Michael John Skwira

Michael John Skwira, age 82, died in his home in St. Paul on 11/10/22 after a brief illness.  The gift of his humor, kindness, and stories will live on in our hearts.


He was raised by Michael and Martha Skwira who had moved from farms in Opole, MN to East St. Paul where Mike attended St. Casimir’s grade school and then Cretin High School.  Throughout his childhood and during his college years at St. John’s University, he visited the Skwira family farm regularly, remembered his roots, and incorporated wisdom and wit from a family of storytellers.


He fell in love with Karen Tell and, in her, found a partner with whom he built an adventure.  They returned nearly penniless from a three month honeymoon in Europe in 1963 and built a family and a home that welcomed travelers, a wide circle of friends, foster daughters, and a table that always had room for more.  Their love for each other and strong partnership continue to inspire family and friends.


During his short career as a math teacher, his mentor Bill Lethert encouraged him to join Lethert & Skwira.  Mike's head for numbers, hard work, and business sense led him to a successful career as an accountant at Lethert, Skwira, Schultz & Co.  He found decades of fulfilling work and especially enjoyed serving local family businesses, supporting farmers in southern MN, and providing family tax services. 


Mike was a talented golfer and an avid hunter and fisherman who wanted to ensure that his family would have a place to catch fish and spend time at the lake together.  He and Karen restored an old log lodge to its current grandeur on the shores of Little Sissabagama where they well known for creating an association to protect the lakeshore and water quality.  We all have fond memories of catching fish with grandpa, frying dinner on an open fire, comparing tartar sauce recipes, and telling stories around the dining room table. 


Mike is survived by his loving wife Karen; sister Joan Seckinger; and brother Greg Skwira; children Anne Skwira-Brown (Kevin), Michael, Peter (Beth), and Joseph Skwira; as well as his foster daughter, Patty Hallet. His granddaughters Katherine, Rachel, Kimberly, Carmen, Anna Jo, Claire, Chloe, Michaela, and Lydia will remember fun times at the lake, a grandpa who could make anything into a game, and their biggest cheerleader.


Mass of Christian Burial, 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 16 at the Church of the Assumption Church, 51 7th Street, Downtown St. Paul. Visitation at church 1 hour before the Mass. Lunch to follow. Burial 1:00 p.m., Thursday, November 17 at Evergreen Cemetery, Stone Lake, WI.  A lunch at Marie’s will follow the burial.


We will greatly miss the twinkle in his eye, generous spirit, and his love for family.