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On Tuesday, October 23, 2018, Michael (Mickey) Linford Ivanovitch passed away at the age of 75, at Oak Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Baltic, Ohio, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
He was born in Malta, Montana on March 5, 1943 to John and Bonnie (O’Brien) Ivanovitch. He was raised on a ranch near the Canadian border and graduated from Whitewater High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, was deployed to Viet Nam three times and served his Country honorably. After serving in the USMC for 9 years, he lived in California and Washington before moving back to Montana and joining the Army National Guard of Montana. He retired from the military as a Staff Sergeant in 1997 and will always be remembered as a kind and compassionate warrior. His final military mission was when he was chosen to participate in the Honor Flight Columbus which is an organization that honors our nation’s senior veterans by flying them to see the war memorials in Washington DC built in their honor.
Other than the military, Mickey’s great passion was for all things Ripley’s Believe It or Not. He saw his first Ripley’s book when he was in the third grade and since then collected thousands of Ripley books and memorabilia, became a very knowledgeable Robert Ripley historian, visited every Ripley’s museum in the United States and the Ripley Corporation Headquarters, submitted several interesting facts that were turned into world-wide Ripley cartoons, found several oddities and sold them to Ripley’s for their museums, and organized and/or participated in several Ripley events. At Christmas time every year for over 40 years Mickey would pull out his Santa suit and beard and spread good cheer. He visited battered women’s shelters, churches, schools and walked the streets of town handing out candy canes to children. Mickey never met a stranger and he always saw the good in each person, young and old.
Mickey is survived by his beloved wife of 22 years, his high school sweetheart Signe (Hardesty). They reunited in 1996, married and settled in Dresden, Ohio. When Signe’s daughter died in a car accident they took Signe’s 6-year-old granddaughter, Ashley (Schaal) Brewer, into their home to raise as their own child. Ashley has been very devoted to Mickey and is grateful for all he has sacrificed for her.
He is also survived by: sons, Shane of Montana and Shawn of Arizona, whom he shared with former spouse, Janice Johnson; granddaughter Kerstilin Bomar-Ivanovitch daughter of Shawn; siblings, Sally Austin of Whitewater, Montana and Patt Donich and her husband Tom of Seely Lake, Montana; 17 nieces and nephews; mother-in-law Florence Hardesty; stepchildren: Bonnie and her husband Bill Morton of Ohio, Bobby Schaal and his wife Regina of Ohio, Robert Love and his wife Laura, Alan Love and his wife Danette, Lance Love and his wife Tracy, all of Montana.
Mickey is preceded in death by: parents John and Bonnie (O’Brien) Ivanovitch; brothers Larry and Dennis Ivanovitch; stepdaughter Karen Schaal.
A graveside memorial service will be held at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Newark, Ohio, on Saturday November 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM with the Licking County Veterans Honor Guard performing military honors. Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, of Coshocton, Ohio, has made all the funeral arrangements.
“…And we shall walk through all our days with love remembered and love renewed.”