Mikel; niece, Cindy Hedlund; and nephew, Matt Mikel.
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