Cover photo for Joseph B Vondrak Jr's Obituary
Joseph B Vondrak Jr Profile Photo
1925 Joseph 2023

Joseph B Vondrak Jr

May 14, 1925 — September 12, 2023

Joseph B Vondrak, Jr passed away unexpectedly at 98 years of age on September 12, 2023, at his farm in rural Hinton.

A funeral service will be 10:30 am Monday, September 18, 2023, at Blessed Sacrament Church, Holy Cross Parish. Visitation will be 5-8 pm Sunday, September 17, 2023, at Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, Larkin Chapel, 2320 Outer Drive North, with a parish vigil service at 7 pm. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.christysmith.com .

Joe was born on May 14, 1925, on the farm to Joseph and Edna (Taylor) Vondrak. Joe would live on the farm his entire life and always said there was no place that he would rather be than there.

Joe attended a one room schoolhouse just a mile down the road with his first cousins, riding his black and white mare, Beauty, back and forth to school. He then attended Central High School, graduating in 1942; he would tell the story of being in class when Pearl Harbor happened. Remembering the teacher bringing the radio in and everyone being quiet so they could hear while President Roosevelt declared a state of war and the second world war beginning. Over Joe's lifetime he witnessed so many changes as a boy having no electricity to telephones having party lines all the way to today's technology. Over the course of his life there were 17 presidents of the USA, multiple wars, the depression years, and the dust bowl. He survived the farm crisis of the 1980s and saw major advancements in agriculture from using hand tools and horses to being automated with machinery.

Growing up Joe worked on the farm with his dad and used horses to do the farm work. He bought his first WD Allis Chalmers tractor in 1953 but later liked driving John Deere tractors. Joe would continue to buy and sell tractors his whole life and loved to drive them between his farms. Joe always wanted to keep his children working on the farm and would have them help him for "just 5 minutes" which would turn into at least two hours. Joe would continue farming with his son Kevin and grandson Kyle finally "retiring" in 2011. While retired he would continue to raise chickens and sheep with his daughter Mary and enjoyed going to the hay sales in Anthon. Joe was the ultimate farmer and raised corn, beans, oats, cattle, hogs, sheep, and dairy cattle over the years.

Joe met his wife, Irene Sands, through his father's matchmaking. When young, they spent much of their time dancing at various ballrooms around Sioux City. Joe and Irene were married on September 15, 1951, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Sioux City where they would remain parishioners their entire lives. They settled on the original Vondrak homestead that was established in 1890. The homestead became a century farm in 1990. They were blessed with seven children: Kevin, Joan, Mike, Denise, Shelly, Mary, and Elizabeth. Joe was very proud that he had five daughters and would often ask others how many daughters they had to see who had more. Joe was active with his children and grandchildren; he encouraged them all to be in 4H and show at the Plymouth County Fair where everyone seemed to know Joe. He enjoyed attending football and basketball games at Hinton Community School and continued his support even when his immediate family had all graduated.

Joe's greatest wish was to remain on the farm and with the help of his daughters he was able to do that. His daughters had a schedule, and each had their part in keeping him active, fed and cared for, but none were as close with him as his daughter Mary. Together they would often be found in Bomgaars, Fleet Farm, or a sale where he would disappear on his scooter, and she would have to go look for him, usually finding him talking to someone that he knew. Joe was known for "running into town" but was always needing to get home as "he had things to do". Joe enjoyed watching Laurence Welk, Marty Stuart, and Mollie B, he was an avid watcher of the local news and would read the newspaper from cover to cover. He would discuss current events and the state of the world with the family and used his flip cell phone to stay in contact with everyone.

Left to cherish his memory are his children; Kevin (Jody) Vondrak, Joan Rowe, Denise (Scott) Pfeifer, Shelly (Kevin) Huebner, Mary (Lee) Holder, and Elizabeth Vondrak. Grandchildren: Matt (Cynthia) Rowe, Kole Vondrak, Kyle (Amanda) Vondrak, Kelsie Huebner, Bailey (Mitchael) Sieh, Mallorie Huebner, Emma Pfeifer, Aly (Logan) Jurgensmeier, Megan Pfeifer, and Ethen Huebner. Great-Grandchildren: Mattie Wedmore, Miranda Paulsen, Thalia Martinez, and Sutton Jurgensmeier as well as Great-Great Grandchild Waylon Wedmore, and a brother Ralph Vondrak in California.

He was proceeded in death by his wife Irene on April 19, 2020, son Mike, grandson Ryan Rowe, son in law Brad Rowe, his parents Joseph and Edna Vondrak Sr, in laws Robert and Minnie Sands, brother Paul Vondrak, sisters Anne Prasek and Regina Chalmers in addition to many cousins and friends.

Dad told us every day how much he missed Mom, now they are together again.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph B Vondrak Jr, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, September 17, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Christy-Smith Funeral Homes - Larkin Chapel

2320 Outer Drive North, Sioux City, IA 51104

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Vigil

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Christy-Smith Funeral Homes - Larkin Chapel

2320 Outer Drive North, Sioux City, IA 51104

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Monday, September 18, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

3012 Jackson Street, Sioux City, IA 51104

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 61

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree