Joseph F. Praska

joseph praska
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.

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  1. My sincere condolences to all the family. We had a lot of Euchre games together. I loved that innocent look on his face and the little sly laugh after he would trump my card. Lots of great memories of he and Dad laughing about their fishing. After nine years, today, they are back together fishing and playing cards, I’m sure of that. Those are the memories we will all keep in our hearts. Again, you have my deepest sympathy.

    Beverly Valvoda

  2. Paula & Family. I truly send my Prayers & Strength during this difficult time of loss. I know personally losing a parent is heartbreaking, yet losing 2 and close together is the challenge of our strength & faith. The comforting feeling is they are together , reunited, no longer in pain & suffering. We just know the empty places in our hearts because they took a piece with them to Heaven. So close to Christmas is an even more difficult time. Celebrate his/their lives, to relive memories, carry on the traditions, sing & play the Carols that they enjoyed. Joe accomplished many things throughout his life, that is something to be proud & grateful for. God Bless You All. May all the prayers & Love coming your way sustain & strengthen you all this time of loss. Also I want to Thank & Salute
    His Service to keep Our Country Safe & Strong. Love, Prayers & God Bless You all, Deb & Don Morrison

  3. Mike & Retha, Ethan, Weston and Emma, and the Praska family,
    Our deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your father. I hope you find peace and comfort in knowing your Mom and Dad are now together in Heaven. God’s love to you all.
    Shereen, Meg, Austin, Jorden, Madison and Grace


  5. No heart breaks alone for God is always near. When a prayer is whispered God is always there to hear. When sorrow’s overwhelming, He comforts tenderly. A single tear never falls that he does not hear.(Psalms 65:2) Sorry for your loss.

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