John Martin Kocourek
John Martin Kocourek
  • June 15, 1930 - November 3, 2017
  • Plano, Texas

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John Martin Kocourek
John M. Kocourek, born Sunday, June 15, 1930 passed away Friday, November 03, 2017. John was born and raised in Eden Prairie, Minnesota to William J Kocourek and Frieda P (Luedtke) Kocourek . John was the third of eight children; twins: Billy and Bobby, Johnny, twins: Lorrayne and Lois, Bette, James, and Pauline. As a child John, often referred to as Johnny, was said to be mischievous; as much as you can be within a strict Czech/German household.
John had hundreds of stories about his childhood which included his family and nearby friends from neighboring farms. All you had to do was mention the name James Kutcher and he would start laughing about all the shenanigans.
John was born in the Great Depression, so many of his memories were anchored around a feeling of being extremely poor. Yet, it seemed they were never without all they needed. His father had a raspberry farm, they worked the fields by hand, but John often daydreamed, watching planes fly over, or finding anything to do other than his chores in the field. Pa, William Kocourek, would catch him and give him a good chewing out. A funny story John told was about how, one year, the children went out and picked up the extra sweet-peas, filling their red wagon. They then proceeded to shell and eat them all until they literally got sick, throwing up from eating so many peas! John often mentioned how his mother and grandmother were VERY good cooks, and many of the things they made were without recipes. He raved over his grandmother's Poppyseed Kolaches (which he pronounced ko-latch-kes). John had many baseball stories, but the one his daughter, Amy Plenger, loved most was how her Dad and his brother, Bobby, had worked all day on the farm before finally being able to go play baseball. Apparently their farm workout gave them a great warm-up, as they kept hitting the ball out of the baseball field, into the crops. The other team members got mad because they were losing so many baseballs.
John was a member of the United States Military, serving in the Air Force Cadets and Reserves with an honorable discharge in 1955. He was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church of New Ulm, Minnesota, serving as Sunday School Superintendent (1960s), a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church of New Orleans, Louisiana (1970s -1990s), and a member of Faith Lutheran Church of Plano, Texas (1997-2017). He also enjoyed playing on several men's baseball leagues through church and being a member of the Lutheran Layman's League.
John graduated from Eden Prairie High School in 1948 in a class of only eight students! He went on to the University of Minnesota to earn his Associate of Arts, June 14, 1952. Then he attended Mankato State University earning both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education. His career life included positions as a Shift Supervisor at Kraft Foods, and an Inventory Supervisor at 3M Company. After obtaining his teaching degree he transitioned into Education for New Orleans Public Schools as an Elementary School Teacher. During his summers off from teaching, John worked at Schwegmann Brother's Giant Supermarkets, in New Orleans, as a Cashier.
John married his sweetheart, Patricia A Pogue, Saturday, July 23, 1960 at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Mound, Minnesota. They enjoyed fifty-seven years of marriage together, across three states, devoted to the birth and raising of their three wonderful children; Tim, Amy, and Linda. In their later years they had the blessing of three amazing grandchildren; Monica, Haley, and Jeremy Plenger.
John's many interests and hobbies included playing baseball, tinkering with cars, dancing, talking and sharing stories, eating delicious foods, watching football, playing and joking with his children, nieces, nephews, and later grandchildren, and all family gatherings; such as birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Some cultural traditions that John enjoyed doing were Polka dancing, Octoberfest and other German Heritage Celebrations in Minnesota, and later Mardi Gras with family and friends picnicking, and watching parades during the twenty-five years they lived in New Orleans.
John's favorites include: favorite singer, John Denver, with Simon and Garfunkel, and Johnny Cash as close seconds; favorite musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar, and favorite movie, Dr. Zhivago.
John will be remembered for his silly, goofy nature and his ease with which he could make people laugh. He was soft-hearted and very generous with what little he had to give. He was somewhat nave, which played into his sympathizing heart. He had many nicknames throughout his years; Johnny as a child, Papa as a grandfather, and in his years in Louisiana and at his memory care home he was known as Mr. John.
John is preceded in death by his parents: William and Frieda Kocourek, brothers: William (Billy) Kocourek, Robert (Bobby) Kocourek, and James Kocourek who died in infancy, brothers-in-law: Grant Sutliff, Frank Michell, father-in-law: Otto Pogue, mother-in-law: Margaret (Peggy) Pogue, brother-in-law: Earl Pogue, and sister-in-law Arlene Pogue.
John is survived by his wife: Patricia Kocourek, Son: Tim (Dana) Kocourek, Daughters Amy (Nick) Plenger and Linda Kocourek, granddaughters: Monica Plenger and Haley Plenger, grandson: Jeremy Plenger, sisters: Lorrayne (Ron) Conley, Lois Sutliff, Bette (Bob) Villesvik, Pauline Kocourek, sister-in-law: Lorna Kocourek, Brothers-in-law: Chuck (Dorothy) Pogue, Larry (Tracie) Pogue, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, extended family, and friends.

Arrangements under the direction of Ted Dickey Funeral Home, Plano, TX.