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River Falls Mayor Dan Toland and wife Joni welcomed Vlad Jukl from New York and Ada Hurych from the Czech Republic. Submitted photos.

Days Gone By: Matzek reunions

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Editor’s Note: Chris Falteisek, former director of liturgy and music at St. Bridget’s, now of Denmark Township, Minn., near Afton Ski, supplied the following information and photos of a visit and reunion of Cherma relatives of Vlad Jukl of New York and Ada Murych of the Czech Republic.

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“Ada Hurych and his grandson, Vlad Jukl were on a genealogy pilgrimage recently to visit their Matzek cousins in the River Falls-Cherma area.

Cherma is located about eight miles south of River Falls near the corner of Hwy. 10 and Co. Rd. E between Ellsworth and Prescott.

Ada Hurych, 75, a Czech historian, artist, playwright, composer and writer, of Trst?nice, Czech Republic, had his dream become a reality when his grandson, Vlad Jukl, 33, of New York, paid the airfare for his grandfather to visit America.

Chris Falteisek, a native of Prescott and local historian, visited Ada and his family in the Czech Republic in 2001. Since their visit, Falteisek has continued corresponding with both Ada and Vlad. For Ada and Vlad’s visit, Falteisek compiled and published a family history book chronicling the Wenzel and Anna Hurych family.

Ada’s great-great-grandfather Tadeáš Hurych was a brother of Anna Hurych who married Wenzel Matzek Sr. Anna and Wenzel Matzek had three children: Wenzel Matzek Jr. (who married Theresa Johnson), Anna Matzek Matzek (who married Anton Volesky) and Josef Matzek, who died at birth.

When researching family history Chris was interested to note that Wenzel Matzek Sr.’s birth name was originally Václav Macek. Václav is the Czech equivalent of Wenzel, and the original spelling of Matzek was Macek.

Wayne and Mary Cernohous, Norm and Shirley Matzek, along with Chris Falteisek, hosted reunions at Emma’s Bar in River Falls and at Bendilly’s Bar and Grill in Ellsworth during Ada and Vlad’s visit.

Emma’s Bar was established by Emma Matzek and her husband, Stanley Johnson in 1934. Emma is the daughter of Theresa and Wenzel Matzek Jr. Emma’s Bar is currently under the ownership of Emma’s son, Lynn Johnson.

Bendilly’s Bar and Grill of Ellsworth is owned by Wenzel Matzek Jr.’s great-great-granddaughter, Lisa Huppert Plummer.

Highlights of Ada and Vlad’s visit included meeting many relatives at the reunions, visiting the Wenzel Matzek Jr. farm home currently owned by Tim and Ruth McNamara of Cherma, visiting the Cherma Cemetery, meeting River Falls Mayor Dan Toland and wife Joni, and spending time with the Frank and Sylvia Falteisek family of Prescott, the Wayne and Mary Cernohous family of River Falls, and the Norm and Shirley Matzek family of Hudson.

Following their visit to the Midwest, Ada was going to visit New York and spend time with his grandson before returning back to the Czech Republic.

Ada and Vlad were overwhelmed by the numerous relatives that came to meet them. Thanks to a very thoughtful grandson, Ada was able to make his dream become a reality and visit the U.S. and enrich the lives of his relatives by sharing stories about their Czech heritage.”

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