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Majella M. Koudelka

February 5, 2020
Emmetsburg News

Majella M. Koudelka, age 104, of New Hampton passed away on Sunday, Jan. 19 at New Hampton Nursing and Rehab.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30 at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton with Father Brian Dellaert celebrating.

Burial will be at St. Mary's Assumption Cemetery in Little Turkey, her former parish. The cemetery is located on land she donated.

The family will greet family and friends at Holy Family Gathering Space for visitation from 9 to 11 a.m on Thursday prior to the funeral mass. Memorials may be directed to the family.

Majella, aka Grandma Jelly to her grandchildren and great- grandchildren, was born Sept. 6, 1915, the daughter of Adolf and Mary (Klimesh) Zahasky in rural Chickasaw County.

She attended and graduated from the former Rudolphinum School in Protivin in the class of 1934.

After completing her education, Majella was united in marriage to James Koudelka on Oct. 11, 1938 at Holy Trinity Catholic

Church in Protivin. The couple made their home on a farm near Little Turkey, and welcomed two daughters, Shirley and Jane.

Grandma Jelly was a 4-H member for many years being a member in three different counties. 4-H experiences introduced her to life skills including baking, sewing, food, processing, home furnishings, gardening and photography. She achieved many awards in these areas.

She was named outstanding Iowa 4-H winner in home economics and received a Singer sewing machine for her achievement in 1938, which was her pride and joy.

After Jim's death, Majella moved to New Hampton where she began working for Kennedy's clothing store doing alterations later working at Ben Franklin, then Hamburger Haven Restaurant, where she specialized in making pies. She loved all baking, especially cookies and sharing her kolaches with family and friends.

Throughout her life, Majella was active in various organizations, club and activities.

She was a charter member of the County Corner Club of neighbor farm ladies.

She was a newspaper correspondent, 4-H leader of Lawler Lively Lassies, and served on the 4-H Chickasaw County Committee.

Her family was named outstanding 4-H family. She was a Red Cross blood donor and recognized as a top 10 donor of the county.

She enjoyed playing cards, making crafts, collecting Hummels, taking photos and attending garage sales.

She made many couples happy with lovely wedding cakes that she baked and decorated.

She knitted and crocheted afghans for her children and grandchildren. Majella also spent many hours painting pictures of landscapes and still life, which she displayed at an art show.

Majella was an accomplished seamstress, avid gardener and proud of her vegetables and beautiful flowers until she was 96 years young.

She traveled to various places in the United States and Europe.

On her 89th birthday, Majella took a hot air balloon ride to see the area of her former farm.

Left to cherish Majella's memory are her daughters, Shirley (Jack) Sabelka of Little Turkey, and Jane (Don) Bruch of Emmetsburg; her grandchildren, John L. (Cathy) Sabelka, WI; Sherrie (Daryl) Balik, Cresco, Selene (Chris) Schirmer, Calmar, Lance Bruch Emmetsburg, Heather (Paul) Slifka, Roland, Travis (Renee) Bruch, CO, Justin (Marissa) Bruch, NE, and Tyler (Amy) Bruch, NE; her granddaughter-in-law, Sandy Sabelka, Denver; great-grandchildren, Kristen Copland; John Ben, Taylor, and Nick Sabelka; Selena, Mackenzie, and Tonya Schirmer; Gabriel and Cecilia Slifka; great-great grandchildren, Colette, Miriam and Chandler and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jim; grandson, James Sabelka; granddaughter, Nicole Bruch; her three brothers, Edwin, Emil, and Otto; and three sisters, Beatrice, Eleanor and Lucy in infancy.

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