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Obituary of Jarka Hradecky
The Hradecky family is heartbroken to announce the peaceful passing of Jarka Hradecky on February 28, 2023 in her 88th year.
Jarka Marie Hradecky (née Novak) was born April 23, 1935 in Zlín Czechoslovakia and arrived in Canada in 1939 as a child. Her family was among about 100 Czechoslovak shoemakers’ families who arrived in Canada to build and operate the Bata Shoe factory in Batawa, Ontario. This was to be a two-year project, but because of World War II raging in Europe, most of the families ended up staying a lifetime in their adopted homeland of Canada.
Jarka attended Belleville Collegiate and McMaster University. She married Julien Hradecky in 1953, and together they restored a hobby farm near Codrington, Ontario where they brought up their son Julien Jr. and daughter Sara, surrounded by horses and basset hounds.
The family moved to Kitchener, Ontario in 1967. In 1969, Jarka supported her husband in founding R&J Engineering Corporation, a company that would find her traveling with him around the world in the development of new business.
Jarka lived in Sarasota, Florida during the winter months and in Waterloo and Muskoka, Ontario during the summer months. She was an avid traveler and at last count had visited more than 100 countries. Jarka was a truly exceptional singer and knew every word to every song from every major Broadway musical. Given the slightest encouragement, Jarka would burst into song. Her other love was the theatre, and among her philanthropic works, she strongly supported the Stratford Festival, an institution she loved since its inception in the early 1950s.
Jarka was predeceased by her husband Julien in 1996 and by her sister Draha Prock and brother-in-law Ivan Prock. She is survived by her daughter Sara Hradecky of Victoria; her son, Julien Hradecky Jr. and her daughter-in-law, Joan Sanger of Waterloo and Santa Barbara; her beloved grandsons, Julien III of Honolulu & Alexander of New York City; her sister-in-law, Zuzana Kalinová of Prague; her niece, Jana Prock and nephews Ivan Prock Jr. and Martin Kalina; and cousins in the Czech Republic.
Jarka was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. Her tenderness, elegance and wisdom will be missed. She is now free from the debilitating effects of two strokes which she endured for many years with stoicism, grace and good spirits.
Jarka resided at Columbia Forest Long Term Care Centre in Waterloo since 2008. Her family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Columbia Forest, and the many wonderful companions and caregivers from Bayshore HealthCare who supported Jarka over the years. Many heartfelt thanks to Simi Dhariwal in particular, who became like a family member to Jarka.
A celebration of Jarka’s life will be held at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo, on April 23 (Jarka’s birthday) from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. in the Fireside Reception Room.
A private family committal service will be held at Parkview Cemetery, Waterloo.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jarka’s memory to St. Mary’s Hospital Cardiac Centre or the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy and may be arranged through the funeral home, www.erbgood.com or 519.745.8445.