Mike Ignat was born in Romania in 1924. He studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany, and was a member of the French Foreign Legion in World War II. He came to the United States in 1950 through the Church World Services’ United States Army Resettlement for the French Zone program.
Pat was a graduate of St. Catherine’s College, St. Paul MN, where she was a registered dietician. While working at Prudential, she hired Mike Ignat to work in the food service. Mike and Pat were married in 1965 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. After they were married, the Ignat’s formed a company and provided the food service for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. They also owned and operated a restaurant in Oshkosh called The King’s Table.
Mike and Pat started a family and later moved to Houghton Lake in 1981. Here, they were members of the St. James Catholic Church, and Pat was active in the St. James Women’s Club. She hosted several social events for the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce while her husband served as Executive Director for the Chamber for 15 years, before retiring in 1997. Mike was a member of the American Legion Post 245, Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation. He was a founding member of the Houghton Lake Kiwanis Club, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Prudenville and Roscommon from 1981 until 1983. He was a former board member of the Roscommon Mini-Bus (now known as the Roscommon County Transportation Authority). Mr. Ignat served in the United States Army Reserve and was the grand marshal of Tip-Up Town, USA in 2002.
The Mike M. and Patricia M. Ignat Scholarship was established with the Roscommon County Community Foundation in January, 2009. The Fund awards an annual scholarship for graduating students of Houghton Lake High School, interested in pursuing a degree in Hospitality or Dietetics.