American Veteran 01

John W. Houdek

October 15, 1934 ~ August 21, 2020 (age 85)


John was born in Brainard, Nebraska to John F. Houdek and Marie A. Divis October 15, 1934.  He was the youngest of three siblings.  After graduating from High School in 1951, he landed a job with the Union Pacific Railroad.  He was drafted into the United States Army June 26, 1957 and was stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.  He served his time overseas in Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland.  While in the service, John was a Radio Teletype Operator and Radio Operator, where he led the team of tanks through Germany. He received the Good Conduct Medal as well as badges for sharpshooter both rifle and pistol.   After his service, he returned to the Union Pacific Railroad as a telegrapher.

 On February 3, 1962 he married the love of his life MaryLee Houdek (Schissler). Together they had 3 children, Joan, Jean and Lora.  He doted over his girls.  You would always see John at all of his girls’ sporting events, as well as at his grandchildren’s.  He was their lifetime cheering fan.

John spent the majority of his life in Brighton, CO working for the Union Pacific Railroad as an Agent.   John enjoyed bowling, fishing, boating and coaching his girls in softball in the late 80’s and early 90’s.   John was a member of the Brighton Elk’s and a devout Catholic, serving as an altar boy in his younger years.   His faith in God remained strong until his final moments on earth.             

John is survived by his wife, MaryLee Houdek (Schissler); along with three daughters and their families, Joan (Dan) Heideman, Jean (Brad) McDonald, Lora (Rick) Taylor. He also has five grandchildren: Sarah and Matt Heideman, Jake (Krista) McDonald, Jenna (Dominic) Montoya, and Hailey Taylor; along with 2 great grandchildren: Jack Vannatta and Ryker Montoya.  He is preceded in death by both of his parents; and two sisters, Dorothy Novotny and Jeraldine Fiedler.   




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