Delilah Blanche Mihalik 1926 - 2020

Delilah "Dee" Mihalik was born in Montrose Township, Michigan, the first child of Melvin T. and Blanche (Scholler) Parks. Born at home prematurely, she was kept warm in a shoebox cradle near the woodstove.  As a child, "Dee Dee" suffered severe asthma, and believed she would not live a long life. However, her practical and competent disposition, along with faith in God, carried her through to her death from kidney disease at age 94.  She passed peacefully at her home in McMinnville, Oregon, with family by her side.

Dee spent her early years in Michigan, where she married and began a family. The family moved to California in the 1950s. She later married John "Jack" Mihalik, to whom she was married for 38 years before his death in 1995. Jack was an Army Air Corps veteran and later worked in civil service at Edwards Air Force Base, California. When their children were grown, Dee began an enjoyable career as an instructional assistant, working with elementary school students.

After retirement, Dee and Jack spent carefree years vacationing around the U.S. in their camp trailer.  A favorite was the Mammoth Lakes region of California. They also enjoyed spending time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

After her husband's death, Dee moved to McMinnville to be near family. Here she found much to keep her busy: exercise classes, church, Grange dances, family events, friends and, especially, music. With the help of her special friend Mike Myrick, she learned to play guitar at age 75. She played with jam groups “Cruise Control” and “The Mavericks," entertaining regularly at area retirement communities and social events.

After Mike passed away, Dee's many activities brought comfort and purpose. And later, she was blessed with another special friend, Don Wood, also a musician.  In 2015, first Don and then Dee moved to retirement apartments at Brookdale Town Center, where they entertained fellow residents with their music and wit. After Don passed away in 2019, faith and friendships sustained her, especially her dear friend, Betty Graves.

In her final days, Dee enjoyed visits with her daughters and local granddaughters, Amber Blankenship and Shante' LaMay, and many phone calls from family members and friends.

Dee is survived by five children, Rae Fernelius and Randall LaMay of Nevada, Jesse LaMay of California, Karen Nichols and Roxanne Blankenship of McMinnville; 16 grandchildren; many great and great-great-grandchildren and sister Jean Bednarski of Michigan. She was preceded in death by her husband; infant sons, Danny and Cristopher LaMay; brothers, Judd and Dallas Parks; and sister, Leona Kies.

Viewing is scheduled from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. April 1, 2020, at the Chapel of Macy & Son. She will be interred with Jack at Montrose Cemetery in Michigan.  A memorial service will be announced at a later date. 

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