Mickey (Vivian Joan) Comis, age 90, of Manasquan, NJ, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on September 12, 2020, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Appleton, WI. Born on April 6, 1930, in the South Side of Chicago, Mickey and her sister Sis (Loretta) and Brother Bud (Leonard) were raised there by parents, Sarah and Victor.
Her parents were deeply involved in the community through her father’s career with Kroger supermarkets and her mom’s volunteer work with the Democratic Party. Favorite childhood pastimes included cross-country road trips to the Rocky Mountains and listening to her mom play ragtime jazz on the piano. She progressed quickly through her education, skipping 2nd grade, graduating from Academy of Our Lady High School and attaining a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from St. Xavier College in 1951.
During the fall of her sophomore year of college she met the love of her life Bill Comis; they were married in January 1952. The beginning of a large family was soon to follow when she and Bill settled in Kankakee, IL from 1953-60 where their first four children (Sue, Tim, Mel, Mike) were born. The births of Sarah then Chris followed in the coming years as Mickey and Bill chose to advance his career by pursuing new opportunities in New York, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and The Netherlands.
Her love of travel, generous spirit and sharp mind served her well during these adventurous early years. Particularly when living in California, she loved visiting a variety of National Parks on family vacations. Always one to gather friends and family around a delicious meal, she was an excellent cook. The phrase “easy as pie” took on new meaning as she taught us her mother’s pie crust technique. And we all savored the results of her formal education in French cuisine and Viennese pastry.
She and Bill developed deep lifelong friendships, finding kindred spirits in the neighborhood, church and workplace. Mickey was always quick to make friends with the neighbors and held her kids to the same standard; upon arriving in a new town her mantra for the kids was “don’t come home until you’ve made a friend”. Many have said of the years in Ridgewood, New Jersey that it was a charmed life; we were surrounded on Glen Ave. and in Ridgewood as a whole by a circle of friends that is treasured to this day.
She enjoyed the challenge and banter of the workplace; first by joining her friends at the office of her favorite physician, Dr. Baldino, then as a human resources professional at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton. While at the Hilton, she used her innate ability to get along with everyone, including the hotel guests, like the Giants football team. She would watch the football game for a short time, memorize a particularly noteworthy play, only to announce to the players that she encountered “Hey, did you see that crazy play in the 3rd quarter…”.
Her empathy and faith led her to engage deeply with those she and Bill met through the Catholic Church, both within the structure of the parish development programs and social occasions like their July 4th celebrations and group trips to the summer home in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod. Though not a swimmer, she loved Cape Cod and frequently welcomed family and friends to join her and Bill at their “cottage” in Harding’s Beach Hills.
Mom told us so often “It’s been a wonderful life” and how blessed she was. But the gift was ours. Mom graced our lives with her unconditional love, warm compassion, ever-present optimism and kindness for all.
Mickey was predeceased by her husband Bill, father Victor, mother Sarah, Sister Loretta, Brother Jack and brother, Leonard. Mickey is survived by her brother-in-law Tom Wilson, and Bill and Mickey’s loving children and grandchildren; Susan, her husband Bruce Olsen and their daughter Mikki; William (Tim); Melanie, her husband Larry Sikowski, and their four children, Ted, Megan, Dan, and Greg; Mike and his two children, Andrew and Angela and her husband, Robert Esque; Sarah and her husband Jon Resnick; Chris and his partner Steve Lee, her niece Marybeth, husband Roy Harting and their daughter, Amanda and son in law, Brian Galloto and a host of good friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mickey (Vivian Joan) Comis, please visit our floral store.