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Mykel Raej Vanek

Mykel Raej Vanek, age 26, of Spokane Valley, Washington, passed peacefully surrounded by her family on January 31, 2024.

Mykel was born on June 10, 1997 to Valerie Lyn Vanek and Michael "Max" Phillip Clark of Spokane. From birth Mykel could light up any room with her presence and continued to do just that until her passing. Even at the tender age of 2, when she was diagnosed with "ALL" Acute Lymphatic Leukemia, Mykel always had a smile on her face and a caring gesture for all around her. After 3-1/2 years Mykel won her arduous battle with cancer. That was when she learned of Camp Journey, a childhood camp for cancer patients and survivors. She developed lifelong friendships with patients and survivors like herself, as well as the amazing volunteers. There she was lovingly given the forever nickname "MAHALO". Cancer may have affected Mykel's life, but camp truly CHANGED her life and the direction it would go.

Mykel attended University High School where she participated in many sports and enjoyed playing the clarinet in marching band, which took her all over the country playing at multiple venues. She then attended Washington State University graduating early, at the age of 21, with a double Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Visual Communication Design Cum Laude, beginning a flourishing career designing advertisements, book covers, music labels, and logos for numerous clients including her beloved Camp Journey which she attended for nearly 20 years every summer.

Mykel spent every moment she could with her loving grandparents, Steve and Vickie Vanek, and great-grandparents Art and Mona Vanek, fishing, hunting, and boating. She also loved spending time with her two uncles and their wives: Mike and Jeanna Vanek of Tennessee, and Roy and Bas Vanek of Guam.

Mykel loved crafting including macrame, crocheting, stained glass and ceramics. She and her Grandmother Vickie sold crafts together at the local markets around Spokane for many years. She also walked in Bloomsday, a 12km race in Spokane, with her mother Valerie, grandma Vickie and her younger brother Dezmond Vanek, age 15, every year of her life, 27 races!

Mykel and her mother Valerie began throwing darts together in a local dart league in 2021. Mykel quickly began perfecting her throwing skills, ranking high in many tournaments all while meeting an eccentric group of individuals she soon began to call cherished family. Mykel's passing will be felt by the thousands of lives she touched; her vibrant loving soul will be missed by all that knew her. She is preceded in death by her grandfather and great-grandparents.

Open casket service was held February 18, 2024, in Post Falls, Idaho. Graveside service was February 19 at her family's cemetery in Noxon, Montana.

 

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