The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

A Champion

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

13 April 2004

God surely was gathering his angels this week as he called to heaven an angel among us, Faith Mikita, of Monmouth, a true champion in the game of life.

Never have I felt so inspired by a woman who cultivated such beauty out of her life as well as everyone she touched.

She was a champion in the home and in the hearts of all that drew near to her.

Her story of life began with a lot of spunk, a lot of determination, and a strong desire to do things right and to succeed.

Faith also possessed a love for literature, the arts, and music as well as her expert culinary skills.

Her desire was to overcome her eye problems, attend college, and become a teacher.

It was her faith in God and in the abilities God had given her that made her aware that whatever limitations she had, God had given her enough to overcome any circumstance she had to face.

This was the Faith I had become acquainted with several years ago, and the lady I so admired and loved to visit and learn from.

At the time I met Faith, she had been declared legally blind, yet she continued to bake breads and pies, and entrees to compete in the State Fair competitions. It took relying on her caring son Mike and loyal friends to accomplish the trip each year to Springfield, but Faith would come home with winning entrees, including the State Grand Championship and many first place ribbons.

After interviewing Faith for the newspaper, I decided I must take a bread-making class from this inspirational woman, and she taught me the whole reason behind baking for your was Love!

Until you've put this necessary ingredient into your cooking, the whole meal would turn out flat, according to Faith.

Faith also said that the most important thing about baking bread was slicing it and buttering it while it was still hot, and then sharing it with your family and friends.

"Don't keep it from them until some "proper time," she would say.

Faith was very strict in her baking skills, and she taught me there were good reasons behind everything she did.

In my first class I asked Faith if I couldn't measure it in a way that I was more familiar with. She quickly looked up and said,

"Why yes you can :but, if you want to do it right, you'll do it this way."

I could already make what I thought was pretty good pies, but I took Faith's pie baking class just to see what she might teach me. She surprised me with a slew of tricks!

The science behind pie-making was NOT my expertise. Faith quickly showed me what it would take to become a state champion :absolute perfection!

You would think that with all this knowledge and expertise, that Faith may be a little testy to be around. But quite the opposite. Faith loved those who came to her classes and they loved her.

In fact, she made everyone who came into her kitchen or into her home feel as if the red carpet had just been rolled out for them.

Mind you, Faith's body was deteriorating and she was in a lot of pain, but she smiled through it all and kept those who cared for her busy preparing foods she knew others would like.

She especially took great joy in producing two poem books and a cooking manual for those who had failing eye sight.

It would have been nice if it had brought in some added income but it gave her more pleasure in giving them to friends than selling them.

Faith always, ALWAYS, gave more than she received. You could never get ahead of her.

Her hugs and kisses and welcoming arms will be deeply missed as will the many hours of visiting.

Faith's pain was real. Her handicap would have stopped the majority from excelling, but Faith's secret was her ability to focus not on herself, but on others and on the prize.

This is what made her a champion on earth.

This is what makes Faith a champion in heaven.

Thank God for this strong woman of faith whom we have had in our lives. And may God bless and sustain her loving family as they grieve their loss, yet at the same time, celebrate her crowning day with her Lord.