Gene Mikrut
1935 - 2012

Gene’s talent and passion for Polish music was apparent, but what most people didn’t realize is that as much as he loved music, he loved making sure others enjoyed it, too. To do this, Gene made sure that the music was appreciated and understood, and he loved to talk about the origins of certain melodies and traditions and of the rich Slavic folk songs that found their way to the USA with our ancestors.

“Accordionly Yours” is how Gene signed every correspondence. He was proud that he played accordion, and he was proud of his band and of his music. And why not? To have people smiling, dancing, and enjoying his music is what Gene loved. He knew and networked with many other such musicians in the Chicago area. He spent many hours working on our website’s musical section on Spuscizna to present Polish and Polish American music to our visitors. These are our most popular pages.

And so this jovial and sociable man found the internet to be a great way to educate younger folks about the music and customs of their ancestors. Gene took this important task seriously. His illness laid him low a few times, but he rebounded, urging us to make sure we kept the site going, kept the music playing and kept people smiling. To all those who visit our pages and pause to hear a melody that your babcia used to sing, or one you heard in church, remember that you are learning about your Polish heritage the best way Gene Mikrut knew how: Through music.

And so we at Spuscizna say, “Gene, we will always be ‘Accordionly Yours.’”

- Karen Wisniewski

Editor's Note: Gene Mikrut contributed to more than 80 web pages on this website. We were blessed with his friendship.

Karen Wisniewski & Dennis Benarz, USA 2012