Severine Albert Mikalson - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: In Memoriams

Severine Albert Mikalson

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:58 pm

Severine Albert “Mike” Mikalson, born February 10, 1915 in Bismarck, ND, was the older of two children of Severine and Marie Mikalson. From Hazelton, SD, to Salt Creek, WY, and even briefly Van Nuys, CA, Mike’s favorite and longest locale growing up was Billings, MT. Mike was fascinated with aviation. He won trophies flying model airplanes at meets in Montana during 1931 and 1932, but all his planes crashed at the national championships in St. Louis, MO, ending his model airplane career. Mike began college at the School of Mines in Butte, MT, but soon realized mining operations were all in undesirable locations, and headed west to Seattle, where he studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington before landing an aircraft mechanic civil service job at Sand Point Naval Air Station. He met and dated aircraft parts clerk, Berdie Byron. They married July 14, 1944, honeymooning in Hollywood, CA. Seeing opportunity when WWII ended, the couple transferred to North Island NAS and took up residence in Coronado, CA, where they lived the rest of their lives.

When Mike met Berdie she was supplying parts for the Grumman F4F Wildcat. When Mike retired in 1969, his main airplane was the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye AWACS: a command, control, sea and air surveillance aircraft. He had many friends at North Island and enjoyed crossing paths with them the rest of his life. “Retirement” meant Mike was available to work with Berdie on their now numerous rental properties. Typically Mike’s leisurely morning routine ended with a sack lunch at one of the apartment buildings followed by some actual work done in time to be back home for family dinner at six.

Berdie and Mike enjoyed monthly dances as members of Coronado’s Crown Club. Family trips to old stomping grounds in Seattle and Billings were often the highlight of the year. They traveled throughout the USA and Canada, most frequently to Lake Tahoe and Molokai. In their later years they connected with Mikalson family roots in Norway, and toured Australia and New Zealand. Late in life Mike enjoyed taking pilot lessons, a lifelong dream.

Always the gentleman, Mike empathized easily, focusing much of his energies on others. He had a lovely way of paying attention to the details of others lives. Though he outlived most all of his contemporaries he enjoyed contact with his remaining friends, relatives, and neighbors right up through his final days.

In 2010 Mike faced amputation of his foot, but instead rallied with the help of vascular surgery and the hyperbaric chamber, healing his foot to walk again in his final years. He survived his sweetheart by just a few months, amazing all with his fortitude right up to his final breath, which he took at Coronado Hospital on November 5, 2012.

Mike was preceded in death by wife Berdie and sister Elaine. Mike is survived by son Byron Mikalson of Coronado, CA; daughter Gayl Stober of Heber City, UT; son Ron Mikalson of Woodland, CA; grandsons John Mikalson of Laguna Niguel, CA, Skyler Mikalson of Woodland, CA, and Sam Stober of Heber City, UT; granddaughters Ander Mikalson of Queens, NY and Terra Mikalson of Oakland, CA; and great-grandson Lucas Mikalson of Laguna Niguel, CA.

A celebration of Mike’s and Berdie’s lives was held at the Hotel Del Coronado on Dec 8, 2012.

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