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Charles James KOUDELIK

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KOUDELIK, Charles James

Charles James Koudelik, nicknamed Charlie, died comfortably and quietly while at home in Lake Worth, FL, on Saturday, February 8, 2014. He was 93 years old. Charlie was born in Milwaukee, WI, on January 30, 1921, to Louis Koudelik, Sr., and Lillian Navratil Koudelik, both Czech immigrants. Charlie was the third of four children. Brother Jerome was the oldest, followed by Louis, Jr., and his sister Millicent, the youngest. Charlie enlisted into the Army in 1943, serving in Northern Africa and then Italy in the Signal Corps. While still in the service, he married Bertha Edith Maier "Bea" in 1945. Their first daughter, Karen, was born in Milwaukee in 1947. Early in his marriage, Charlie juggled working at Allis-Chalmers, a manufacturer of agricultural equipment, with earning his Master's Degree as a teacher of business administration from the University of Iowa. Thereafter, Bea, Charlie, and Karen followed Louis, Jr. and his family to Hawaii, moving to Lanikai on the island of Oahu. They never forgot those years in Hawaii, describing how beautiful the island was and how friendly and caring the people were. During that time, Charlie taught business administration at the Honolulu Business School which later became part of the University of Hawaii. "Grass is always greener on the other side", Charlie used to say when referring to why Bea, Karen, and he moved back to the mainland. They settled finally on Hypoluxo Island where they lived in an historic home. That home was once the headquarters of the World War II training team for Pacific Island landings, given its easy access to mangroves that surrounded parts of the island. While initially living in Florida, their second daughter, Sandy, was born in Coral Gables in 1956. After teaching for many years, Charlie decided to pursue a career as a field auditor for the IRS in West Palm Beach, a position he retained until his early retirement at the age of 55. Thereafter, he ran his own accounting business. After Bea died in 1985, Charlie married his second wife, Betty Seigneur, in 1988. Betty died later in 1997. Besides taking care of his family, Charlie's interests in life centered mainly on the outdoors. He loved to go to the Lantana beach, where he would take a book and linger for hours at the shoreline after work each day. Also, he played golf, went boating often, and worked in his yard in which he had transplanted many plants from their stay in Hawaii. His family continued to enjoy bananas, avocados, and papayas for years long after they had moved from Hawaii. Later in life, he became an avid dancer. His favorite dance partner in life and on the dance floor was Evelyn Anderson. He maintained close ties with his brothers and sister, expressing continued pride in their Czech heritage throughout his lifetime. He is survived by his children Karen and Sandy as well as his granddaughter Leah. We will miss you, Daddy. Hats off to a World War II veteran who lived a long and productive life. Information about his memorial service will be announced in several weeks.

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Published in The Palm Beach Post from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17, 2014
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