One of the greatest generation passed away on June 30, 2018 at the age of 96 years and is now reunited with his wife, Rose, his parents, and six siblings. He was born on October 24, 1921 at home at 33 Magyar Street in the Birmingham neighborhood. Mike graduated from Macomber High School in 1939 and then served his country during WWII in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1942 to 1946. He was extremely proud of crossing the Atlantic Ocean 14 times, either on destroyer duty escorting troop ships or maintaining the engines on the troop ships themselves. After the war, he married Rose Kocian in 1946. They resided on Genesee Street for 62 years where they raised five children.
Mike earned his stationary engineer license and was employed at Allied Chemical (Plaskon) until he retired in 1982. During that time, he found time to call bingo at the Playdium for St. Michael’s Church, was a member and also president of the Holy Name Society, became a member of the Knights of Columbus, served as an officer and member of VFW Post 4906, marching in annual holiday parades, and held volunteer positions with Plaskon Federal Credit Union including president. He was the catcher on the VFW Softball team who were national champs in 1948 and 1950. Mike volunteered at WGTE auctions and was an epistle reader at church. Always proud of his Hungarian roots, he worked at the Birmingham Ethnic Festivals and was assigned the task of climbing a ladder to put up banners across Consaul Street.
Mike belonged to the American Legion in Rossford and Friends of the Library at Birmingham where, as an avid reader, he checked out books twice a week. He was a gardener who gave away lots of vegetables to friends and neighbors. He also liked working crossword puzzles including the weekend edition of the New York Times. On Sunday afternoons, he enjoyed dancing with Rose at the Czech Polka Club in Millbury, Ohio. He was inducted into the Birmingham Hall of Fame and was a founding member of the East Toledo Softball League.
He and his late wife, Rose, twice traveled to Europe to visit relatives in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. He was fluent in Hungarian and also spoke some Slovak. Mike was a snowbird for many years, residing at his daughter’s house on Sanibel Island. Rose joined him for a few weeks before they made the return trip home in his well seasoned truck, arriving back just before the start of Holy Week and Easter. While in Florida, Mike volunteered at Lee Memorial Hospital, Pirate’s Playhouse, and received an award for his volunteerism at Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation.
Mike volunteered at St. Charles Hospital for 33 years, being honored several times for serving in various positions where he met people from the neighborhood and made new friends.
In 2015, Mike and Rose moved to Lane Park where he participated in exercise class, played bingo games, and attended Happy Hour. He would tap his foot when listening to his favorite tunes from the 40s and 50s, while sipping on a ginger ale.
Mike was the oldest living member of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church which he attended faithfully on Sundays and holy days for over 90 years. He drove that well seasoned red truck until the age of 94, using it to deliver cords of wood that he had cut with his chain saw, to family and friends and charging, if at all, based on need.
He was predeceased by his wife, Rose (Kocian) in 2016; his parents, Mary (Kiraly) and Andrew Dandar, Sr.; brothers, Andrew, Jr. (Lola), John (Ann) and Steven; sisters, Mary (Charles) Duricek, Irene (Joseph) Papp, and Helen D. Butler. Mike is survived by his children: Jean Hanely, Barbara (Quentin) Skrabec, James (Angela) Dandar, Nancy Tracy Richmond (Richard), and Michael (Mary) Dandar; ten grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and sister, Anna (Lawrence) Richter, many nieces and nephews, and all of the caring parishioners of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church.
Special thanks to the staff at Lane Park and to the Southerncare Hospice nurses.
Family and friends will be received on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 4001 Navarre, Oregon, Ohio from 3 pm until the time of the funeral liturgy at 5 pm. A dinner with the family in St. Michael’s Centre will follow immediately after the liturgy. Interment will be at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Helping Hands of St. Louis or East Toledo Softball League.