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Obituary for Vernon Dale Mickels

Vernon Dale “Vern” Mickels, of Bangor, Wis., passed away at home on December 3, 2023, at the age of 66. He was born on May 25, 1957 to Leander and Donna (Hanen) Mickels. He grew up in and around Maynard, Minnesota, where he attended school, wrestled, and got into trouble with his 3 brothers. After high school, his service in the US Navy took him all over the world (and other places) aboard the USS DEWEY.

After the service, Vern returned to Minnesota and started working in construction, primarily as an equipment operator. He worked in several different fields throughout his life, painting and laying rugs with his dad, doing carpentry with his brothers, appliance repair, HVAC installation and service, auto body, mechanic work, you name it, he’s probably done it (and done it well). He really enjoyed his work as a superintendent on Army Corps of Engineers jobs, where he could often be heard explaining (in his trademark Vern language) to the civil engineers what was wrong with their designs.

Vern could fix just about anything, which made it difficult for him to get rid of anything… Nothing was ever really broken, it just needed a valve, or a motor, or an o-ring or …. He always had a project. Even in his final few weeks he was making modifications to his home, his wheelchair, his hospital bed, etcetera, adding pulleys and straps and hooks and whatever he could come up with to try to make his situation easier. If there was a way to do it, he was going to figure it out.

Vern lived and worked in a lot of different places. He was almost a bigger than life character. Wherever he went, he left his mark. If you happened to have sat down next to him at a local watering hole, he would probably have bought you a beer and told you a tale or two about his adventures. He met a lot of people on his journey through life, relationships came and went, and he kept on keeping on. His story could fill up pages and pages (especially if he told it…), but, needless to say, he touched a lot of people’s lives and will be greatly missed.

Vern was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Carmen Mickels; his son, Jesse Mickels (Joy) of Moorhead, MN; two step-sons, Josh Thompson (Jessica Koskovich) and Adam Thompson (Kayla Pliner) both of Bangor; grandsons, Jonah and Jacob Mickels, Asher and Ryker Thompson and Connor Koskovich; brothers, Gary Mickels (Bonnie Wrobleski) of Benson, MN, Dennis Mickels of Vilonia, AR, and Ricky Mickels (Mary Regnier) of Maynard, MN; and lots of extended family.

A celebration of life will be held at Augie’s Bar in Bangor, WI on Friday December 15th from 3pm-to 5pm. For his family and friends who can’t make it to Wisconsin, there will be a second celebration of life in Maynard, MN at the Mickels Construction shop on Saturday December 30th at 1pm.