Fun Cheerful 03


Kathryn Faye Mika

September 20, 2018

Kathryn FayeKathy" Mika of Rogers, Arkansas passed away Wednesday, September 20, 2018 at Circle of Life Legacy Village in Bentonville, Arkansas.  She was born on November 12th; however, the year of her birth is no ones business because "I always looked much younger than others my age" she would have remarked. Kathy ultimately succumbed to Alzheimer's disease after years of raging against it. The winner of the struggle was not a foregone conclusion, as Kathy was a fierce competitor who welcomed challenges and often prevailed.


Kathy married Ernest G.MikeMika on Nov. 25, 1953.


Kathy had no traditional hobbies or passionate interests beyond her love of spirited conversation and discussion. She was a voracious reader who read for both enjoyment and for knowledge. She was a renaissance woman who loved nothing more than to engage people in conversation. She also loved to provoke debates over issues and current events. She was most infuriating to those less informed on the subject under discussion. Her mind and her tongue were directly connected to one another, so everyone who knew her knew exactly how she felt. Although she was exceedingly intelligent, she always left you feeling as if your opinion was valued even after dismantling it.


People often stopped by her house to talk with her or to ask her advice. Her children received valuable counseling for free and often without asking for it while others would bribe her with Dr. Pepper. On several occasions her children would walk into their kitchen to find their Mom talking to one of their friends or even an ex-girlfriend who stopped by to visit with her. She was honestly that fun to talk with.


Kathy was most passionate about her family. She went to extraordinary lengths to encourage her children to develop into the best versions of themselves. After her daughter graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Criminal Justice degree, Kathy became her biggest cheerleader when Kathleen was deciding to become a nurse. After successfully graduating from nursing school, Kathy would often cite her as an example of a person "never being too far along to change course".


Kathy sacrificed every one of her weekends for nearly a decade to travel to judo tournaments all over the country to watch her boys compete. She cheered her boys after they each won respective National Championships and after they competed against one another in the 1984 United States Olympic Trials. Just as important though, she taught them how to use defeat as a learning tool. She ultimately became the judo mother to hundreds of children, teens and adults who passed through the various judo clubs she helped operate in Pine Bluff and Rogers, Arkansas. She remained close to many of them after they left the sport.


Although she was a great mother, Kathy would agree that she was not a great cook; however, she was famous for her "Johnny Marzetti" pasta dish and for packing her children's lunches with butter (not peanut butter, just butter) and jelly sandwiches.


Everyone who knew Kathy loved her and she had no enemies. Her kindness and large heart are well known among her friends. Few people outside of her immediate family know about Denesia, the child she and her husband, E.G "Mike" Mika adopted when they lived in the country of Panama. One morning while her husband was at work, Kathy answered a tentative knock at her front door. Standing before her were an elderly indigenous Panamanian woman and a child dressed in native attire. The child appeared to be about nine or ten years old. Her true age was never known. The woman explained that she was ill and would need someone to watch her granddaughter for a couple of weeks while she sought medical treatment. Kathy had never met these people before, but after observing the condition of the child, she agreed. Two months later the elderly woman returned and said that she was dying and could not watch after the child. Kathy volunteered to take care of her. She became an instant addition to the Mika family. She was loved as much, never less than her other children. Kathy taught her English and how to read and write. After her husband's tour of duty in the Air Force ended, they returned to the United States of America with their three boys and Denesia. Kathleen would be born later. Denesia became a member of their family and ultimately married and moved to Texas. Kathy took one look at a child who needed her help and love and never hesitated. The "adoption" occurred around 1960 when things like that rarely occurred, but she did not hesitate to answer the distress call. The story embodies many of Kathy's qualities. She was hard to define but easy to like and easier to love.


Kathy was a joy to be around. She loved many people and pets (Ellie, Fuji and Mr. Big).


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Mike Mika; brother, Karl Glass; and sister, Mary Hixon.


She is survived by four children: Mike Mika and wife, Melanie of South Riding, VA, Pat Mika and wife, Jennie of Colorado Springs, CO, Tim Mika and wife, Nanette of Rogers, AR and Kathleen Polumbo and husband, Steve of Rogers, AR; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


A visitation will be from 6:00PM until 8:00PM, Monday, September 24, 2018 at Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services of Rogers.


In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Circle of Life Hospice.


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