John James Feda
March 8, 1925-Dec. 28, 2013
MARSHALL – Services for Dr. John James Feda, 88, of Marshall will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall. Visitation at the Rehkamp-Horvath Funeral Home in Marshall will be Wednesday beginning with rosary at 4 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation continues from 9-10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Marshall.
Dr. Feda died Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at his home in Marshall.
John James Feda was born March 8, 1925, to John Leopold and Julia Jane “Jennie” (Brazzell) Feda on the farm homestead in the Miltona Township. John was raised on his family farm with two older sisters and a younger brother. After graduating from Alexandria High School in 1942, he worked until he was drafted and enlisted into the Army Air Corps. He was a B-17 navigator in 23 bombing missions in Europe during WWII, then served in the Army Transport Command in the Pacific until his discharge in 1946 as a 1st Lieutenant.
Education was the profession John chose for his career. He graduated in 1950 with a teaching degree in history and mathematics from St. John’s University, where he received the Outstanding Senior Award for the class of 1950. He attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his master’s degree in 1954, and a doctorate degree in education in 1970.
John married the love of his life, Betty Mae Muyres, in August, 1950 at St. Nicholas Church in Belle River. They raised a family of six children. His teaching and administrative career progressed from teacher to principal to superintendent in many Minnesota communities – Minneota, Alexandria, Nicollet, Villard, Shakopee and Marshall. One of his state education leadership roles was serving as member and president of the Minnesota State High School League. His education career culminated as State Commissioner of Education under Governor Al Quie. After 33 years of public service in education, John worked for Schwan’s Sales Enterprises until he retired in 1989.
In retirement John continued to be active in civic affairs, serving four years as mayor of Marshall, and interim Lyon County Administrator. He was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion, Knights of Columbus, and Rotary. He was active in his church, serving as President of the Holy Redeemer Parish Council and Faithful Navigator of the Holy Redeemer 4th Degree Assembly. He volunteered with Meals on Wheels, the Marshall Food Shelf, was an instructor of 55 Alive, blood donor, and served on the YMCA board, Western Bank and Trust Board, and Bremer Mutual Fund Board.
John was a sports enthusiast throughout his life. He played baseball as a young adult, and later enjoyed golfing, fishing and bowling. There was always a wager with his golf partners. He was an avid spectator of any high school sport, enjoying it most when his children or grandchildren played. He spent time with family and friends playing bridge, cards, dancing and traveling. His favorite past-time was reading. He researched genealogy and wrote a family biography. A summer week at the Carlos Villas was an annual highlight for the past 30 years.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Betty Mae; children Thomas (an Susan) Feda of Salt Lake City, Utah, Mary (and Frank) Lambert of Woodbury, Beth (and Steve) Ritter of Marshall, and John Feda, Jr. of LaVista, Neb.; son-in-law Michael Sjogren; brother Gerald (and Audrey) Feda of Glasgow, Mont.; grandchildren Kent (and Nicole) Feda, Cody Feda, Chris (and Heather) Ritter, Kelly (and Quentin) Brunsvold, Nick (and Alyssa) Ritter, Kristin (and Chad) Sjogren VanHeel, Jason Lambert, Jeremy Lambert; great-grandchildren Cade Ritter and Max VanHeel.
He was preceded in death by his parents, children Jeannine Sjogren and James Feda, and sisters Jeanette Feick and Ruth Kobilarcsik.
Memorials are preferred to Holy Redeemer Foundation, Avera Cancer Institute Marshall, or American Heart Association.
John was respected and loved by family and friends, and enriched the lives of all who knew him.