OAKHURST – Patrick “Pat” Mierkey Cherished husband, father, grandfather and friend died at home in Oakhurst on August 11, 2020, surrounded by his immediate family. Those who knew Pat well know that, besides his family, there were three things of great importance to him: his Christian faith, music, and the LA Dodgers.
Born to Don and Anne Mierkey, Patrick Donald Mierkey came into the world on October 31, 1942 in Rhinelander, WI. He graduated from DC Everest High School in Wausau, WI. in 1960 and moved to Arizona that summer, attending Grand Canyon College and graduating in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary music education.
In December of 1965 Pat wed MaryHelen Carroll, and they were married for 55 years, until his death. After marriage, Pat and Mary Helen moved west to Ajo, AZ., where he taught high school choral music and theater arts. They moved to Mesa, AZ. in 1968 where Pat taught for Mesa Public Schools until 1983, at which time he began teaching at Redeemer Christian School.
From 1967 to 1980 Pat was a member of the 108th Army National Guard Band in Arizona. From 1969 to 1982 he was the music director at St. Andrew’s United Methodist church in Mesa, AZ. During his time in Mesa, Pat also directed the Saint Andrew’s Singers, a group of high school and college aged young people who sang locally and did a concert tour every summer across the country.
After the Singers ministry ended, Pat and family – including daughter Melinda and son James — sang together in churches and again toured the country each summer.
In 1988 the Mierkeys moved to Thousand Oaks, CA. and Pat taught in several Christian schools in southern California before moving to Oakhurst in 1995. After Pat moved to Oakhurst he immediately got involved in church music and eventually became part of the Yosemite Jazz Band, playing trombone with them for over 20 years. He became part of the Oakhurst Community Concert Band (OCCB) and eventually was one of the assistant directors. Who can forget Santa coming to conduct the opening Christmas song at the Fall OCCB concert?
Since moving to Oakhurst, Pat taught school or was a substitute teacher for many mountain area schools. He also worked for several years as groundskeeper at Sugar Pine Christian Camps — quite a change, but he enjoyed keeping the flowers blooming.
Becoming a vital part of the music department at Yosemite High School, Pat assisted Randy Hyatt and Francisco Marquez in their years teaching Badgers at the high school.
Pat Mierkey loved people: he never met a stranger and he loved telling stories of his early life in northern Wisconsin. Often, he’d see young people in the community who would comment on how they loved the stories he told when he subbed in classrooms.
Pat was so excited when baseball season could finally start again and, even during the closing days of his life, would watch or listen to his LA Dodgers every evening. Larger than life, Pat has left a large hole in his family and his community.
Preceded in death by his younger sister Diane Jackson, Pat is survived by his beloved MaryHelen, his daughter Melinda, son James, three grandchildren and one foster grandchild. Family and friends will gather to celebrate the life of Patrick Mierkey on Saturday, October 3 at 11 a.m. at the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church amphitheater in Oakhurst.
In lieu of flowers please feel free to send a donation to the Oakhurst Community Concert Band or the Golden Chain Theatre.