James Robert Sluka was born to Gust J. Sluka and Mayme (Hromadka) Sluka on July 5, 1934 on the family farm south of Exeter. He passed away on February 3, 2010 at the Fillmore County Hospital in Geneva, NE at the age of 75 years, 6 months and 29 days. He was the youngest of three children.
Jim attended grade school at District 2. Here he made lifelong friends Jim & Dwayne Luzum. As a youngster, he was involved in 4H. He graduated from Exeter High School in 1952. Here he had participated in football, basketball and track. In 1957 he joined the Army with his friend, Bob Zeleny. He was honorably discharged in October 1958 and returned home to work on the family farm. He also assisted his father and brother Don in auctioneering.
In 1959 Jim was introduced by Bob Zeleny to his future wife, Annabelle Nemecek from Lincoln. They were married on September 24, 1960. They began their life together on the farm where they resided until his death. To this union, six children were born, Chris, Tom, Maryann, Diane, Sandy and Amy. Jim spent his entire life farming. He served on the school boards of District 2 and the Milligan School District. In April 1990, he began working at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska as a groundskeeper. Here he enjoyed working with his good friend, Earl McCullough and the students on campus. His dedication to the job was proven by the many early morning trips taken to remove snow. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award. Due to illness, he retired in 2003.
Jim loved music. He started at the early age of four, playing the accordion by ear. Later he played the saxophone in a band. Jim spent many hours entertaining his kids and grandchildren playing the accordion. He also enjoyed collecting many musical instruments.
Jim also enjoyed following his children and grandchildren in all their school activities. He will be remembered by his family for his patience and will be missed as the loving husband, father and grandfather he was.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father and sister, Doris. He is survived by his loving wife, Annabelle, sons and daughter-in-laws, Chris and Renee Sluka, Tom and Karen Sluka, daughters and son-in-laws Maryann and Rob Henrichs, Diane and Jay Geiger, Sandy and Mike Folda and Amy and Craig Fey, 18 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild, brother and sister-in-law Don and Lorene Sluka and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Funeral mass was held at St. Wenceslaus Church in Milligan on February 8, 2010 with Father David Bourek officiating. Organist Karen Filipi accompanied the congregation in Amazing Graze, Peace Prayer of St Francis and Blest are They. Randy Korbelik played his favorite polka, Little Goose Polka. Server was Sam Zeleny. Pallbearers were his 18 grandchildren – Ryan Sluka, Ashley, Alicia, Josh, James and Anna Sluka, Nick Henrichs, Corey, Kacee, Kayla and Jonah Geiger, Rachel, Rebecca and Reagan Folda, Ashley, Jessica, Gracie and Colton Fey. Honorary pallbearers were Richard Rischling, Robert Rischling, Les Svec, Dwayne Luzum and Earl McCullough. Interment was in the Bohemian National Cemetery at Milligan with Farmer and Son Funeral Home-Kotas Chapel in charge of arrangements. Memorials are directed to Milligan Rescue Unit and Fillmore County Hospital Nursing Staff.