Sidny Vikla Obituary
A garden hoe, rake, wheel barrow, lawnmower, love of family, land, animals and music describes Sidney.
He married Betty Ann Prchal on May 21, 1957 at St. Scholastica Church in Heidelberg. While renting a house in Lonsdale, they purchased a farm south of Lonsdale, spending their first night on November 6, 1958. Quickly, it became home and neither of them ever thought of living anywhere else.
Sidney was born on February 15 1931 his parents, Mathias and Josephine Vikla (Andrysek). His mother, born in Moravia, came to America at the age of sixteen.
Sidney attended public school in Veseli. Those years, district schools were combined within the county, valedictorians and salutatorian chosen from district eighth grade graduates. Sidney was given the honor representing his district school as salutatorian. His high school years were spent at New Prague High School, graduating in 1949. Learning to play trumpet at a young age, the band teacher put him in the senior band his freshman year, not requiring anymore lessons. His junior year, musical classmates organized a band, naming it the Ho-Bo Band, their attire matching the band’s name. His senior year he was playing dance jobs with the Jolly Woodchoppers, when Roman Rezec offered him to be the trumpet player in his band. Betty’s dad was already a member, Sidney accepted Roman’s offer, the two of them playing trumpets for ten years, traveling near and far, often playing three time a week. Dances were held on Tuesday’s, Saturdays, and Sunday’s. This is when Sidney met Betty Ann, he played and she danced. Over the years, he played with the Bob Smisek Orchestra, Dick Kubes Orchestra, Dale Pexa Band, and helped out many hands in need of a trumpet player for a job or two. Sidney’s dream was to be a leader of his own band, that dream came true in the 1970’s Star Orchestra, comprised of eight members, entertaining dancers playing polka’s waltzes, fox-trots and enjoying the circle-two-step while listening to Sidney on the microphone instructing the dancers what to do next.
After high school, he farmed his home place, was drafted into the Army in 1953, Korean War. After completing his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, the Korean war was ending. The Army didn’t want to send soldiers overseas at this time, Sidney was sent to Fort Belvoir, Virginia where he enrolled in engineering school. After completing the required courses, he went overseas to Manila, Philippines, Okinawa where he did Topo surveying. He was discharged in May 1955 at Fort Carson, Colorado, his rank corporal, receiving the National Defense Service Metal. He was in the Army reserve for eight years, an American Legion Member Post 43. Army buddies would always find a trumpet in one of the barracks, which he played joining army band groups.
Returning home, he was hired at Snyder General, an air conditioning factory in Faribault, name changing to McQuay Inc. where he was employed for 41 years, doing proto-type work.
Growing up, there weren’t many toys, but there were many instruments, second hand ones. People purchased fruit trees from the Vikla nursery, having no money to pay for them, would send Sidney’s dad an instrument. Sidney loved the alto and trumpet; a few dents didn’t matter. Hid dad, a country school teacher, played violin, taught Sidney horn basics. Sunday afternoons, along with his sister, and three brothers would play in the farm kitchen. Only one brother and Sidney continued on, his other siblings having no musical interests, ended the young grade school Vikla band.
Sidney’s first owned car was a new 1955 Bel-air 4 door Chevrolet, cost $1,800 purchased with money earned in military service.
On the farm, Sidney and Betty raised chickens, hogs, and Hereford cattle. Betty’s grandmother raised chickens and told her, one day, the hen house would be hers. The building was moved to their farm in the early 60’s housing ducks and chickens. It stood empty for years when some 20 years ago, Betty decided it needed chickens again, ordering 55 baby chicks, telling Sidney she ordered 10. When the chicks arrived, she had a hard time convincing Sidney the hatchery did not make a mistake in shipment. Explaining her “little lie”, bewildered, he asked, what are we gonna do with the eggs?” Quickly, word spread about farm fresh eggs, Sidney, very dedicated to any job he acquired, became known as the egg man, delivering eggs and visiting with his loyal customers.
Sidney loved the outdoors, his loaded wheelbarrow, walking side by side with his pride and joy, grandsons, Johnathan, with his little red wheelbarrow on their way to the vegetable garden and potato patch, stopping to pick a ripe red raspberry. Many a snowman and igloos were built, indoors, sitting on the living room rug, building towns out of cardboard, and parking Hot Wheels on the streets.
Sidney wasn’t a traveler, his vacations were being at home, enjoying the tranquility, being called for dinner and supper, enjoying 64 years of Betty’s home cooked meals, especially her fresh home baked breads and old-fashioned molasses cookies, a big bowl of ice cream in the evening completed his day. He loved cutting and splitting wood, the fragrant smoke smell coming from the chimney as the wood burned in the furnace.
Many a kitten he brought down from the hay loft to show Melodi and visit a while, taking them back to the hay loft, climbing up the farm wall ladder. Loving kittens he considered the climb, a joy, not a job.
No longer playing in dance bands, he would play his trumpet on the porch, Betty joining him on the button accordion. Johnathan, quickly mastered the trumpet, he and papa Sid would play duets together.
He was proud of this daughter’s career as a music teacher, attending her student’s concerts, listening to her piano playing, joining her on a snappy polka. Johnathan, very involved in music throughout his school years, brought his papa Sid so much joy. A member of the Twin Cities Youth Symphonies for 7 years playing French horn, Sidney never missed a concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Attending Prairie Creek Charter School, the fifth graders were required to do an honor’s presentation of their choice. Johnathan Chose music during the Civil War, narrating the history and playing a civil war song on the second hand a lot his great-grandfather received in exchange for an apple tree.
Sidney and Betty worked hand in hand, planting and harvesting crops, baling countless bales of hay, doing farm chores, landscaping the yard, painting buildings, and grandmother’s hen house, constructed in 1925 with its original lumber. They loved dancing together, shopping and eating out. He wanted to be Betty’s bicycle riding partner, but never quite got the knack, kept tipping over, never getting hurt, they laughed, as he gave it another try. He loved to whistle, often whistling the notes on a sheet of music before playing the notes on his trumpet, Outdoors, he exchanged whistle sounds with the cardinals.
With family love in his heart, Sidney passed away November 9, 2021 survived by his loving wife, Betty Ann; loving daughter, Melodi (Larry) Van Roekel; loving grandson, Johnathan Van Roekel (loving fiancé Natasha Horsfall; two nieces, Candace (Glenn) Smith and Cheryl Hammond who spend many days on the farm giggling with uncle Sid, now living in California.
We were blessed to have a wonderful husband, dad and papa. We supported each other, he loved life, friends and neighbors. Always keeping busy, but ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.
On his 90th birthday, as we sang, with a smile, he joined us in song, a forever recorded memory.