John E. Janacek, 92, of Yorktown, Texas, passed away December 15, 2018. He was born October 28, 1926 to Peregrin and Josephine (Korenek) Janacek at Eastgate, Liberty County Texas, and the eldest of three children. He married Mary Ann Peter on Feb. 9, 1948 in Sts. Cyril and Methodious Church in Dubina, Texas.
An honor graduate of Dayton High School, class of 1944, Janacek attended Texas A&M on a valedictorian's scholarship, pursuing chemical engineering. His studies were interrupted by World War II and following a tenure of service with the Signal Corps in radio communications and some time as code messages instructor, he was employed by Malec Publishing Co. of Hallettsville in 1947, launching his career in journalism.
In 1993 Janacek was completing 45 years in newspapers. During those years he served as managing editor of The Moulton Eagle, Yoakum Herald-Times, and The Ganado Tribune and assisted in establishing and also managed the Gulf Coast Tribune in Fort Bend County, all part of a chain of seven newspapers published by the Malec family. Janacek also typeset on line casting machines and contributed columns to the Czech weekly Novy Domov published by Malec until 1970.
Leaving Yoakum after the Malec chain was sold, the Janaceks acquired the DeWitt County View in Yorktown, Texas and later also published The Kenedy Times. A commercial printing shop was operated in conjunction with the weekly newspapers and much time in later years was devoted to publishing of church and family histories, several authored and compiled by Janacek and staff.
In addition to numerous local historical accounts written for the newspapers, Janacek compiled the bi-lingual history of the Dubina community in Fayette County in 1956, co-authored the first church/community history of Yoakum. Excerpts and articles from these books also appear in The DeWitt County History (1992), an 862-page volume published by the DeWitt County Historical Commission, and The Czech Texans, a publication of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Local historical stories also appear in Best of the View, Volumes I, II, III & IV, products of the family printery.
After retiring from the newspaper business, John remained an active member for a number of years of the local historical societies, including the Texas State Historical Commission, DeWitt County Historical Commission, and the Yorktown Historical Society. In 2002, John and Yorktown Historical Society members were successful in submitting an application through the Texas State Historical Commission for a historical marker which has since been placed at the Upper Yorktown Cemetery or Friar Cemetery in Yorktown, Texas. In 2004 he was honored with the Outstanding Citizens Award for the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Ann; his brother, Albert "Skip" Janacek of La Grange; an infant son, John, Jr.; and, a daughter, Amy Jo Boldt, who died in 1998.
He is survived by four sons, Jacob (John) Janacek of Victoria, Texas; Michael (Sandy) Janacek of Yorktown; Peter (Mickey) Janacek of Waynesboro, NY; and Paul (Mary Ann) Janacek of Victoria; four daughters, Pam (Edwin) Culpepper of Yorktown; Rosanne "Rosie" (Dave) Floyd of Lago Vista, Connie (Philip) Imes of Yorktown, and Marietta Gohlke of Cuero; numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson, Kenneth Crane.
Family visitation and rosary will be held at Massey Funeral Home at 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Funeral Mass will be conducted on Wed., Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Yorktown. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. Rev. Roger Hawes and Rev. Stephen Vacek will be co-officiating. Pallbearers will be grandsons, John Michael Janacek, Jason Wilson, K.W. Gohlke, Isaac Imes, Joseph Janacek; and step-grandsons, Eric Ibrom and Aaron Ibrom. Honorary pallbearers will be great-grandsons, Arik Crane, Andrew Crane, Eric Floyd, Evan Janacek, and Jaxon Penders.
Requested memorials are to the Yorktown Historical Society, Yorktown Museum or donor's choice
You are invited to sign the guest book at www.masseyfh.com
Massey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. (361-564-2900).