Horst Heinz Mikat

Saturday, November 19, 2022
Horst Heinz Mikat
Horst Heinz Mikat

Horst (Pops) Heinz Mikat of Helena, Montana and late of Lewistown died November 16, 2022. He resides now in the presence of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and awaits the Kingdom Come. Horst lived 93 years on this earth and was well loved by his family and friends alike.

Horst Mikat was born on October 22, 1929, in Tilsit, Prussia (Germany) during a time that would prove to be one of great geopolitical upheaval. The son of a blacksmith in the thriving city of Tilsit, on the Memel River near the Baltic Sea, Horst would grow up to feel the results of the political rise of the populist “National Socialist German Workers Party” – now ignominiously known as the Nazis. Forced into Hitler Youth, as all young boys were, Horst saw World War II begin with the promise of a better life and end with the death of his father (Albert) being killed in the shipyards of Konigsberg. Driven out by the advancing Russian hordes of the USSR making him, his mother (Antonie), and two of his sisters (Charlotte and Helga) refugees.

In 1948, the United States of America accepted their immigration. In the States, the European “City Boy” became a Montana “Farm Boy” near the highline towns of Peerless and Scobey. Having apprenticed as an automobile mechanic in Germany, Horst matriculated off the farm and back into the trade. However, his childhood fascination with airplanes, or as Pops would say “Flieger”, led to his decision to join the United States Air Force in 1955. He especially enjoyed manning the Alert Hanger keeping the fighter jets ready for takeoff.

While in Glasgow, Mont., Horst met Sharon Chisholm and they were married on December 29, 1961. Together they raised seven children who were well-loved and well-trained workers (Horst was, after all, German!). Horst and Sharon moved from Glasgow to Helena in 1969 where Horst enrolled in Helena Vocational-Technical Center (Votech). There he would decipher homework in his second language (English) line by painstaking line. He prevailed, earning his Television Repair License and his Aircraft Airframe Certificate.

Perhaps, Horst was best known as the “Happy Maintenance Man” of downtown Helena. Horst’s enthusiastic greeting “Hello you lovely people” is fondly remembered by the owners and employees of many buildings where he faithfully kept everything fixed “ship shape” and also, maintained their heating systems in winter as “Helena’s Boiler-Man”.

In 1986, at the age of 57, Pops surprised us all when he up and became a miner, finally accepting a job offer that had long been proffered. He started work on the Crusher at Montana Tunnels Mine in Jefferson City. He continued working the swing shift until age 67. Horst also continued his maintenance business, MICO and Associates, up to his 80th birthday when he let his final boiler go – what amazing endurance! It has been asked, “Did Horst have any hobbies?” One would have to answer, “Yes, work!” In truth Horst did possess one amazing skill that could be called a hobby – eating! If in the annals of history there is a place where they record heroes of the ice cream spoon then surely Horst’s name must be enshrined there. Legendary is the only way to describe the volume of ice cream that he could make disappear into such a small frame! Horst loved to eat well and made sure his children never went hungry as he and his family had done while refugees after the war – Thanks Dad for providing for us so well! Horst was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon, and his sisters, Lisa, Helga, and Charlotte. He is survived by his children: Linda Hase, Antonie Grace, Fred (Vickie) Mikat, Greg (Laurie) Mikat, Heinz (Sally) Mikat, Zach (Stacey) Mikat, and Isaac (Nonna) Mikat; along with 27 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren and three on the way.

Funeral Services will be held at First Baptist Church in Lewistown on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery in Fort Harrison on Monday, Nov. 28, at 1 p.m.

Horst’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home.