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Daniel Leo Hudek

February 24, 1946 ~ September 7, 2022 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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Daniel Leo Hudek Obituary

Daniel Leo Hudek, age 76, of Sloan, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at his home following a long illness.  He was a wonderful, humble, selfless man with a quick wit and infectious smile who cared deeply for others.

As per Dan’s wishes, his body has been cremated.  A private service (celebration of life) and burial will be held at a later date.  Arrangements are under the direction of Goslar Funeral Home and Monuments, Onawa, Iowa.

Dan was born February 24, 1946 to Ralph and Ellen Mae (Yocum) Hudek.  He grew up on a farm just north of Pocahontas with his parents and nine siblings.  He graduated from Pocahontas High School, Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, and the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

On May 14, 2005, Dan was united in marriage to Sally Ann Mertz in Sioux City.  They moved to Sloan in 2014.

After retiring as guidance counselor from Hinton HS, he became active in the Siouxland Center for Active Generations and especially loved playing bridge, acting with the drama group, and making many new friends.  At Hudek family gatherings there were always cut-throat Monopoly games which he relished.  Before becoming ill, he loved bike riding along the city trails and even participated in RAGBRAI.  He enjoyed landscaping, boating (especially at Okoboji), traveling to see the Hudek family and being with the Lander family closer to home.  Dan loved watching his favorite teams, the Chicago Cubs, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Iowa State Cyclones. 

Dan never defined success in terms of career achievements.  As his health began to decline in 2019, he never complained.  He continued to put others first.  He loved life and he loved people; he loved to laugh and always did his best to put everyone at ease.  Being the youngest of ten children meant that many of his nieces and nephews were more like siblings to him.  They referred to him as the “fun uncle” and he cherished that distinction.  Learning the importance of life-long learning from his brother Al, Dan often started conversations (especially on car trips) with the words, “Okay, let’s learn something.” 

He wanted some jokes included in his obituary, but papers charge by the length so alas, they will not be included.

Dan wanted to be sure to thank Dr. Ashar Luqman at Renal Associates who provided the utmost care to him over many years; Dr. Jeffrey Sykes at Cardiovascular Associates who first diagnosed his condition and referred him to Mayo Clinic; and Dr. Martha Grogan, Founder and Director of the Mayo Cardiac Amyloid Clinic in Rochester, who provided care and hope for the future.

He also wanted to remember all the excellent Burgess Hospice staff (with special thanks to Jenny, Brenda, Erin, Nikki, and Keri) for everything they did for him, his wife and step-daughter as his life neared its end.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Sally Hudek of Sloan, Iowa; siblings, Norma Jean (Lee) Pletke of Lynchburg, Virginia, Albert Hudek of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Ellen (Chuck) Kaipust of Omaha, Nebraska; sister-in-law, Mary Clayton of Pocahontas, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Dan was preceded in death by his first wife, Sandra; parents, Ralph and Mae Hudek; siblings, Don Hudek, June Ahmann, Isla Mae Hallman, Betty Bollard, Harriet Byers, and Ralph Hudek Jr.

Those wishing to honor his life can make a donation in his name to Burgess Hospice, Onawa, Iowa.

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