SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah Office of the Attorney General is honoring the life of a longtime employee who has recently died with a heartfelt tribute today.

For 39 years, Steve Mikita served as the former Assistant Attorney General representing the Division of Services for People with Disabilities and the Office of Public Guardian. During his time there, he worked to offer a variety of services to the state and disability community that the office is calling “unmatched.”

Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Mikita could not move from the neck down and was not expected to live past the age of two. Yet, he lived for more than sixty years, inspiring and empowering others with his legal and advocacy work. Mikita also worked as an Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator.

“Mikita handled complex and difficult matters involving the ADA and has a vast array of knowledge regarding disability law,” said representatives of the Utah Office of the Attorney General. “He frequently shares his knowledge when other divisions of the AG’s office encounter disability law questions.”

According to the AG’s Office, Mikita was the first freshman to be attending Duke University in a wheelchair. He then went on to earn a law degree from Brigham Young University.

Attorney General Sean D. Reyes pays tribute to Mikita with the following statement:

“Steve Mikita was a giant in the Utah legal field. His work in the disability community and expertise in related legal issues was unmatched in both significance and longevity. His life experience allowed him to serve the State of Utah with incredible insight and compassion.  

He was an inspiration to us all and a living miracle embodying grit, perseverance, faith, family support and unending optimism. Beyond his leadership as a lawyer and advocate, he was a very dear personal friend. Saysha and I send our sincere condolences and love to the Mikita family.” 

Mikita retired from his position at the Attorney General’s Office in August 2021.

Outside of his legal work, Mikita was also a published author, having written “I Sit All Amazed: The Extraordinary Power of a Mother’s Love.”

The AG’s Office closes out the tribute with a quote by Mikita:

“That’s what this life is for — for navigating and loving each other and serving each other notwithstanding what comes our way. If somehow you missed that memo, then it’s time you realize this is why we’re here, to serve others through the good times and the bad times.”

Steve Mikita