Cover photo for Karen M. Mikula's Obituary
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1960 Karen 2023

Karen M. Mikula

August 17, 1960 — June 22, 2023

Karen Mikula (nee Marich) 62, of Mokena, IL, passed away peacefully on June 22nd, 2023 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Chicago, IL, Karen went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Loyola University of Chicago. Her compassionate nature and strong desire to help others led her to have a successful career in hospice and continuing nursing education. Her strong work ethic earned the respect and friendship of her colleagues everywhere she worked.


Karen was also endlessly dedicated to her family. She married the love of her life, Greg Mikula, in 1985 and went on to have two children, Kyle and Julia, who affectionately referred to her as “Momma”. Married for 37 years, Karen and Greg had a true partnership. They were especially bound together by their friendship and ability to make each other laugh, serving as steadfast role models for their children. Besides her human family, Karen also loved animals and shared her life with many canine companions, including Snowball, Lexi, Cyrus, Zoey, Oliver, and Daisy.


A trusted advisor to those who were lucky enough to be close to her, Karen was infinitely curious about the world and the human experience. She was an avid reader and had a sense of intuition that was unmatched. She passed her curiosity and love of learning on to both of her children, who are immensely grateful for the many trips she made with them to museums and libraries.


Initially given only three to six months to live, Karen refused to let her cancer diagnosis define her. Although she underwent countless rounds of chemotherapy and traveled to see several different pancreatic cancer specialists, Karen always found moments of joy, even as her disease progressed. She loved visiting new bakeries, going on day trips with Greg, and babysitting her granddaughter, Eleanor. Her determination and unbreakable spirit allowed her to live for a full 18 months post-diagnosis.


Karen’s life will be defined by her kindness, selflessness, loyalty, integrity, gentle nature, capacity for forgiveness, and dedication to her family, who will especially miss her wry sense of humor and flawless smile. Her smile was so perfect, in fact, that even her doctors and nurses frequently commented on it.


Karen was preceded in death by her father, George. She is survived by her mother, Providence; her husband, Greg; her children, Kyle (Emily) and Julia; her granddaughter, Eleanor; and brothers Mike (Marilyn) and Greg (Cathy).


A Funeral Mass will will be held at 10:00am on Monday, July 3, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Mokena, IL.  A celebration of life will be held in August. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN).


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen M. Mikula, please visit our flower store.

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Monday, July 3, 2023

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