Former town board member and 41-year Genoa resident Michael Thomas Miluck, 91, died Jan. 29, 2010, at his home.
Born Edward Thomas Miluck on Aug. 17, 1918, in Wilton, N.D., to Tom and Marie Miluck, he grew up across the river in Mandan, N.D., where his parents owned and operated a bakery.
He graduated from Mandan High School in 1937 and was awarded a basketball scholarship to the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks.
Miluck left the university during his junior year in 1940 to join the U.S. Army Air Corps but washed out of cadet training. He then joined the British Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot (Eagle Squadrons 71 and 121) and flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in combat over England before being posted to North Africa where he participated in the El Alamein Campaign in late 1942 as part of Eagle Squadron 250 flying P-40s. He transferred to the U.S. forces as a first lieutenant in January 1943 in Cairo, Egypt, and was training a squadron in Texas for transfer to Europe when WWII ended.
Miluck then settled in San Antonio, Texas, where he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves, established a flying school, operated an aircraft dealership and maintenance base at Stinson Field, created and opened a dinner house - "Mad Michael's" and designed a subdivision.
It was at this time that he changed his first name from Edward to Michael. He was recalled for service in the Korean Conflict and managed all the USAF officer's clubs and hotels in Tokyo, Japan, until he was honorably discharged from active service as a major in 1952.
Miluck moved to San Antonio and Bandera, Texas, where he filmed a pilot for a television series based on the Texas Rangers. He moved to San Francisco where he managed various restaurants.
On Dec. 26, 1964, he married Nancy Christian in Old St. Mary's Church in San Francisco. Daughter Mary Grace was born in San Francisco in 1966.
In early 1969 they purchased a lot for $7,000 and arranged for a house to be moved there for $250.
Daughter Elise was born in Carson City in 1970. In 1971, a local contractor added a wing to the house and two years later, Miluck built a barn. He built a greenhouse/workshop, fenced the property, planted hundreds of trees and shrubs and coaxed a lawn out of the Genoa gravel.
Miluck served on the Genoa Town Board in the 1970s and became a member of the Genoa Volunteer Fire Department. The couple secured a grant of almost $5,000 to rewire and re-floor the old Genoa Town Hall. Miluck then built a porch on the Genoa Town Hall. He got a grant to install a furnace in the town church and put a porch and bell tower on the building. Nearly every resident of Genoa, and many in the Valley, contributed cash, labor or materials to these projects.
In 1978, the Milucks began publishing under the name Dragon Enterprises. Their first two Genoa Carson Valley books raised funds for the town to have TV translators and the down payment on a lot for the town park.
They later published three more editions of the Genoa Carson Valley Book, a state history text and three history coloring books. Nancy always relied on Miluck for editing their efforts. During the 1980s and 1990s, Miluck served on the town board again, on the Greater Genoa Business Association, participated in the annual Candy Dances and traveled.
He was preceded in death by his wife Nancy in 2006.
He is survived by daughter Mary Grace of Genoa, son-in-law Terry Peterson, grandson John Michael Peterson, daughter Elise of Mill Valley, Calif., and sister Adeline Lane of Three Forks, Mont.