John Anthony Mihalko, 81, Pulaski, passed away Friday, April 9, 2021, after a tough battle with dementia. The oldest of four sons was born June 10, 1939, to the late John Leslie and Phyllis (Borkowski) Mihalko. John grew up in South Milwaukee where he played basketball, football and baseball. On July 25, 1957, against Waukesha, he became the first pitcher from South Milwaukee high school to pitch a no hitter. In the fall of 1957, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Braves but was later released due to injury. He attended college at UW-Stout where he continued to play baseball and pursue a teaching degree. It was at UW-Stout where he met his sweetheart, farm girl, Shirley Wiese.
On June 12, 1964, John and Shirley married at St. John’s Catholic Church in Fall Creek, WI. Shortly after marriage, they settled in Pulaski where John was an Industrial Arts (metals) teacher and was the JV basketball coach. During his coaching career he earned the nickname “Vinney”. He also taught Drivers Education for PHS and later opened his own driving school, Safety First Driving School. He took great pride in teaching older adults how to drive and gain more independence. John eventually retired in 1997.
John was an avid Packers and Brewers fan; always a sportsman at heart. He spent countless hours researching his genealogy and even traveled to Poland to learn more about his ancestry. He looked forward to spending Tuesday’s with his buddies, John Corbin and Dave Andre. Always a kind and patient man with a big heart. He liked to tell his kids, “Love One Another” when they playfully bickered.
John is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Shirley; children: Lisa Evenson; John (Stacey) Mihalko; and Angela Mihalko; grandchildren: Kris, Emily, Claire, Ben, Madelaine; and one great-grandchild, Lennon. He is further survived by his siblings, Jim (Sandra) Mihalko, AZ; Tom (Peggy) Mihalko, Oak Creek; and Tony Mihalko, AZ.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Chris Evenson; and an infant grandson, Michael Ian Mihalko.
Guests will be required to properly wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines. Masks will be available for anyone who does not have one. Friends are invited to gather with the family from 10 a.m. until 12 Noon on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Assumption B.V.M. Church, 119 E. Pulaski St., Pulaski. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12 Noon on Saturday, at the church with Fr. Carmen Scuderi, O.F.M. presiding. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery. The Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the parish Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Assumption-BVM-St-Stanislaus-St-Casimir-Parish-Family-89119956934
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the scholarship fund that John created. Checks can be made payable to the Pulaski Education Foundation, memo: Mihalko Scholarship, P.O. Box 36 Pulaski, WI 54162.
Since it might not be possible to be with the family in person, you are welcome to send any cards of condolence to the funeral home (make sure you put the family’s name on the outside envelope and your return address) and we will forward your cards and messages to the Mihalko family.
Marnocha Funeral Home P.O. Box 356 Pulaski, WI 54162