Dr. Michal “Mikey” Mitol (Trafny), 71, of Valparaiso, Indiana, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, after a long and courageous battle with lung disease. She spent most of her life in northwest Indiana and graduated from Portage High School in 1968 before marrying her teenage sweetheart Bryant Mitol in 1969.
She spent the early years of her marriage taking care of her family as an amazing mother and wife, then added “return to school” to the long list of things she excelled at. She started with a Bachelor’s degree, then a Master’s, ultimately obtaining a PhD in Comparative Literature from Purdue University in 2002. Mikey taught literature, business writing and research at Purdue University Calumet for more than 20 years. But more importantly, she wove critical thinking, proper research methods, and ethics into her treasured “chalk & talk” lectures, lesson plans, and course developments. Rest assured anyone who had taken more than one of Dr. Mikey’s courses would be well-equipped to navigate our complex social media world.
She is survived by her devoted husband Bryant of Valparaiso; daughter Jennifer Mitol of Bend, Oregon, son Jamie Mitol (and Diana), and granddaughter Mila of Austin, Texas; she also leaves behind 5 brothers Patrick Trafny, William Trafny, Philip Trafny, James Trafny and Mark Trafny, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mikey was preceded in death by her father John Philip Trafny in 1997 and mother Dolly Trafny (Fitzgerald) in 2004.
Visitation will be held at Bartholomew and Son’s Funeral Home on Friday October 8 from 5-7 with a memorial service at 7p. The mass will follow on Saturday October 9 at 11am at St. Paul Church in Valparaiso, IN.
In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the American Lung Association or the COPD Foundation.
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