FRANK (FRANCIS) PETER MIKUSKA
Frank died unexpectedly but peacefully at home on Sunday, February 28, 2021.
Frank was born on October 4, 1930 in Winnipeg’s North end to Michael and Magdelena (Kajan) Mikuska, immigrants from Slovakia. He attended Roman Catholic parochial schools, where he was encouraged by a nun who saw his artistic talent. He entered the Winnipeg School of Art in 1947 and was at the school when it became a part of the University of Manitoba in 1949, graduating in 1950.
A fellow student, Arthur Stevens, introduced him to his sister, Shirley, and they married in 1953. After a year in Toronto, they returned to Winnipeg where the newly established CBC Television hired him as graphic designer. He would work 37 years at the CBC, retiring in 1992. During his career he not only pushed the boundaries of graphic design on television but continued making powerful abstract paintings and prints. Frank exhibited at various venues across Canada in the 1960’s. His work is held by many national collections including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In 1986 he received the CBC’s Prix Anik Award for Graphic Design of Soundscapes, a CBC production of “Threnody” – Music of R. Murray Schafer. After he retired, he revived his interest in printmaking with Martha Street Studio, producing hundreds of prints to the delight of his fans, exhibiting both locally and internationally during this period.
With Shirley, family and friends, he travelled extensively. First on family road trips with a tent trailer around Canada and to California (swearing and changing tires frequently), and later on cruises and European vacations. Frank and Shirley took up square dancing in the 1970s and travelled to conventions across North America.
Frank would talk to anyone, striking up conversations for a laugh or to commiserate. He was the master of puns (and passed this along to his children) and of obscure facts. He chose vanilla ice cream for dessert on cruises. He was a supportive father who encouraged his kids’ sporting, artistic, and professional pursuits, as well as picking them up at the bar when their car broke down.
Frank is survived by his wife of 67 years, Shirley, and his children and their spouses: Vince and Janice Mikuska, Julie Mikuska and Charles Tinman, Laura Mikuska and Simon Laplante, and Benjamin Mikuska and Donna Szoke; and grandchildren Alaina, Stefan, Elise, Emma, Hannah, and Milo.
He is survived by his sister, Vicky Porteous, and brother and sister-in-law Mike and Judy Mikuska; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ron and Irene Stevens, and sister-in-law Babs Stevens, along with many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother-in-law Arthur Stevens and sister-in-law Linda, and brother-in-law Fred Stevens.
Cremation has taken place and a private memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Frank’s memory to a charity of your choice.