Ronald J. Mikulak ’69 died on January 10, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.
(The following was provided by the Pearson Funeral Home on January 12, 2023)
Ronald Joseph Mikulak, educator, journalist and accomplished chef, died January 10, 2023, at his Louisville home. He was 75.
Ron spent most of his professional life as a teacher, then made a shift into journalism later in life and became a fixture in the Louisville food scene as a writer and columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Louisville edition of Food & Dining magazine, where he served as managing editor.
Ron was born September 27, 1947, in New Brunswick, N.J., to Joseph and Elsie (Supko) Mikulak. He was raised and educated in Metuchen, N.J., graduating from Metuchen High School in 1965. As a senior at MHS, he was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, an achievement that would have bearing on his later life. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1969 and earned a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970.
He taught English at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire in the early 1970s, before teaching at the Park Tudor School in Indianapolis. In 1977, Ron began teaching at the St. Francis School (now the Francis Parker School of Louisville) in Louisville, where his life was about to change significantly. While teaching at St. Francis, he met the woman he would marry four years later, prominent Louisville artist Ann Stewart Anderson. She died in 2019 after thirty-eight years of marriage to Ron.
Ron and Ann Stewart traveled extensively – all over the United States, plus numerous international journeys, including Europe, Africa and India.
Ron was a voracious reader, as befitting an English teacher. In addition to works of literature, he also read extensively about history, science, language, food and technology. Ron was a superb cook and baker, always on the lookout for new recipes and foodways to try out on his family and friends. An example of his culinary talents is his preparation of turducken – a deboned Cornish game stuffed inside a deboned duck stuffed inside a deboned turkey. He was also known to bake his own bread, brew his own beer, and preserve fruits and vegetables.
While Ron worked at St. Francis, he also wrote occasional freelance food articles for the Courier-Journal. That led, in 2004, to his being hired as a food writer by the Courier-Journal. He worked there until his retirement in 2013, writing feature articles, compiling recipes, tracking local restaurants and answering readers’ questions. After he retired, he was a contributor to Food & Dining Louisville.
Ron is survived by his brother, Robert Mikulak, and his wife, Leslie Boyd, of Asheville, N.C.; his sisters-in-law, Mary Anderson of Cambridge, Mass., and Lanier Anderson of Portland, Ore.; and his goddaughter, Mattie DeAngelis of Asheville, N.C.