On February 26, 2023, Jesus took our father’s hand and welcomed him home. Peter “Pete” Mihulka passed away peacefully at Edgewood Mandan. Mass of Christian burial will be held 2 p.m. Monday, March 6 at Church of Corpus Christi, 1919 N Second St., Bismarck. The rosary will be recited at 1 p.m. followed by a time of visitation prior to Mass. A service livestream will be available on the church's website at the time of the service: https://www.youtube.com/c/CorpusBismarck
Burial will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Bismarck.
Pete was born to Ladishaus and Marie (Svoboda) Mihulka at home near New Hradec, ND, around December 28, 1923. When he was just three months old, tragedy led to Pete and his two older brothers, Victor and Joseph, going to live with neighbors, Theresa and Joseph Wokal, Sr., who raised them along with their own family.
He graduated from the eighth grade at Grand River School and immediately started his lifelong career in the automotive industry. He was a top notch mechanic and partsman for the Wokal Auto Co. in Bowman, ND. Folks brought their cars, trucks, and tractors from miles around to have him fix under the hood.
Pete met his sweetheart, Lauretta Kastelyns, when she worked at Joe’s Luncheon. They were married September 1, 1948, at St. Charles Catholic Church in Bowman and that marriage lasted 42 years.
Pete and Lauretta raised their family of seven children in Bowman. Money was tight and the gardens were huge, but they made time to enjoy square dancing, picnics, playing cards, ball games in the backyard, fishing at Kalina Dam, and in the winter, pulling kids on inner tubes over the ice. Pete was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and an excellent bowler on the K of C team.
In 1976 Pete was finally able to achieve his dream of owning his own auto shop and gas station, “Peter’s Service Station” in Browerville, Minnesota. He and Lauretta eventually moved from Browerville to Glendive, Montana, where he worked as a partsman for NAPA Auto Supply.
In 2010 Pete moved to Billings, Montana, and enjoyed life under the watchful eyes of Brenda, Gene and family. He loved tending to the big garden and harvesting the produce.
In April 2021 he moved into Edgewood in Mandan and enjoyed the companionship of the residents. His gentle nature and sense of humor made him a staff favorite in the memory care unit. We celebrated his 99th birthday in December 2022.
Pete is survived by six children, Brenda (Eugene) Olheiser, Billings, MT, Vince (Donna), Richfield Springs, NY, Roland (Dianna), Mesa, AZ, Joyce (Barry) Ness, Bismarck, Ruth (Kevin) Rickbeil, Rice, MN, and Leland, Mountain, ND; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by Lauretta; son, Phillip; brothers, Joe and Victor; and the Wokal family, Eleanor, Beatrice, Charles, Tony, Vic, and Joe Jr.
“Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Matthew 25:23