Martin Koudelka, 88

Jan. 7, 1935 - 
Aug. 11, 2023
CRESCO - Martin J. Koudelka, age 88, of Cresco, passed away at his home surrounded by family in Cresco, on August 11, 2023.
Martin John Koudelka was born on January 7, 1935 to John and Bessie (Frana) Koudelka in Elma. While in high school, Martin worked for Clet Koshatka as a mechanic. He graduated from Rudolphinum High School in Protivin in 1954. After graduation, he enlisted in the U. S. Army. Due to his excellent mechanic skills, he was stationed in Germany and performed maintenance on military vehicles. In 2021, Martin received his Quilt of Valor in honor of his service in the United States Military. After returning home, Martin purchased the Jerico Tavern. He was set up on a blind date with the love of his life, Emma Jean Burgess. They were united in marriage on April 23, 1958, at St. Joseph’s in Cresco and to this union, three sons were born – Darryl, Todd and Scott.
Martin and Emma Jean sold the Jerico Tavern in 1962 and moved east of Cresco, where they raised their sons on the family farm. Martin and Emma Jean worked side by side on the farm, performing daily tasks and chores. Martin kept up his mechanic skills throughout his life. He was always tinkering and inventing things to help him on the farm. A special part of his day was when he and Emma Jean would take a break from their work and play a game of cards.
Martin and Emma Jean enjoyed traveling to Branson, Missouri, and listening to country music. They loved frequently visiting The Inwood Ballroom in Spillville and Matter’s Ballroom in Decorah where he and Emma Jean would dance. They would often spend time going for rides together around the countryside. Martin also loved polka music and could play the accordion and fiddle. He enjoyed having a piece of coconut cream pie and watching game shows, Gunsmoke, Marty Stuart and the RFD channel, especially when they aired antique tractor shows. Martin became a grandfather to twelve grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren and loved spending time with them.
Martin is survived by his sons Darryl (Annette) Koudelka of Nevada, Iowa, Todd Koudelka of Sun Prairie, Wis., and Scott (Gretchen) Koudelka of Hastings, Minn.; grandchildren Wendy (Isaac) Stanley, Megan (Paul) Wochinski, Danny (Rebecca) Koudelka, Jill (Mike) Connors, Brian Koudelka, Michaela Koudelka, Caleb Koudelka, Lexy (Stephen) Dolley, Noah Koudelka, Ethan Koudelka, Katelin (Brandon) Ziemer, and Jennifer (Jake) Brown; 13 great-grandchildren; sister Jane (Bernie) Huegel of Alta Vista, Iowa, brother David (Kathy) Koudelka of Cresco; brothers-in-law Kenny (Donna) Burgess and Charles Burgess of Cresco; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Emma Jean, and sister Dorothy Koudelka.
 A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Martin 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at the Notre Dame Catholic Church in Cresco, with Father Jacob Rouse officiating. Recitation of the Rosary will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, August 14, 2023 at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Cresco followed by a visitation from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. which will continue Tuesday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the church.  Burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery in Cresco, Iowa.
 Online condolences may be left at

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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