This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Francis Miksa 80 years old , born on September 24, 1938 and passed away on March 20, 2019. We will remember him forever.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Fran's name to his favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity, or to the American Library Association (ALA).

Posted by Shawne Miksa on April 7, 2019
Hard to find the words to express, Dad. Thank you for all you taught me and for your love.

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Posted by Shawne Miksa on April 7, 2019
Hard to find the words to express, Dad. Thank you for all you taught me and for your love.
his Life

About Fran

Fran Miksa was born September 24, 1938 in Aurora, Illinois, to Francis L. Miksa and Frances Theresa Borovich Miksa. His mother was born in Illinois to parents who had immigrated from an area near Poznan, Poland. His father, an electrical worker for the Bell Telephone system and an amateur mathematician, immigrated to the U.S. in 1905 from Krakow, Poland. Together they had ten children, including their second son “Little Francis” as he was called by his seven sisters and two brothers.

Fran graduated from East High School in Aurora, Illinois, in 1956 and Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1960. He married Barbara J. Vincent in 1960. Barbara was a registered nurse from Flint, Michigan. Between 1961 and 1969 they had four children--Elizabeth, Francis, Joel, and Shawne. They divorced in 1972. Fran remarried in 1976 to Mary S. Spohrer of Baton Rouge, La.

In 1965, Fran earned a D. B. from Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. While at seminary he studied the history of Christianity, having been very much taken by ancient history as a background to biblical studies. He then begin library studies at the University of Chicago, Graduate Library School where he received his A.M. in 1970, followed by a Ph.D. in 1974. From 1972 to 1984 he served on the faculty of the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. From 1982 to 1984 he was instrumental in bringing computerization to the school and in 1983 served both as Acting Assistant Dean and as Acting Dean. While at the school, his research was focused first on library history and subsequently on the idea of the “subject” in intellectual access to information.

In 1984, Professor Miksa joined the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at The University of Texas at Austin (since 2002 the School of Information). As coordinator of doctoral studies from 1985-1991 he was instrumental in reviving the School’s Ph.D. program.From 1986 to 1987 he served as Visiting Distinguished Scholar in the Office of Research at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in Dublin, Ohio. Professor Miksa earned the Texas Excellence in Teaching Award at UT Austin in 1985, 1989, and 2001.

Professor Miksa’s early research focused on Charles Cutter and his work, resulting in the books Charles Ammi Cutter:Library Systematizer (1977) and The Subject in the Dictionary Catalog from Cutter to the Present (1983). He later focused on how classification and categorization had been implemented across diverse disciplines, and on the development of classification in the field of library and information science. Other published works from this time include The Development of Classification at the Library of Congress (1984) and Research Patterns and Research Libraries (1987).

During the 1990s Professor Miksa’s chief area of research had been intellectual access to information entities (both traditional print-based items and those consisting of digital objects) including the categorization of such entities on the basis of content characteristics.Starting in 1991 he investigated the fundamental nature of document attributes in document representation. Also in ’91 he attended the Conceptions of Library and Information Science (COLIS) conference at the University of Tampere, Finland in 1991, during which he gave his paper entitled “Library and Information Science: Two Paradigms,” which was his attempt to see if there was something called library and information science that was a unique thing, a unique combination. In 1998 he published perhaps his most cited work The DDC, the Universe of Knowledge, and the Post-Modern Library.

Professor Miksa fully retired from academia in May of 2008, moving to Columbia, Mississippi, with his wife Mary Spohrer Miksa, where he was a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. In 2009 Professor Miksa received the prestigious Margaret Mann Citation from the American Library Association.

In addition to his academic work Fran had a great love of bowling, having played on teams in both Louisiana and Texas. He was also an accomplished woodworker. He was especially adept at making furniture in the Mission style as well as designing and constructing many bookcases, fireplace mantels, shelving, plant stands, and desks, etc. He was generous in offering to build things for family and friends, at the same teaching his children many of these woodworking skills.

Fran was preceded in death by his parents, Francis L. Miksa Sr. and Frances Theresa Miksa; brother Daniel Miksa of Aurora, IL and sisters Francis Ann Adams of Racine, WI and Sandra Rylatt of Rockford, IL, and three siblings in infancy. His beloved son Francis Louis Miksa III of Winter Springs, FL., passed in 2003.

He is survived by wife Mary Spohrer Miksa, son Joel (Stacey) Miksa of Winter Springs, FL, and daughters Elizabeth Miksa and Shawne Miksa of Denton Texas; sisters Gloria Jones, Elsie Sadler and Linda (Jim) Wolf of Aurora, IL; Hazel (Jim) Kempton of Lima, OH; and Bonnie Hiltenbrand ofMontgomery, IL. He is also survived by his brother Ronald Miksa (Sherry) of Big Rock, IL; eleven grandchildren: Heather (Aaron), Allison, Michael, Shannon, Kelsey, Nicholas, Ember, Patrick, Jeremy, Emma, and Nathaniel, and two great-grandchildren, Ellie and Clover.

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