Clair J. Svestka, age 90, passed away June 3, 2020 at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco surrounded by loving family members.
Clair was born February 11, 1930 the son of Ruben W. and Jessi J. (Shimek) Svestka at the family home in Schley. He attended rural Paris 8 Country School and graduated from Assumption High School in Cresco in 1948. He was drafted into the Army from 1951-1953. He was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska where he did mechanical work on large machinery. Clair was united in marriage to Donna Belle Gunhus on June 4, 1956 at Assumption Catholic Church in Cresco. To this union, 4 children were born; Kirk, Kathy, Kent, and Kris. He sold insurance for Mutual of Omaha for a few years and later started work at the Oliver plant in Charles City. In 1971 he opened a welding and repair business in Cresco in the old brick Swenson factory located on 3rd Street West. As the business grew, he built a new shop on Airport Road in 1978 and remained there until retirement in 2004.
Clair was a proud man, proud of his family, home, and business that he started from scratch. He was inducted into the Bowling Hall of Fame in 1993, a sport he participated in for many years and enjoyed. His Holy Thursdays were spent at the Cresco Country Club and it was something he looked forward to each week for 30 some years. His annual fishing trip to Canada with friends for several years was also something he looked forward to. He and Donna and their family enjoyed camping for many years.
Clair is survived by his wife Donna, children Kirk (Sandi) Svestka of New Prague, MN, Kathy (Kevin) Conway of Prior Lake, MN, Dr. Kent (Brenda) Svestka of Decorah, IA, Kris Svestka of Champlain, MN, 9 grandchildren Clarissa (Toby) Einck; Hayden, and Kinsey, Alex Conway, Raquel Ristau, Whitney (Nate) Halvorson; Franklin, Dr. Eric (Megan) Svestka; Welles, Soleil, and Eira, Brian (Jeni) Svestka; Bentley and Caydence, Kaitlyn (Jacob) Humpal, Cole Svestka, Alexis Svestka, 2 brothers Arthur (Lois) Svestka and Paul (Pat) Svestka, numerous nieces and nephews, 4 step-grandchildren Lori, Jody, Shelly, and Troy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Giovanni Walton, brother-in-law Arnold Hruska, nephews Dean Hruska and Paul Svestka Jr.
Clair could be the life of the party. He enjoyed telling stories and keeping people laughing. You will truly be missed.
Private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Notre Dame Parish in Cresco, IA with Father Jacob Rouse officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery Cresco, IA. A visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 2020, at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Cresco with a scripture service at 7:00 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions masks are recommended and social distancing will be practiced.
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