Hilbert B. Mikel ("Bud"), longtime resident of Watkins Glen, passed away after a brief illness on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at his home in East Berlin, PA. His children and close family members were at his side. He enjoyed a full life and was 92 at the time of his death. Bud leaves a legacy of family and friends and will be missed by many.
He was born on June 19, 1928, in Altoona, PA, and grew up with Depression Era values. After graduating from Hagerstown High School, Bud and his family migrated to Watkins Glen, where he met the love of his life, Alice Davis. They were married in the fall of 1950 and shared 53 years together until Alice died October 17, 2003. Shortly after their wedding, Bud was drafted into the Army. He was deployed to France during the Korean Conflict where he was a Master Sergeant in the Quartermaster's Corps.
Bud had a multitude of interests, and is most noted as an outdoor sportsman. He was an expert lake trout fisherman, and like most of his buddies, fished with copper wire on large mounted reels. He knew the lake's sweet spots and seldom came home without his limit. Bud was also an avid deer hunter, and silent hunted the deer herds at Altavista, his beloved cabin retreat and tree farm near Altay. When asked why he spent every day there and continued to mow and trim his trees when it became clear that he wasn't going to sell any, he simply stated, "because that's the way I like to see them."
Bud's other interests included storytelling, crossword puzzles and Jeopardy. Any who knew Bud have spent hours in the thrall of his many stories and anecdotes, which were often enhanced with his penchant for sound effects. Who hasn't heard his "pitter patter" of deer hooves as they bounded through the forest or the train's "choo choo" as it passed by? His wit was also exhibited as he worked his daily crossword puzzles, which he often completed. Jeopardy was also part of his daily ritual, where he and the family would blurt out answers at the TV. More often than not, Bud put the rest of us to shame.
Bud's other interests included longtime memberships in the VFW, American Legion, and of course, the Watkins Glen Elks. He truly enjoyed his Wednesday evening get togethers at the Elks with his pals, where they would tip a few and trade lies.
Bud is survived by his son, Steve (Valerie) and his two daughters, Polly Zinn (Scott) and Becky Mikel (Deb Bilger); Abbe, Andrea, Ashlee, Krista, Morgan, Nathan, Nikki and Travis, his eight grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; brother James E. Mikel (Del); niece Joni Peet (John Custer); and nephew Mike Herbert (Dawn). He was predeceased by a sister, Joan Herbert, and niece Sharon Hastings.
Funeral services will be private. Feiser Funeral Home, Inc, 306 Harrisburg St, East Berlin, is in charge of arrangements. Memories may be shared at www.feiserfuneralhome.com.
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