March 22, 1958 — Nov. 17, 2017
Michael T. Miskell was always proud and thankful about how far he had come, from BOCES student in high school through community college to a seat at business meetings alongside MBAs and Ph.Ds for a division of a Fortune 500 company.
The Cheektowaga native, who started his career as an electrician at Dunlop Tire, rose to senior director of business systems at Kaman Industrial Technologies, a leading equipment supplier headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn.
“Not bad for a BOCES kid,” he often said, according to his wife, Bonnie. “He always thought hard work was his path to success.”
Mr. Miskell, who moved with his wife from North Tonawanda to Windsor, Conn. last fall to be close to company headquarters, died Friday after suffering an apparent heart attack in his home. He was 59.
His family plans to create a memorial fund in his name to benefit BOCES students.
Mr. Miskell graduated from Cheektowaga Central High School in 1976, before earning an associate degree in electrical engineering from Erie Community College.
He worked for Dunlop Tire for eight years, rising from electrician to maintenance supervisor, before beginning his 31-year career at Kaman. He started as an electrical specialist working on high-tech product solutions, and later moved to a sales-leadership role in the company’s Northeast region in January 1999.
The company went through a major reorganization in 2010, and Mr. Miskell headed the new regional customer-service effort. He later was promoted to senior director of business systems, responsible for bringing in a new computer system for the $1.1 billion division.
“Throughout his entire career, Mike was a tireless source of positive energy to all that worked around him,” a company official told his family.
And his boss said, “Mike was always asking, ‘What’s possible?’”
Outside work, Mr. Miskell served as a deacon at North Presbyterian Church in North Tonawanda. He volunteered with his son's Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops and helped coach his son’s Bison Hockey teams. He finished two marathons – one running and one in-line skating – and completed two Tough Mudder 10-mile obstacle races, one of them with his son, Kyle, and daughter, Stephanie.
In addition to his children, Mr. Miskell is survived by his wife of 34 years, the former Bonnie Crump; his parents, James and Beverly; and two brothers, James and Ken.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday in North Presbyterian Church, Payne Avenue, North Tonawanda.