After graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in business administration, Mikuski-DeMory’s work in customer service helped her discover her passion for working with people. She wanted to commit herself to a career where she could make a daily impact on people’s lives, which led her to the field of occupational therapy.
Her time at the University of Indianapolis was marked by active involvement in the School of Occupational Therapy, where she left an impact on all who knew her.
“I remember her as spirited, passionate and determined,” said Dr. Lucinda Dale, professor in the School of Occupational Therapy, “She was a real asset to our research group. She had a great sense of humor and witty sarcasm that always made us laugh. She excelled with her attention to detail, helped keep the group on track and actively contributed to see our project to publication.”
As part of her graduate research, Mikuski-DeMory was one of the authors involved with Dr. Dale in publishing the article, “Outcomes of a pilates-based intervention for individuals with lateral epicondylosis: A pilot study,” in the Journal, Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation.
“Our hearts are heavy as we think about Connie’s passing and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends,” said Dr. Kate DeCleene Huber, associate dean of the College of Health Sciences and Chair of the School of Occupational Therapy. “Her personality and sense of humor brought so much energy to the classroom and to our profession. Connie’s dedication and passion for occupational therapy will forever be inspirational.”
Mikuski-DeMory remained in Indianapolis after graduating and pursued her career as an occupational therapist at a skilled nursing facility, where she became the Director of Rehabilitation. She was also a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and continued her learning by attending multiple AOTA conferences. Connie’s passion for improving others’ lives as an occupational therapist was shown through her interaction with patients, bringing a smile to their face when providing care and even dancing with them when the moment was right. She was able to share her love for life during any situation. She was settling into her home in Indianapolis when she married her husband, Michael, in November 2019.
“She will always be remembered as a person who stayed true to herself even when life placed some of the hardest obstacles to overcome,” said classmate Kristy Ulm ’13 (occupational therapy). “She was someone you could have fun with and laugh with, while also being serious and genuine when needing someone to listen and talk to during difficult situations.”
Ulm reflected that Mikuski-DeMory would often say, “Follow your heart,” when offering advice on making a difficult decision or trying to overcome something that seems impossible.
“She was someone who never gave up on living and loving life and bringing that to others’ lives through her career as an occupational therapist,” said Ulm. “Connie was a true example of what it means to overcome the most difficult obstacles and really ‘living life to its fullest.’”
Special thanks to Dr. Lucinda Dale, Dr. Kate DeCleene Huber, Kristy Ulm, Lindsay Emery, Trisha Donaghey, and Tyra Shantz for sharing their memories of their student, classmate, colleague and friend, Connie Mikuski-DeMory. Also, thank you to the UIndy MOT Class of 2013 for their generous gift in Connie’s honor towards occupational therapy student scholarships.