John BurianJuly 28, 1941 ~ September 13, 2021 (age 80)
John Burian, age 80, of Cape Girardeau, MO, was born on July 28, 1941 in St. Louis, MO, died September 13, 2021.
John went to Sigel Grade School and graduated from McKinley High School in 1959. He was a well-rounded student, earning such honors as class president and valedictorian of his senior class and lettering in swimming and football. John began his collegiate career attending Washington University on a football scholarship, before graduating from the University of Missouri at Rolla with a degree in chemical engineering. He spent most of his professional career up to his ears in cement, as he was the Plant Manager for various cement plants in Missouri, Illinois and Texas.
John was an avid bowler in his youth, bowling with his lifelong friends at Midway Bowl and had fond memories of that time. In fact, Midway Bowl is where he met his future wife, Kathryn Katricka. They were married over 50 years until her death this past May. Between his wife and three daughters, John was always outnumbered.
Everyone who knew John considered him a practical man, but he also had a sense of humor. The sensible side of him would buy his girls car wax and his wife wiper blades as Christmas gifts. The funny side includes conspiring with Santa to surround himself with self-wrapped nominal gifts and then acting like the biggest kid on Christmas morning by feigning surprise as he opened them. A blinking red nose or a Christmas light flashing necklace would complete his attire for a Christmas visit with his grandkids. John loved baking cookies and other Czech desserts with his daughters and later with his grandkids. He was affectionately known as “Gramps” to his adoring grandchildren, and he loved his role as husband, father and grandfather. John devoted his life to providing for his family and loved them unconditionally. One of his crowning achievements was sending his children through college debt-free.
After moving back to Missouri, John enjoyed re-connecting and spending time with his childhood friends or “chums” as he called them. He was a frequent attendee for many years at the McKinley High School luncheons that took place every other month and was a McKinley Goldbug through and through.
Another love of John’s was Sokol Czech Society and Sokol Camp in St. Louis. He was a lifetime member of Sokol, beginning in his early childhood years, and grew up participating in gymnastics, Czech activities and attending summer camp. After retiring and being quite the handyman, he volunteered his time working at Sokol Camp and, perhaps, even imbibing in a beer or two with longtime friends. Czech festivals, summer camp roll calls, traditional Czech dinners and other events at Sokol were true joys.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, brother and many beloved relatives.
John is survived by his three daughters, Ann Burian, Mary Burian Young (Ken) and Kathleen Burian of Austin, TX; his sister Karen Boresi (Charlie); three grandchildren, Anna Sofia Young, Clara Kathryn Young and John Henry Young, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
If you wish to honor John’s memory with a donation in lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Gymnastic Association Sokol, c/o Nancy Beasley, 4690 Lansdowne Ave., St. Louis, MO 63116, 314.704.5164. Donations are tax exempt under 501-C-3’s.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, September 17, 2021, at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd. in Fairview Heights, IL.
Funeral will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd. in Fairview Heights, IL, with the Father Clyde Grogan officiating. Interment will be in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Belleville, IL.