Born: July 8, 1921
Death: March 8, 2012
Memorial donations can be made to:
Sacred Heart School Endowment Fund
July 8, 1921 - March 8, 2012
As a bird called at his window early Thursday morning, John J. Straka, age 90, surrendered his soul to God’s open arms. John did not pass alone as he was surrounded by loving family and the caring souls of Crossroads Hospice and Sylvia G. Thompson Residential Center.
John was born July 8, 1921, the youngest child of Clotilda and John Straka. He grew up on a farm around Cole Camp, Missouri, attending schools there and graduating from Cole Camp High School in 1938. He traveled 14 miles a day to school either by horseback or walking, a feat later much marveled at by his children. He answered his civic call during WWII, eventually receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army.
On November 29, 1945, John married Opal Bernadina Stuhner at Sacred Heart Church and began his life in Sedalia with Opal where they successfully raised four children. John worked briefly at Pittsburgh-Corning, drove a beer truck, and settled into the lumber business as a salesman, working for Home Lumber Company, S.P. Johns Lumber Company, and finally Hermann Lumber Company, all in Sedalia. He said that he’d retire if they ever introduced computers into Hermann’s – and he did just that!
During his lifetime, in addition to his “day job”, John devoted time to gardening. Not only was the backyard of the home on South Missouri Avenue a veritable paradise of potatoes, corn, beans, cucumbers, peas, lettuce and his ever famous tomatoes, each year he would, with the help of Opal and children, plant up to an acre garden elsewhere in Sedalia. He continued to garden at his home, planting and tending his last tomato plants just last year at the age of 89.
Recreation for John could be summed up in one word – fishing! Whether it was crappie, bass, or catfish, if it had fins he fished for it. So proud was he of his 3 lb., 10 oz. German trout, rather than eat it, he had it stuffed and mounted so he could revel in that special catch for the rest of his life.
John was married to Opal for 59 years before she passed away in 2005. Left to grieve but also carry on his memory are his children and their spouses, Harold and Martha Straka of Bonita Springs, Florida, Barbara and Roy Case of Sedalia, Linda and John Boyd of Lee’s Summit, Bill and Tracy Straka of Blue Springs; nine grandchildren, Michelle Moore, J.R. Boyd, Kevin Boyd, Jennifer Meisberger, Julie Shrewsbury, Ben Straka, Janquil Boswell, Jeffrey Straka, Kenneth Straka; eight great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Mary Hoff, brother-in-law Bill Stuhner, and numerous nieces and nephews.
John was also predeceased by a sister, Teresa Straka and a brother, Harold Straka.
John’s earthly remains are in the care of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel, where all who knew and loved John may help celebrate his amazing life Sunday, March 11, 2012 with the prayers of the Rosary beginning at 2 pm with visitation to follow until 4 pm.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 1:30 pm, Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Bill Miller, C.PP.S. officiating. Pallbearers will be Jeffrey Straka, Kenneth Straka, Benjamin Straka, J.R. Boyd, Kevin Boyd and John Boyd. Honorary pallbearer will be Roy Case. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors conducted by VFW Post 2591 and Missouri National Guard Honors Team.
Anyone wishing to make memorial contributions in John’s memory may do so to Sacred Heart School’s Endowment Fund, as John was always grateful he had the opportunity to educate his children there.
Sunday March 11, 2012, 2 pm - 4 pm
McLaughlin Funeral Chapel
Rosary will begin at 2 pm with visitation to follow.
Monday March 12, 2012, 1:30 pm
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Monday March 12, 2012
Memorial Park Cemetery