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Martin J. Svoboda

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

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Martin J. Svoboda

Nov. 15, 1924 - Oct. 1, 2012

ELWOOD, Nebraska -- Martin J. Svoboda, 87, of Holdrege, Nebraska, formerly of Elwood, died Monday (Oct.1, 2012), at the Phelps Memorial Hospital in Holdrege, Nebraska.

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He was born on Nov. 15, 1924, at Wahoo, Nebraska, to Joseph and Barbara (Benes) Svoboda.

He attended school at Valparaiso High School, in Valparaiso, Nebraska, and graduated with the Class of 1941. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. and served in Saipan-Tinian, Marianas and Volcano Islands, and Iwo Jima. Upon his discharge, he furthered his education at Peru State College where he also played basketball. He received his bachelor's in education from Peru State in 1949, and embarked on a 38-year career in education. He married Laura M. Siel on June 1, 1950, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in York, Nebraska.

In 1951, he was the principal at Benedict Public Schools in Benedict, Nebraska. He would teach and coach grades 7 thru 12 in Nebraska, Iowa and Arizona. After teaching and being principal in Phoenix, Arizona, he came back to Nebraska to be a principal at Tri County High School, near DeWitt, Nebraska, and then was superintendent at Burwell, Nebraska, for nine years and Eustis, Nebraska, for 11 years. He retired in 1987 and moved to Elwood while his wife continued to teach.

He was a member of St. John's Catholic Church in Smithfield, Nebraska, and a VFW and American Legion member.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Laura; grandson, Steven M. Lange; brothers, Charles and Joe Svoboda; and sisters, Agnes Reno and Carolyn Jochim.

He is survived by his sons, Martin J. II and wife, Judith Svoboda of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Thomas and wife, Marlene Svoboda of McCook, Nebraska, Michael and wife, Cindy Svoboda of Missoula, Montana, Daniel and wife, Cindy Svoboda of Holdrege, Nebraska, Ronald and wife, Lee Ann Svoboda of Fort Myer, Florida; daughter, Katherine and husband, Duane Lange of Ord, Nebraska; brother-in-law, Jack and Velma Siel of Franklin, Nebraska; 20 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Funeral mass is Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, at 10 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church in Smithfield, Nebraska, with the Rev. Thomas Lux officiating. Interment is Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. at Riverton Cemetery, Riverton, Nebraska, with military rites given by the Nebraska Honor Guard.

Visitation is Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Elwood Funeral Home. Rosary is Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at 7 p.m. at St. John's Catholic Church in Smithfield.

Condolences and personal reflections can be left at elwoodfuneralhome.com

Elwood Funeral Home of Elwood, Nebraska, is in charge of the arrangements.