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John Arnold Vrba

Cedar Rapids

John Arnold Vrba, 89, a resident of Heritage Specialty Care, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died there early Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Private graveside services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at Czech National Cemetery with the Rev. Glenn D. Hunt officiating. Military honors will be conducted by Veterans of Foreign Wars
Post 788 and Iowa Military Funeral Honors. Papich-Kuba Funeral Service is in charge
of arrangements.
John is survived by dear friends, Lisa Nelson, James Hanson and Norma Wintersmith; his niece, Karen Hospodarsky; and two cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John Jerry and Libbie (Zahradnik) Lana Vrba; and a sister, Anne Hospodarsky.
John was born Jan. 4, 1931, in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Wilson High School. For a short time, he lived and worked in Fort Worth, Texas, which he enjoyed. John later returned to Iowa to take care of his parents in their elder years. He was a drummer in several local dance bands, including Kenny Hofer's. John also worked at the Cedar Rapids Art Center and Sears Roebuck & Co.
John was an Army veteran of the Korean War, achieving the rank of sergeant first class.
John's musical inspirations came from the Bohemian Band and WMT radio. Besides playing drums, John's many hobbies included listening to jazz music, taking photographs, gardening, reading, building model airplanes, sweeping the street in front of his former home and chatting with neighbors.
We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from John, including: don't knock it until you try it; everything has a use; keep things plain and simple; animals are meant to live on a farm, not in a house; always keep a number 8 with you for luck; be kind; pray with passion; and life is full of music, just stop and listen to it.
John Vrba was one of a kind. "Life is a song. Love is the music. Lyrics are the story. Memories of you will rewind our song." Until we meet again in heaven, keep playing your drums to your song, John.
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