The Copper County lost a gifted lawyer, a fair and honest judge and a true gentlemen in every sense of the word last weekend. Former Houghton County Probate Judge John Mikkola lost a courageous battle with cancer at his winter home in Alabama. He was 69. Like so many Copper Country natives, Mikkola learned many life lessons on the ice rinks of the Keweenaw and was a member of a Dollar Bay youth Hockey team which won a National Championship in Colorado Springs. After a successful career in private practice, Mikkola was elected probate judge in 1983.