Mike Picek

Mike Picek, 88, of Cook passed away surrounded by family on Nov. 17, 2021.

He was born November 15, 1933 on the family farm near Cook to Stephen Sr. and Paraska “Pearl” (Pyngnyn) Picek. He was the youngest of 11 children. Mike attended Alango School then onto Cook School where he completed 8th grade. He furthered his education in Agricultural studies in Grand Rapids, MN. After Agricultural school, he returned to Cook to help at the family farm while also working at the Cook Creamery. He found the love of his life while sock shopping at the store where Donna Helstrom worked. After many sock purchases, Mike and Donna were married on May 1, 1954 at Cook Covenant Church. Mike and Donna began their 67 years of marriage in Fort Leonard Wood, MO, after he was drafted in July of 1954 into the US Army. Mike served our country honorably for 2 years. Mike and Donna moved back home to Cook to a home built by Mike’s brother Bill. In 1965 Mike and Donna bought the Pure Oil Station & bulk oil business in Cook. Mike gave many young people their first jobs, teaching them responsibility and what it meant to have a good work ethic. Soon after, his brother-in-law, Russ Pascuzzi joined them to become a partner renaming it Russ & Mike’s Pure Oil. In 1977, Mike and Russ bought the Hokkanen Hardware store in Cook and called it R&M Hardware. Mike ran the oil company while his partner Russ ran the Hardware business. Upon Russ’s retirement Mike bought out Russ’s partnership. Mike and Donna’s son Tim and daughter-in-law Jackie, managed the hardware store. Over the years Mike, Donna, Tim and Jackie grew the businesses to include The Tire Shop and Hometown Rental. During his years running the oil company, Mike had a deep passion to develop and create what is known today as the Flag Park located next to the oil company. This was a proud accomplishment for Mike. Eventually, Mike and Donna sold Hometown Hardware and Rent-All Center to Tim and Jackie. Mike and Donna wanted to “retire” and sold the Oil Company to Edwards Oil. The Tire Shop was sold to longtime employee Gary Baumgartner. But to say “retire” is something Mike was not able to do; he was always helping anyone that needed his unlimited skills and knowledge. Some people mused Mike could put horseshoes on a mosquito. His phone was always ringing. Donna remembers many nights at 30 below when Mike would get called out to repair someone’s furnace. If Mike wasn’t fixing something for someone, he was out in his garage tinkering for hours on end building wonderful creations for his family and close friends. Mike was an enthusiastic gardener. During Mike’s retirement, he purchased a hunting shack. This was the place of great breakfasts cooked by Mike, where family and friends would gather to visit and enjoy his cabin in the woods.

Mike was a faithful servant of God. Mike and Donna attended the First Baptist Church in Cook. Mike was an active member of the Cook Chamber of Commerce.

Mike is preceded in death by parents Stephen and Pearl Picek; sisters: Mary Rudduck, Ann Picek and Julia Lind; brothers: John, Bill, Peter, Harry and Steve Picek.

Mike is survived by the love of his life, Donna; son, Tim (Jackie) Picek of Cook, their children Ben (Jessica Berglund) and Hayden (Maija Maki) Picek; daughter Terri (Bruce) Larsen of Britt MN, their children Laura (Karl) Stauty and Lance (Lynda) Larsen; 1 great granddaughter Ava Stauty; sisters: Helen Arola of Virginia and Katie Aune of Cook; sister-in-law Margaret Picek of Virginia MN; many nieces, nephews, extended family and a host of wonderful friends.

An evening visitation will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. at Mlaker Funeral Home, Cook, MN. The Funeral Service will be held the next day, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, Cook, MN. Visitation will be held again, at the church, one hour prior to the service. Officiants will be Rev. Brian Haynes and Rev. Jared Bangs. Pallbearers will be Ben Picek, Hayden Picek, Gary Picek, Ron Picek, Mark Pascuzzi, Warren Mlaker, Gary Baumgartner and Brent Bystrom. Military Honors will be accorded by the combined Honor Guards of the Cook VFW Post #1757 and the Orr American Legion Post #480. Spring interment will be at the Cook Community Cemetery.

To leave an online condolence visit www.mlakerfuneralhome.com

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