Richard Charles Janko, 83, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at the Ed and Joan Hemphill Hospice Unit at St. Luke's Hospital. Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling St. SW. Private burial will be in Anderson Cemetery near Swisher.
The son of Charles F. and Martha (Michalek) Janko, he was born Oct. 14, 1935, on the family farm at Route 2, Cedar Rapids, near Swisher. He attended Konigsmark School near his home. As a young boy, he helped many neighborhood farmers. He also worked at the Waconia Sorghum Mills. After school, he worked for the Witwer Wholesale Grocery Co. until fall of 1962. At that time, he started farming on his own on a farm near Shellsburg.
On June 24, 1964, he married Marvel Jean Tomash in Cedar Rapids. Together, they farmed near Shellsburg for 40 years. He also did custom spraying in Benton, Linn and Johnson counties and beyond and was well known for high-quality work. He did the job as if it were his own and would go back during the season to check on the job he completed earlier. For more than 30 years, he was a corn and soybean seed dealer for the companies of PAG Seeds, Cargill Seeds and Latham Seeds. Richard was a blood donor to the St. Luke's Blood Bank for many years.
In 2002, he and Marvel Jean moved to Cedar Rapids. Shortly thereafter, Richard worked part time for farmers Don and Gail Nederhiser of Ely and Mark and Holly Bierschenk of Shellsburg.
Richard enjoyed ice cream, country music, road trips (including a two-week family vacation to Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana in 2018), his Dodge diesel pickup, going out to eat, watching Lawrence Welk and Mollie B. Polka Party on TV. In his younger years, he enjoyed dancing, going to movies and his Oliver tractors.
Most of all, his family was very important to him. In recent years, he cherished being Deda to his grandson, Caleb -- baby-sitting, attending school events, sharing life stories, showing Caleb how to do things, fixing things together, helping Caleb with his mowing business and sneaking off together for ice cream cones.
Richard is survived by his wife, Marvel Jean; children, Robb Janko of Shellsburg and his special friend, Rebekah Offield, and Lori (Gene) Eckermann of Bennington, Neb.; one grandson, Caleb Janko; his siblings, Elaine (Leo) Shima of Solon, Raymond (Linda) Janko of Palo and Evelyn (Sylvester) Sebetka of Atkins; sisters-in-law, Karen (Joe) Steffens of Cedar Rapids, Jerillyn (Mike) Dougherty of Oxford, Kathy (Steve) Crow of North Liberty, Denise Pearson of North Liberty and Leann Tomash of Solon; as well as his many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter-in-law, Colleen Melcher Janko; and brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Eugene Tomash, Elaine Tomash Summer and Ken Summer.
In lieu of flowers; memorials may be directed to the family for the Shellsburg Fire Department, Shellsburg First Responders, Swisher Fire Department or Fairfax Fire Department.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.