Joseph Louis Janak, 97, of Winner, SD passed away on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 at the Winner Regional Long-Term Care Center in Winner, SD.
Funeral services will be on Saturday Aug. 24, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner, SD. Visitation will be held on Friday Aug. 23, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church from 5-6 p.m. with a rosary beginning at 6 p.m.
Janak was born on April 30, 1922 to Mr. and Mrs. Lou and Anna (Staska) Janak who lived north of Jordan Corner near Winner, SD. He received his elementary education at Royal School near there and attended high school in Winner.
Joe went to work for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Camp and was in charge of the construction work for the Sheridan Dam, which was constructed in 1937 in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Joe was also a member of the construction crew, which built the original runway at the Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD.
From 1940 to 1943 he worked for Joe Week’s Livestock Company in Winner where he drove a truck and also purchased cattle for Week’s. In 1943, Joe entered the US Army and served as a tank commander with an armored battalion in both Africa and Italy. Joe served in five major campaigns in Italy and his unit spent 387 days in the front lines without any relief. During this time his unit suffered 83 percent casualties. He was a decorated WWII Veteran and received his honorable discharge in December, 1945.
On Sept. 16, 1946, he married Bernetta M Erickson, daughter of Clarence and Marina Erickson. To this marriage, they had four children, DuWayne, Gregory, SD; Delaine (Janak) Larson and husband Dale, Sioux Falls, SD and fraternal twins, Brent and Beverly (Beck), Winner, SD and Beverly (Janak) and husband Randy Sprenkle, Sioux Falls, SD.
Upon his return to Winner Joe drove a truck for Ray Kahler, and then he entered the grocery business where his first position was a grocery clerk for the IGA Store in Winner. After a year, Joe went to work as an assistant meat cutter at the Outlaw Trading Post and was promoted to manager of the meat department for 13 years.
When the Outlaw sold out, Joe went to work for the Ideal Chain Stores in Chadron, NE as a manager of the meat department for five stores. After holding this position for one year, Joe returned to Winner and worked at the Westside Grocery market for one year.
After working many years in the grocery store business, Joe and Bert made the decision to buy a restaurant in Winner. Joe and Bert owned and operated the B & J Salad Bowl Cafe from 1961 until 1970. They moved to Minot, ND where Joe managed the Knights of Columbus Supper Club for 4 years before moving to Commerce City, CO. in 1976. Joe was a member of the Meat Cutters Union while employed at Kings Sooper for 11 years; he retired in 1987. His free time allowed him the opportunity to manage “Joe’s Swap Shop”, fish, travel, process wild game in addition to enjoying time with his family and friends.
Joe is a lifetime member of the VFW and is also a member of the American Legion, Elks and Knights of Columbus, and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In addition to his love for fishing and hunting, Joe was also an avid baseball fan.
Joe made many new friends during his stay in the Winner Long Term Care Facility in 2015 until his death. He lived a very upbeat and social life as one of their residents and fulfilled his role as ‘ambassador’ and always speaking highly of his medical team, especially, Dr. Taylor, Dr. Berg, and Dr. Wagner.
Preceding him in death was his wife, Bert, son, Brent, and daughter-in-law Lil (Engel) Janak, his parents, Louis and Anna (Staska) Janak, in-laws Clarence and Marina (Suing) Erickson, siblings James, Alice, Leonard, Leo, Dorothy (Janak) Reynolds, Rosalie (Janak) Vedral, and great granddaughters, Maxx and Mallory Janak.
Joe is survived by one sibling, Theresa (Janak) Snow, Dallas, Texas; three children: DuWayne, Gregory, Dee Larson (Dale), Sioux Falls, and Bev Sprenkle (Randy), Sioux Falls, 7 grandchildren; Jeff Evans, Lee, Nick (Katie) Larson, Ashley (Will) Oliver, Jay (Sarah) Janak, Eric (Amanda) Sprenkle, Jen (Jordon) Terveen, and great grandchildren: Jack and Elizabeth Evans, Julia and Blake Larson, Maddie and Walker Oliver, Mason, Miley and Miriah Janak, Nate, Zach, and Noah Sprenkle, Nola and Gus Terveen, and Jesse.