Cover photo for John Vodacek's Obituary
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1925 John 2012

John Vodacek

September 4, 1925 — October 13, 2012

Obituary for John Vodacek

John Vodacek, 87, of Chippewa Falls, passed away on October 13, 2012 at the Rutledge Home under the care of St. Joseph’s Hospice.
John was born on September 4, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois. When he was six years old he moved with his family to the Town of Sampson in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, where he enjoyed rural life on the family’s small farm, and did more than his share of fishing on Larrabee Lake, even acting as a guide to the many Chicago visitors to the area.
John was inducted into the Army Air Corps in 1943, after graduating from New Auburn High School. He was stationed in Foggia, Italy with the 529th Air Service Group HQ, 15th Air Force. When he returned home he enrolled in UW-Madison, where he eventually earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration. in 1949 he married Eileen O’Dwyer. They had four children: Kathleen, John, Thomas, and Anthony. He held many positions throughout Wisconsin in the education field, including a brief professorship at UW-Eau Claire, before returning to public school administration as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for the Eau Claire School District. John and his family spent nearly two years in Nigeria, West Africa as part of a Ford Foundation/USAID project to improve that country’s education system. The family often reminisce about that exceptional experience.
John retired from the Eau Claire school system in 1979. On Valentine’s Day, 1982, John married Barbara (Kupfer) Larson at their home on Chain Lake. After Barbara’s retirement in 1992, they enjoyed traveling all 48 continental states, Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. For a period of time they lived in Las Cruces, NM, and Sun City, AZ before returning to Wisconsin to be near their families. In later years they discovered tour bus traveling which took them to the Northeast, the Northwest, and many places in between.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Katerina Vodacek; his sister Emilie Johnson; brother-in-law Robert Johnson; and step-son John Larson.
He is survived by his wife Barbara, Chippewa Falls; daughter Kathie Roy, Eau Claire; sons John (Deanna) and Tom, Town of Sampson; son Tony (Ann), Rochester, NY; step-daughter Christine Bravo, Glendale, AZ; step-sons Jim (Jane) Larson, Madison, WI, and Dan Larson, Eau Claire; nephews Bob, Mike, Dave, and Bill Johnson; five grandchildren, John, Caroline, Kayla, Mason, and Gemma Vodacek; twelve step-grandchildren, and fourteen step-great-grandchildren.

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