Donald C. Jirik, 78

Donald C. Jirik, age 78, of New Prague, died peacefully at home in the presence of his children on Saturday, March 21, 2020.  Don was born on May 9, 1941 in New Prague to Emil A. and Helen M. (Kriha) Jirik, Sr.  He graduated from New Prague High School and then entered the US Navy, where he served as Senior Chief Petty Officer for 22 years.  He married the love of his life, Alice M. Mamer on November 6, 1965 at St. Wenceslaus Church in New Prague.  Being a “Navy Man”, the couple traveled and raised their 3 children in many locations, including Cyprus, West Africa, Key West, Bainbridge, MD, Adak, AL, Hakata, Japan, Ft. Meade, MD, and Cheltenham, England, before finally retiring in San Angelo, TX.  Don’s wife and family always came first and he was not the typical Navy dad as, despite the duties demanded by this career, he always made to time to coach all his children’s soccer teams in the various ports that he served.  After retirement from the Navy, Don and Alice returned to New Prague, where Don worked for a short time in the bank before his second career with the New Prague Post Office, from which he retired after over 20 years.  He was the face of kindness, gentleness, calm, and above all, helpfulness.  He was loved by all, the mentor to those who succeeded him, and an advisor to so many in the community.  He was an extremely organized and punctual man, who put in many hours behind the scenes to make sure the post office was ready for service each day.  His community service continued with election to the New Prague City Council. 

 Don was deeply in love with his wife, devoted to his family, and shared a special relationship with each of his grandchildren.  He loved his years of traveling.  He and his family vacationed together on Pelican Lake in Orr, MN every year for over 25 years. He enjoyed fishing, all forms of gardening, and always made time for the puzzles in the daily newspaper, from the crosswords to Sudoku.  His gentle, kind spirit will be missed by so very many.

 Don is survived by his children, John (Kim) Jirik of Orr, MN, Tammy (Joe) Murphy of New Prague, Steve Jirik of New Prague; grandchildren, Katie, Tommie, Madisson, Charlie, & Leo; siblings, Robert Jirik of Prior Lake, Kay (Chuck) Hanzel of Walker, MN, Emil “Sonny” (Barbara) Jirik of New Prague.  He is preceded in death by his wife, Alice on June 25, 2018; his parents.

 There will be a private family mass on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 10 AM at St. Wenceslaus Church, which will be live streamed on www.npcatholic.org.  Burial will occur at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery where military honors will be conducted by the New Prague Area Veterans Honor Guard.  A celebration of life memorial service will take place at a later date. bruzekfuneralhome.com 

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