Bessie Mabel Sedlacek, 108, a short-time resident of the Solon Care Center and formerly of Silver Pines Assisted Living & Retirement Community, Cedar Rapids, died there Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009, after a sudden illness. Services were held Saturday, Feb. 28 at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids, with the Rev. Sonda Kirsteatter of Olivet Presbyterian Church officiating. Visitation was held Feb. 27 at the funeral home. Burial was in Czech National Cemetery, Cedar Rapids.
Bessie is survived by her daughter, Leola Ann (Blair) Thornbloom, daughter-in-law, Maxine Sedlacek, and granddaughter, Jill Sedlacek, all of Cedar Rapids; three grandsons, Doug (Jennifer) of Cedar Rapids, Neil (Betty) of Washington, Iowa, and Mark (Maureen) of Keosauqua; four great-grandchildren, Luke, Rachel, Janelle and Dawn; 10 step grandchildren; and brother, Harold (Lil) Sirowy of Swisher.
Preceding her in death were her parents; son, Marvin L.; and siblings, Vlasta, Milo, Libby, Joe, Otto and Irene.
Bessie was born Dec. 14, 1900, in Swisher, Iowa, the third child of Joseph F. and Anna Mae Sirowy. She attended Konigsmark School and graduated from the old Washington High School. She took special classes to prepare her to become a teacher so when she finished high school and received her diploma, she also received a teaching certificate for elementary grades. In the fall of 1919, Bessie got her first teaching job at Maple Grove School, south of Fairfax. She later accepted a teaching position at Belle Prairie School.
During her last two years of teaching at Belle Prairie she met and fell in love with Leo C. Sedlacek, who worked at the United State Bank. The couple planned to get married after school was out in 1923, and on June 12, 1923, they were married at her parents’ country home. When her children were born she quit teaching to raise her son, Marvin, and daughter, Leola Ann, and become a stay-at-home mom.
After Leo passed away on Feb. 1, 1950, Bessie, who had worked side by side with her husband on their farm located at Johnson Avenue NW, turned the farm responsibilities over to her son, Marvin, and took a job at Killian’s Department Store. Several years later she decided to go back to her teaching profession and found a job at Iowa No. 1 in the Amanas. The agreement was that she would attend Coe College while teaching to receive her certificate, as in the early days she was teaching with a Normal Training Certificate. Until she reached the age of 68, she taught in the Linn County and Iowa County rural schools, Benton Community school system at the Keystone Center and Atkins, Iowa, chalking up 23 years in her teaching career.
Over the years, Bessie had belonged to Czech Heritage Foundation, Cedar Rapids, Woman’s Club, Cedar Rapids Retired Teachers Association, NRTA (National Retired Teachers Association), Witwer Senior Center, Tops Club No. 259 and was a member of Olivet Presbyterian Church.
Bessie enjoyed her life to the fullest, family always first. She spent many hours in her large garden tending to her vegetables and flowers and canned hundreds of jars of produce over the years. She loved to travel and have new experiences in the United States and abroad and sewed all her own clothing. Bessie was a wonderful cook and was noted for her delicious kolaches and had many, many family dinners at her home.
The family is thankful to Silver Pines, Solon Care Center and Amenity Hospice for their kind and loving care.
Instead of flowers, memorials may be made to Olivet Presbyterian Church, Czech Heritage Foundation or Amenity Hospice.
Please sign the online guest book for Bessie at www.murdochfuneralhome.com  under obituaries.