Don W. Hrdina, 73, of Rochester, Minn., formerly of Cresco, died unexpectedly Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, at his home in Rochester. Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon, with Fr. Jim Dubert officiating. Burial was at St. Mary's Lycurgus Cemetery, rural Waukon. Visitation was 3-6 p.m. Sunday at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Cresco, and continued from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service Monday at St. Patrick Church in Waukon. Martin Funeral Home of Waukon handled the arrangements. Honorary casketbearers were Wayne and Janet Kreitzer, Bob and Janie Butler, Dennis and Linda DeBuhr, Wayne and Nona Sawyer, Roger and Jeannette Ruegnitz, Audrey Angel, Jane Dietrich, Betty Irons, Marlys Leiran and Donnalee Osland. Casketbearers were Mark Goodell, Scott and Toni Kreitzer, Krissy Kreitzer, Bryon Houlgrave, Ron Praska, Harold Meyer and Alan Vokaty.
Online condolences may be left at martinfunerals.com.
Donald William Hrdina was born Sept. 29, 1939, in Cresco, the son of Frank and Anna (Lucka) Hrdina. He was baptized and confirmed at the Assumption Catholic Church in Cresco. Don attended Lincoln No. 4 Elementary School in rural Ridgeway, and graduated from Ridgeway High School in 1957. Following high school he attended the Gale Institute in Minneapolis for telegraph training and then went to work for the Milwaukee Road railroad. In 1960 Don started classes at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in 1964. He then attended the University of Minnesota where he received a master's in social work in 1967. Throughout his life Don continued his education with professional development courses.
Don spent most of his working career as a counselor and therapist and was a licensed independent clinical social worker in the state of Minnesota. He worked for a number of educational institutions, healthcare organizations, government agencies and private corporations in the counseling and therapy areas. He was involved with a number of projects in the Mayo Health System where he was named the clinic's Child Care Resource Consultant. He also played a key role in creating Continuous Quality Improvement programs at St. Joseph's Hospital in Mason City. In addition to hands-on work, Don taught continuing education classes at several places including Winona State University, the University of Minnesota and Rochester Community Technical College. He also co-authored Choosing Child Care at Mayo Clinic. Don was a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Academy of Certified Social Workers, the American Society for Training and Development, Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis and was a past board member of the National Association of Social Workers, Minn. Chapter. Don retired in 2011 but continued to use his professional expertise as a volunteer with the Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross. In recent years he was sent to assist with their operations at Hurricanes Lee and Irene in Vermont and Pennsylvania, the Waldo Canyon Wild Fire in Colorado, Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana, Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, tornados in Texas and Oklahoma, and the Varnell Hill Fire in Arizona. While still in college Don started dating Kay Zimmerman of Waukon. Through the years they shared life's special events and many happy family times. Don enjoyed traveling, especially by train, and had been to 49 of the states. He had an adventurous spirit and liked to sample the unique experiences of the places he visited. He also enjoyed doing landscaping and yard work. Don had a good sense of humor and sharp wit and enjoyed surprising Kay with unexpected outings.
Survivors include the love of his life, Kay Zimmerman of Waukon; a brother, Frank Hrdina of Cresco, and sister-in-law, Joyce Hrdina of West Des Moines and their children: Judy (Mark) Goodell of Iowa City, Sheri Hrdina and her children Claire and Noel Guderjahn of Des Moines, Jerry (Haru-chan) Hrdina and their son Lynn of Chigasaki, Japan, and Katie Hrdina of New Braunfels, Texas.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Anna Hrdina.