Joseph Mijich

Obituary of Joseph T Mijich

Longtime Seattle attorney Joseph T. Mijich passed away in Rancho Mirage, CA, on February 12, 2022. He was 96. Joe was born in Tacoma, WA, to Joseph J. and Angela Mijich, a well-known commercial fishing and ship building family, and was raised in the tight-knit Croatian community of “Old Town” Tacoma. He attended Bellarmine High School and graduated among the top of his class in 1943. With World War II at hand, Joe enlisted in the US Navy Air Corps. He was sent to Willamette University in Salem, OR, to start pre-flight training where he was class president. He later transferred to the regular Navy and served as a Navy Line Officer. After the war, Joe enrolled at the University of Washington and joined the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He graduated in 1948 and entered the UW Law School, finishing in the top five percent of his class in 1952. Joe began his law career as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington and represented the Dept. of Labor & Industries and the Dept. of Fisheries & Game. His efforts helped protect the State’s salmon and steelhead runs. He went on to a distinguished private law practice representing some of Seattle’s most notable people of the time as well as numerous national and international companies, including the H&R Block Franchisees and Peninsula Shipping. As a young lawyer in the 1960s, Joe became well known in the Seattle social scene when he purchased the historic Stimson/Griffith mansion on Highland Drive on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill. There, he and his many friends recreated some of the elegant times that the original owners brought to the city of Seattle in the early 1900s, with its most memorable guest being President Taft in 1909. Though sold in the early ’70s, his friends, fraternity brothers and family will always have wonderful memories of those special times. Joe was a member of numerous clubs and organizations including the American Bar Association, the Rainier Club, the Columbia Tower Club, the Seattle Tennis Club, the Washington Athletic Club and the Northwest Forum where he served as President in 1978. In his later years, he spent the winters at his home in Rancho Mirage, CA. There, he enjoyed the company of his good friends and especially his beloved companion, Martha Swanson. Joe Mijich was an elegant man who was gifted with charm, wit and a keen mind. He was a sought-after public speaker and had a loving and caring nature. His integrity and legal professionalism were always without question. In fact, he maintained his license to practice law well into his 90s because his clients so deeply trusted his judgement and advice. Though Joe never married or had children of his own, he was a mentor and loving uncle to the family of his sister, Joan Coson. Our family will always treasure what this wonderful man meant to us and will strive to live our lives in a way that honors him. Our thanks to the doctors and nurses who cared for our uncle and our special thanks to Joe’s legal assistant, Kim Parker. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph J. and Angela Mijich; an infant sister, Vinka Stambuk, his sister, Joan V. Coson and his nephew, Fred J. Coson. He is survived by his companion, Martha Swanson; his nephew, George E. Coson, III (Linda Lea); his niece, Sandra Tilton (Mike Little); JoAnn Coson (spouse of his late nephew); his great nephews, George E. Coson, IV and Fred Coson, Jr; his great nieces, Stephanie Coson (Matthew Swetnam) and Angela (Brian) Dreher; and great-grandnephews, Asher and Jaxon Dreher. A private service is planned for March 10th at Beck’s Tribute Center in Edmonds, WA, with internment at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, Tunnel to Towers Foundation or St. Jude Hospital. A celebration is planned in the spring at the Seattle Tennis Club. <h4><center>Godspeed Joe —Volim Te<center></h4>
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