Andrew T. Mihok, a retired Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. manager and former union official active in Harford County organizations, died of prostate cancer Thursday at his Forest Hill home. He was 76.
Born near Nanticoke, Pa., he was a 1952 Patterson Park High School graduate. He joined the Army and served in an engineering battalion, where he became a marksman and earned a degree in radio operations.
He joined the telephone utility and began climbing poles as a telephone equipment installer. He rose through the company and became a manager, overseeing the drafting and design of telephone equipment for commercial use during the 1970s and 1980s.
While on the job, he met his future wife, the former Lorraine Dailey. A co-worker had assigned him the job of installing equipment near her office desk, a 30-minute job that Mr. Mihok extended to three days. She later said, "My life began when I met Andy."
He was later drafting-clerk supervisor, engineer, building industry consultant and finally a supervisor overseeing five groups in engineering design facilities in Towson. He supervised cable television, highways, rights of way and easements.
Early in his career, he was chief steward of his communications workers union.
"He was a believer in fairness, and in the 1960s the issues he spoke of had to do with women and minorities," said his son, Thomas Mihok of Devon, Pa. "He spent time to understand the people he worked with. He was well-prepared and was a very good representative of his peers."
Mr. Mihok, who lived in Parkville and later Forest Hill, founded and served two terms as president of the Montford Glen Community Association. He was a delegate to the Harford County Community Councils.
"My father was an optimistic man who, when asked, 'How are you doing?' would invariably say, 'Fantastic,' " his son said. "To him, the glass was always half-full."
His children attended John Carroll School, and Mr. Mihok was president of the Home School Association and sat on its board of trustees and other committees.
Mr. Mihok was a past president, officer and manager of boys baseball teams at Parkville Little League. He also coached girls and managed the girls softball teams at Fallston Recreation Council.
He was a member of the St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church parish council and publicity chairman. A bass, he sang in the church choir for 30 years.
In retirement, Mr. Mihok was a longtime volunteer for the Maryland State Police and St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. He also joined retired friends for morning political and current events discussions at local bakeries and diners.
He attended his grandchildren's soccer and lacrosse games, as well as their cheerleading and dance events.
A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 6 at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 533 E. Jarrettsville Road in Hickory, where he was a member.
In addition to his son and his wife of 50 years, he is survived by a daughter, Maria Mihok of Forest Hill; two brothers, Richard Mihok of Baltimore and Edward Mihok of Towson; and two grandchildren.