John (Johnny) Houdek Jr., 56, passed away at Aspirus Wausau Hospital Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 surrounded by his family after a hard fought six year battle with appendiceal cancer.
John Jr. was born August 30, 1958 in Geneva, IL, son of John Sr. and Virginia (Stark) Houdek. He attended Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn, IL where he played on the golf team and graduated from Amherst High School where he was awarded all-conference in baseball. He went on to study business marketing and natural resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He was captain of the UWSP golf team, where they went on to be conference champions. For many years, he worked for this father at Houdek Golf Course Design and Construction. Then with the guidance of his uncle Bruce, he entered the golf sales business as a representative for Pro Group an Arnold Palmer Company, worked with Bridgestone and Town Talk, and ended his career as an independent sales rep with Sun Mountain and Sterling Glass.
For those that knew John, he had a charismatic personality, and an ability to bring people together and cultivate deep and lasting friendships. With family and friends, John always enjoyed fine wining and dining. He was a loving son, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle who cared deeply for his family, and took a very active role in each of their lives. He carried on the Houdek legacy of a mischievous sense of humor, and he served a fatherly role for his nieces as well as other children of close friends and family. As an avid outdoorsman, John enjoyed fishing and hunting in locations everywhere from his backyard right here in Central Wisconsin, to Canada, and Alaska. He was passionate about other sports, including: softball, baseball, and above all golf and football. He was referred to as the “golf guy” in many circles, had a deep-running affiliation with the Wisconsin PGA, and formed relationships with golf professionals all over the country. He even got the rare hole-in-one at North Hills Country Club in Menominee Falls, WI. He was a Packers season ticket holder and attended multiple Super Bowls. John was also a passionate fan of Amherst sports after years of watching his nieces participate in everything from basketball and volleyball to golf and dance.
John is survived by his mother Virginia Houdek of Amherst, WI; aunt Violet Steinke of Sorrento, FL; two sisters, Kathleen (Peter) Connolly of Wayne, IL, and Karen (Michael) Glodowski of Amherst, WI; two nieces, Jennifer and Kate Glodowski, and nephew Erik (Collette, Logan, Reese) Connolly. He was preceded in death by his father John Houdek Sr.; and his uncles, Bruce, Ronald, and Ladd (Earl) Houdek. A celebration of life for John Jr. will be held at a later date. The family would like to thank the doctors and nursing staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and University of Pittsburg Medical Center for their extraordinary care over the last several years. Additional thanks go out to the local community, Sun Mountain, Sterling Glass, and members of the Wisconsin PGA for their support of John and his family. Serving the family is Jungers-Holly Funeral Home, Amherst, www.hollyfuneralhome.com