FARRELL, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Joseph Mikota, Jr., 85, passed peacefully into our Lord’s arms while holding the hands of his wife of 59 years.

The first of three children, Joseph was born in Farrell, Pennsylvania during the depression to Joseph and Cecelia (Markosich) Mikota; “Joey” so lovingly referred to by his two surviving sisters, Caroline (Hopkins) and Frances.

Growing up Joseph liked to sketch, figure out challenging math problems and building model planes out of balsa wood. Which may have played a part with him joining the Air Force after graduating from Farrell High in 1954. There Joseph spent the next three and a half years as an Airplane Hydraulic Repairman.

While out with friends listening to live bands at the Italian Home in Sharpsville, Joseph met, danced, held hands and then later married Marie E. Esmond at St. Anthony’s Church in Sharon. Joseph then dedicated his life to caring for his family. Together “Joe and Marie” raised three independent daughters, Elizabeth (orthodontist), Lorraine (Navy veteran) and Bernadette (Army veteran); all of whom inherited their father’s hard work ethics and have proudly passed it on to his grandchildren, Lorraine’s son, Christian (associates in Applied Science and CDL) and Alexis (active duty Navy EM2 and electrician mate) and Bernadette’s son, Bradley Joseph (active duty Army E-6, Drill Sergeant, Jumpmaster and EIB recipient).

Joseph worked for Sawhill tubular plant of Wheatland, Pennsylvania, for over 40 years before retiring. During those years he was a crane man, roller, heat keeper and furnace man.

Joseph liked to reminisce about he and his father’s long walks to secret fishing spots, his Air Force days, and his grandchildren. He enjoyed taking his three grandchildren to zoos and air shows. Alexis especially liked watching the planes. Christian and Bradley especially liked sitting in the planes. Dad also enjoyed the newspaper crossword puzzles, following Farrell High School basketball, hunting, being outdoors, taking long drives with his wife and eating at family owned restaurants. Over the years his creativity turned to wood. His woodworking skills were honored by many blue ribbons from various fairs. Including one for a cedar jewelry box he made for Lorraine’s 16th birthday. He built his own toolboxes, work table and benches, toy boxes, glass book cases and even cabinets for his mother-in-law’s collectibles.

Dad had a quiet strong faith in God and even though he is now resting in our Lord’s loving arms (and playing with our dog, Rocky and cat, Fuzzball) he is greatly missed by his wife, daughters, son-in-law David Hoffman (Bernadette), David’s daughter, Sarah (YSU), Bradley Joseph’s wife, Kelsey (Army veteran), their beautiful daughter, Faye, his sisters and many nieces and nephews.

We love you and miss you Dad.

Arrangements were handled by the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

A television tribute will air Thursday, April 14 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.