Joseph Sodomka   (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Entered into rest on Monday, July 6, 2009 at the Medical College of Georgia, Mr. Joseph Sodomka, 90, husband of the late Eleanor Martin Sodomka. Survivors include his son: Dennis and his wife Patricia, their son Michael of Augusta; granddaughter, Nicole Eve Sodomka Long (Steve) and their daughter Autumn Yaeko Long of Oakland, CA; step granddaughter: Mary Ellen Lewis (Todd) and their three children; brother-in-law: Gene Martin of Algonquin, IL, nephew: Todd Martin (Cheryl) and their three children; nephew: Craig Martin, of Chicago, IL; ex-sister-in-law: Terri Martin, nephews: Gary and Eddie Czyz and niece Lana Czyz Carson, all of Chicago. Joseph Sodomka was born February 7, 1919 on a farm in Neillsville, WI. to Joseph and Anna Sodomka, who had left Czechoslovakia before World War I. When he was a young boy the family moved to Chicago. Later in life he enjoyed remembering life on the farm, picking blackberries and playing with his dog. After graduating from high school in less than four years, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and was stationed in Wisconsin. Joe loved his time in the CCC, and often reminisced about learning surveying and tramping through the woods. He carried that love of the outdoors with him throughout his life. When he returned to Chicago he studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology and started working at Inland Steel Container Corp., a company he stayed with for nearly 50 years. During this time he met his future wife, Eleanor Barbara Martin. He loved telling the story of how they met. Joe's sister and Eleanor's brother were engaged and the two families went on a mushroom hunt, a common social event for Czech families. Joe, who was very good with tools and machines, ended up fixing Eleanor's father's car when it broke down. After that he kept pestering her until he got a date. They were married a couple of years later. After finishing work at IIT and completing his apprenticeship at Inland Steel, Joe joined the Navy, serving in the South Pacific as a machinist mate. When the war was over he returned to Chicago and rejoined Inland Steel, where he became a tool & die maker. He and Eleanor had a son, Dennis, and moved to Bellwood, a suburb west of Chicago. With the help of his father and father-in-law, Joe built his own house, from laying the foundation to putting on the roof. He lived in that house for 46 years, adding on and remodeling. He was active in his church, Peace Church, and as a United Way volunteer at work. Joe loved to garden and grew all kinds of big, juicy vegetables. He was an avid golfer, walker and reader, and an occasional bowler. He and Eleanor loved to travel around the United States and Canada. When Eleanor died Joe moved to Augusta in 1997, to be with his son and grandson, Michael. He took great delight in telling Michael stories about what it was like to live through the Great Depression and World War II. He also took great delight in watching Michael perform in several high school plays. He continued his gardening and tinkering. He joined the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection and enjoyed the fellowship and love of the congregation. He especially liked Wednesday night suppers and traveling with Senior Safari. He always had a smile on his face and loved sharing stories and jokes with whoever was nearby. Though his pain and suffering are over, and he is in a better place, he will be missed greatly by his son and other family members. His son especially respects and loves him for all the sacrifices he made throughout his life so his family could have a better life. Rest in peace after a race well run, a life well lived. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 12:10 P.M. at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection with Pastor David Hunter officiating. Interment will follow at a later date in Chapel Hills Gardens in Chicago, IL. The family will receive friends after the service at the church in Augusta. Memorials may be made to the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 825 Greene St., Augusta, GA 30901 Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. A guestbook may be signed on our site .

The Augusta Chronicle-July 7, 2009