Michael A. Skovira, 94, of Jessup died Friday morning at Mercy Center Nursing Unit in Dallas. Born on July 7, 1925 in Jessup to John and Mary Gavenda Skovira, Mike was the youngest son of 12 children. He loved his parents and was dedicated to their care especially as they entered their twilight years. He thoroughly enjoyed his brothers and sisters: Mary Teter, John, Joseph, Leonard, Cyril, Bernard, Loretta Krieger, Ann McGuirk, and infant brother, Francis, all of whom preceded him in death; Richard Skovira, Baltimore, MD and Florence Pilch, Ashburn, VA, his surviving siblings; and his sister-in-law, Stella Skovira, Blakely. He was dedicated to his cats; enjoyed traveling domestically and internationally; celebrated his Slovak heritage – the language, especially the recitation of the Slovak New Year’s greeting, the music - the Skovira Family Band and sing-a-longs, and the food – making homemade sauerkraut and mushroom soup; and giving back to Jessup whenever he could.
Mike attended St. Michael’s Slovak School, Jessup High School, graduated from Lafayette Business College, attended the University of Scranton, and graduated from LaSalle Extension University with a Bachelor of Law Degree. He was a member of St. Michael’s R.C. Church, Queen of Angels Parish, former commander and member of the Jessup American Legion Post 411 and Jessup VFW Post 5544, Chairman of the Slovak Society, President of the Valley View School Board, a member of the St. Michael's Cemetery Committee and was active in the St. Ubaldo Society. Along with his brother Bernie, Mike was a self-employed Real Estate Investor.
There was one constant in Mike’s life: serving others. As a young boy, he helped his father in the Skovira family grocery store on Hand Street and by 18 was asked to do the unimaginable – travel abroad to defeat a great evil and bring freedom to a people he had never met. “Like I always said, my friends and neighbors sent me on a trip," Mike said when describing his service as assistant tank gunner and youngest member of the 2nd Armored Division in Europe during World War II with Patton’s Army. During the Battle of the Bulge home was never far from Mike’s thoughts. During that brutal winter, he taught his buddies how to keep their feet warm by wrapping them in newspaper just like he and his Dad had done to ward off the cold at football games. As a member of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ Mike experienced the worst and best of humanity. He received a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Medal, and Distinguished Unit Badge but more importantly, he served with integrity, honor, humility, and a profound love of our great country.
When he arrived home, Mike stepped forward to ensure his fellow Veterans received the care and benefits they had earned. As a leader in the American Legion, Mike traveled to Washington, D.C. often to meet with lawmakers, presidents, national American Legion and VFW leaders, and secretaries of the Department of Veterans Affairs to share first-hand experiences of his fellow Veterans and advocate for their needs. In addition to his public roles, he was deeply committed to his family, never missing a wedding, family reunion, Sunday dinner, or the numerous school events of his nieces and nephews.
Michael Skovira would be the first to tell you that he was blessed to be born into a family filled with faith and love. As we join together to bid him farewell on earth, we are filled with joy knowing his many friends and loved ones await his arrival by lining the path to heaven. Godspeed, Mike. You were a good and faithful servant. We love you. Until we meet again.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to, www.StrongpointTheinert.org, a foundation that supports soldiers and their families and was established in memory of Mike's great nephew, 1LT Joseph J. Theinert, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.
The funeral will be held Saturday from the Louis M. Margotta Funeral Home, 511 Church St. Jessup with Mass at 10 am at St. Michael’s Church, Jessup. Interment, St. Michael’s Cemetery, Jessup. Friends may call Friday from 5 to 8 PM. For online condolences, please visit www.margottafuneralhomes.com.