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Leonard William Shatek, 94

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Leonard Shatek, age 94 of Elma, died Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church with the Rev. Nick Radloff celebrating the Mass.

Interment will be held in Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery.

Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday Feb. 26, 2024, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in Elma where there will be a 4 p.m. Rosary and a 6:45 p.m. Parish Scripture Service.  Further visitation continues one hour prior to the service at the church in Lourdes.

Leonard William Shatek, a man whose life was a testament to the values of hard work, family and faith, passed away on Feb. 20, 2024, in Mason City at the age of 94.

Born on May 7, 1929, in rural Howard County, the son of Joseph and Mary (Komarek) Shatek, Leonard was a lifelong resident of the area he cherished and a pillar of the community he helped to build and sustain.

Leonard’s early years were spent in Lourdes, where he received his education before answering the call of duty to serve in the United States Army during the Korean War.

After an honorable discharge, Leonard returned to his roots on the family farm, where he would cultivate not only the land but also a lifetime of memories and accomplishments.

It was at a dance one fateful evening that Leonard met Rosemarie Svestka. Their courtship led to marriage on June 27, 1955, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Protivin. Together, they raised five children — Kenneth, Dean, Carol, Gary and Dennis, instilling in them the importance of hard work and devotion to family.

Farming was not just Leonard’s occupation; it was his calling. Alongside Rosemarie, he worked the family farm with a passion and proficiency that was evident in every aspect of his labor. Leonard managed Holstein dairy cattle, and hogs, took pride in his row cropping, and raised chickens.. His ability to fix nearly anything on the farm was born out of necessity and became one of his many talents. For Leonard, farming was more than a job; it was a way of life that brought him peace and fulfillment.

Leonard’s interests extended beyond the boundaries of his farm. He and Rosemarie enjoyed traveling across the United States, experiencing the beauty of the country they loved. They also shared a fondness for the occasional casino visit, where they would try their luck together.

A devoted hunter, Leonard cherished the tradition of pheasant hunting with his brothers and sons a pastime that evolved into a treasured family event, creating lasting memories for all involved.

A true lover of his heritage, Leonard never missed Czech Days in Protivin, where he reveled in the old-time music and dancing that connected him to his roots. His community involvement was extensive, serving on several cooperative boards and the Hawkeye REC board, where his insights and dedication were invaluable.

Above all, Leonard was a man of faith. His gentle, faith-filled nature was the cornerstone of his life, and he worked tirelessly to strengthen the bonds of family and community that he held so dear. Leonard’s legacy is one of a life well-lived, marked by his handy skills, his gentle demeanor, and his unwavering commitment to his faith.

Leonard is survived by three sons, Kenneth Shatek of Cresco, Dean Shatek of Elma, and Gary Shatek of New Hampton; one daughter, Carol Kappes of Apple Valley, Minnesota; two grandchildren, Daniel Kappes and Melanie (Angela) Carlson-Kappes; two great-grandchildren, Angelina, and Carmilla Carlson-Kappes; one brother, John (Margaret) Shatek of Elma; and one sister-in-law, Lavonne Shatek of Elma.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Rosemarie in 2008; son, Dennis Shatek; four brothers, Edward (Lucille) Shatek, Clarence (Mildred) Shatek, Joseph (Rita) Shatek, and Francis Shatek; and one sister, Cecelia (Leonard) Kapler.

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