Joseph F. Praska
November 26, 1934 ~ December 8, 2015
Joseph F. Praska Jr, age 81, of Elma, IA passed away on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at Colonial Manor, Elma, IA. Joseph “Joe” Francis Praska Jr. was born on November 26, 1934 to Joseph Sr. and Regina (Nibaur) Praska at his grandparent’s home, Frank and Abbie Nibaur, in Lourdes, Iowa. He attended the local country school until the 8th grade. Joe quit school to help his dad on the farm. Later he earned his G.E.D while serving in the army. Joe was united in marriage to Shirley Vrba on October 1, 1957 at St. John Nepomucene Church in Ft. Atkinson, Iowa. He was drafted into the army and served from November 7, 1957 to 1959 with a tour in Korea. After returning home, Joe and Shirley worked the family farm and milked Holstein cows until their retirement in 1996. They moved into Elma where they have lived ever since. Joseph was a 4th Degree Knight, Charter member of the Elma Knights of Columbus Council #4144 serving as Grand Knight, and was a Faithful Navigator of the Davis Assembly. Joe was also a member of John Frahm Legion Post 597 in Elma and a Farm Bureau member. Joe was a life long member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church. He was very active in the church, ushering, lectoring, singing in the choir, being a Eucharistic minister, taking lay ministry classes and being on the council. He was involved with the Howard County Cancer Association and the Howard County Extension. Joe helped with many church and community activities and was always willing to volunteer his time to help family, neighbors and friends. Joe loved his family and spending time with them, hunting, playing cards, traveling, but his favorite past time was fishing. Joe is survived by his children; Francis (Kelly Beck) Praska of Elma, Karen (Jeff) Knutson of Saude, IA, Ronald (Suzanne Schmitz) of Elma, Renee (Pat) Burke of Elma, Paula (Dean) Zweibohmer of Alta Vista, Daniel (Judy Kleve) of Bloomington, MN and Mike (Retha Sievers) of Alta Vista; 20 grandchildren, four great grandchildren; and sister Marie Rosonke of Charles City. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley, his son Randy, his parents and his sister Regina “Dolly” Gansen.