John Houdek Sr., 85, passed away at home on Friday, June 21, 2013 surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with Mesothelioma.
He was born October 10, 1927 in Berwyn, IL, son of Ladislav and Alvina (Snyder) Houdek. John attended Glenbard West High School in Glenn Ellyn, Illinois. He was drafted into the Army during WWII, completed his service, and was honorably discharged in 1947. After his service he attended Highlands University in New Mexico. He then moved back to Illinois and enrolled in the Illinois Institute of Technology to study Engineering. Shortly thereafter he completed a series of courses in Fine Turf Management at the University of Massachusetts. On June 5th, 1953 John married the love of his life, his “sweetie” Virginia Stark, at a home service in Glen Ellyn, IL.
He was an entrepreneur with Houdek Golf Course Design and Construction. A few courses he built include: Glacier Woods Golf Course in Iola, WI; Greenwood Hills in Wausau, WI; and Mascoutin Country Club in Berlin, WI. In 1975, he fulfilled his life-long dream of buying his own land and moving his family to Amherst, WI. He retired from the golf course business at the age of 72. John was very passionate about spending time with his family. He adored his grandchildren and attended many of their activities. He enjoyed golfing (maintaining an under 10 handicap much of his life), watching Amherst athletics, hunting, spending time outdoors, cheering on “Da Pack”, visiting the library, working on Sudoku puzzles, and tasting the finest brews. John was also known for his mischievous sense of humor.
John is survived by his wife Virginia of Amherst, WI; three children, Kathleen (Peter) Connolly of Wayne, IL; Karen (Michael) Glodowski of Amherst, WI, and John Houdek Jr. of Amherst, WI; two grandchildren, Jennifer and Kate Glodowski; step grandson Erik Connolly (Collette) of Chicago, IL; step great-grandchildren, Logan and Reese Connolly; sister Violet Steinke of Sorrento, FL; and brother Ladd Earl Houdek of Saline, MI. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ladd and Alvina Houdek and brothers, Ronald and Bruce Houdek.
A private family celebration of life for John will be held at a later date. The Jungers-Holly Funeral Home of Amherst is assisting the family with arrangements. www.hollyfuneralhome.com