Obituary for William J. Jirik

William J. “Bill” Jirik, age 81, of New Prague, died peacefully after a long battle with heart disease on Monday, July 20, 2020 at Mala Strana Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Bill was born on March 24, 1939 in New Prague to William J. and Josephine J. (Javurek) Jirik, Sr. He attended St. Wenceslaus Parochial School, graduated from New Prague High School, and served in the US Army Reserve for six years during the Vietnam War and Cuban Missile Crisis. Bill married the love of his life, Joan M. Schimek, on February 10, 1962 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in North Mankato. Bill started his career with Rynda Plumbing at the age of 14, where he learned the trade and became a master plumber. He stayed with Rynda Hardware until 1969, when he went to Stein’s Inc. and worked for them until purchasing the business in 1985, as Minnesota Plumbing and Heating in Shakopee. He retired in 2005. Concurrently to his plumbing career, he and Joan owned and operated Jirik Monument from 1965 – 2019. His heart of gold and kind spirit often led to charitable acts in his years of monument sales.

Bill was a member of the American Legion, Western Fraternal Life (ZCBJ) and Plumbers Local 15. He was a well-known and well-loved people person, always personable and ready with a joke. He could be seen having coffee with his buddies at the bakery, playing cards with friends, and engaged in a lively conversation. He loved to fish, both summer and ice fishing, and made sure all his grandchildren knew how to fish. Nothing made him happier than gatherings with his family. For the last 13 winters, he and Joan loved the months spent in Yuma, AZ.

Bill is survived by his loving wife, Joan of New Prague; son, Duane (Amy) Jirik of New Prague; daughter, Deanna (Michael) Riker of New Prague; grandchildren, Izak and Josef Jirik, Kate (Mark) Spyhalski, Michael Riker; sister, Dorothy Jirik-Moore of New Prague; sister-in-law, Jean Jirik of Blackduck. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Francis Jirik.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, July 23 at 10 a.m. at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with Father Michael Miller officiating. Mass will be live-streamed on Those in attendance are encouraged to wear masks. Burial will follow at Czech National Cemetery where military honors will be provided by the New Prague Area Veterans Honor Guard.


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