Mik will be remembered as a loving free spirit and a fierce competitor in life - who did it his way. As a teen in the late fifties, Mik led Chaffey High School to three straight CIF baseball championships, before winning a baseball scholarship to Fresno State, who went on to the NCAA playoffs three straight years, before losing to eventual national champion USC.
In 2007, Mik was enshrined in the Fresno State Hall of Fame along with the rest of his 1961 teammates. Mik was drafted out of Fresno State by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After suffering a career-ending injury, Mik moved his family south, and turned his talents to the screen, starring in several films before trying his hand as an independent film producer.
During this time, Mik coached his son's youth football, baseball, and basketball teams to championships. Mik next resumed his competitive fires by carving a unique place for himself in the Commonwealth sport of croquet, where his legend would color the image of America's most elegant sport. The "Bad Boy" was tailor-made to paint American croquet with a richer texture, something that played well against both the stylish "Palm Beach" and "backyard croquet" extremes - a third alternative that suggested that croquet is a sport, rather than a lifestyle. Mik entered the scene in the late eighties cutting a striking figure, in a costume that carried the overtones of baseball. He looked the part of an athlete - fit, trim, outfitted for victory.
The 90's were his best years, where Mik meshed his aggressive strategy with his smooth rifle-scope accuracy. He won national championships in both USCA American Rules and International Rules in both 1997 and 1998; and he achieved the highest finish of any American competitor ever in the WCF Golf Croquet World Championship in 1998 as the runner-up, to the utter amazement of many - including the Egyptians, who perennially dominated the sport and had never seen such "non-Egyptian" strategy deployed with such success.
In 1997, Mik won the Grand Prix, earning him the title of USCA "Player of the Year." In 1998, Mik was at his peak, both in competitive play and in arousing the ire of the formal croquet establishment.
Ten years ago, under the subhead, "The dark legend of Mik Mehas," writer Bob Alman wrote: "First there was the legend of a country bumpkin in overalls and a pickup truck rolling into Palm Beach and confounding the socialite glitterati with his expert play; then there was the legend of the tiny wunderkind from the Southernwestern desert who, with his similarly scaled-down mallet, took on the champions and beat them at their own game."
Throughout his life Mik maintained a passion for spiritual growth and fulfillment, and a dear love for his family.
He will be forever missed and is lovingly survived by his children, Michael William Mehas (Jessica Cheng) and Misty Marie Romero (husband Ernest); grandchildren, Sequoyah Romero and Tenaya Rose Romero; surrogate grandchildren, Molly Cheng and Brian Su; significant other, Elizabeth Galle; siblings Phillip Mehas, Christina Ollila, and Richard Mehas (Karen Mehas); aunts and uncle Evelyn Vail, Eileen Hargrove, Sylvia Mehas, Angie Mehas, and Herbert and Pat Bostrom; mother of his children, Donna Santo; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and foes alike.
A celebration of Mik's life will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, July 25, 2009, in Ventura. Please contact the family or the Ted Mayr Funeral Home for location information. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 7733, Ventura, CA 93006, RibbonofLife@RibbonsVentura.org; or your favorite charity. Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home & Crematory, Ventura.