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Donald Edward ‘Joe’ Sobotka, son of Edward and Beulah (Roudybush) Sobotka, was born January 8, 1921 at the farmstead near Diagonal, Iowa. When he was eight, his mother died following childbirth. Joe was raised by his father and stepmother Frances (Cabaret).

Joe worked on the family farm, then left to serve his country in the US Army. On February 14, 1941 he and Mildred Main were married and to this union five children were born. After a few years of farming, Joe moved to Mount Ayr. He owned The Sandwich Shop and was a partner with Lefty Geist for a time. In the mid 1950s Joe started his own construction business, clearing land and building terraces and farm ponds. He purchased a farm south of Beaconsfield in the 1960s. He built ponds and made several improvements. After retirement, he started Joe’s Catfish Farm. Because of his business connections and his outgoing personality, Joe had friends all over southwest Iowa.

In earlier years, he was active in the Mount Ayr Fire Department and was fire chief when the new fire station was built. He was active in Ringgold Post #172 American Legion and helped build the Mount Ayr race track. He enjoyed many winters in Mesa, Arizona and was a regular in the Iowa Caf??.

Joe passed away on November 23, 2012. He was preceded in death by his mother, father and step-mother; grandson Robbie Gregg; brothers Leonard and David Sobotka and sister Norma Jean Lumbard.

Those left to cherish his memory include his children, Jerry (Debra) Sobotka of DeSoto, Iowa, Jan Bowles of Spirit Lake, Iowa, Randy Sobotka and Cyndi Reynolds of Minburn, Iowa, Sherrie (Allan) Helton of Osceola, Iowa, and Susan Eastin of Osceola, Iowa; his longtime companion, Jorene Sobotka; nine grandchildren, Mike Sobotka, Cassie Kinney, Beth Stapp, Jeff Bowles, Rocky Sobotka, Stacey Gregg, Joey Gregg, Shane Eastin and Marty Eastin; 17 great-grandchildren; brother Ivan ‘Butch’ (Sharon) Sobotka of Diagonal, Iowa, and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held on Monday, November 26 at the Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa with Rev. Skip Rushing officiating. Musicians were Nancy Sackett and Grace Warin.

Honorary pallbearers were Mike Sobotka, Cassie Kinney, Beth Stapp, Jeff Bowles, Rocky Sobotka, Stacey Gregg, Joey Gregg,                   Shane Eastin and Marty Eastin.

A memorial fund was established in his name to be decided later.


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