Arnold “Bud” Jirak

Monday, April 3, 2017 4:33 pm

Arnold “Bud” Jirak, 86, of little Turkey, died Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Hampton. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 3, at Assumption Catholic Church in Little Turkey, with Rev. Kyle Digmann officiating. Organist was Jeanette Dietzenbach. Soloist was Deb Speltz (“How Great Thou Art,” “Amazing Grace,” “You Are Mine,” “Goin Home” and “Just a Close Walk with Thee”). Mass servers were Ella Jirak and T.J. Jirak. The eulogy was offered by Jamie Jirak (“Crossing the Bar,” Alfred Lord Tennyson). Lectors were Erin Nebel, Dustin Wagner and Mitch Bauge. Offertory gift bearers were Bud’s sons. Eucharistic ministers were Kurt Jirak, Barb Jirak and Althea Murphy. Casket bearers were great-grandsons of the founders of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Catholic Church in Little Turkey: Gary Barloon, Robert Busta, Dennis Landa, Arnold Busta, Jerome Jirak and Jack Sabelka. Honorary casket bearers were Bud’s children and spouses, grandchildren and spouses and great-grandchildren. Interment was at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Little Turkey. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, Chekal Chapel, Fort Atkinson.

Arnold Francis Jirak was born Sept. 26, 1930, the son of Frank and Sophia (Koshatka) Jirak on the family farm near Little Turkey. He graduated from Waucoma High School in 1948, attended Loras College for two years and then farmed with his father. Arnold was united in marriage to Rita Frana Oct. 15, 1951, at the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Spillville. Ten children were born to this union. In 1962, Bud resumed his education, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree with a social studies teaching certificate in 1964 from the University of Northern Iowa. He taught in the North Winneshiek school system and the DeSales High School in Ossian and worked for Riley Construction. Bud and Rita owned the LT Tap and he also worker for Lynch Livestock. Bud loved spending time with his family, especially on the 4th of July and Christmas. Bud had an interest in politics – national, state and local. His skill in woodworking was evident through his refurbishing of the furniture in their home and on the collectibles of others. Bud was 81 when he authored the book, “An Island Community,” a social history of his beloved Little Turkey.

Bud is survived by eight children: Quentin (Paula) Jirak, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Debbie (Al) Nebel, Dubuque; Keith (Sharon) Jirak, Coon Rapids, Minn.; Denise (Lyle) Smith, Baltimore Md.; Doreen (Doug) Wagner, Granbury, Texas; Jeff (Mayra) Jirak, Phoenix, Ariz.; Brian (Theresa) Jirak, Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Francine (Kevin) Bauge, Silver City; one daughter-in-law, Mary Jirak, Minneapolis, Minn.; 23 grandchildren: Jamie Jirak, Kurt Jirak, Kristy Jirak, Evan Jirak, Ashley Ullom, Riane Jirak, Abby Jirak, Shelly Jirak, Matt Nebel, Erin Nebel, Josh Wagner, Dusty Wagner, Bobbi Gene Smith, Jason Smith, Hannah Jirak, Brandon Jirak, Adam Jirak, Allie Waugh, Katie Gonzales, Max Jirak, Mitchell Bauge, Calvin Bauge and Katie Koch; 25 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Frances O’Brien, Cedar Rapids, Richard Frana, Calmar, Sandy Frana, Decorah, Rose Frana, Calmar and Vince (Janell) Frana, Cadiz, Ky.; along with many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Bud was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Rita; Arnold’s parents, Frank and Sophia (Koshatka) Jirak; two children, Shelly Jirak and Kevin Jirak; mother and father-in-law, Stephen and Frances (Havel) Frana; step-mother-in-law, Agnes (Shindelar) Frana; sister, Darlene (Melvin) Humpal; brothers and sisters-in-law: Steven Frana, Walter Frana, Raymond Frana and Robert Frana; Marcella (Vernon) Lee and Mildred (Wilmer) Poshusta; Naomi Frana and Gene O’Brien.

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