A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ida Grove, under the direction of Christensen-Huffman Funeral Homes. The Reverend David Hemann will officiate, with burial in Calvary Cemetery in Omaha, Neb. Graveside services will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the cemetery, with military graveside honors conducted by the American Legion. Online condolences may be directed to www.christensenhuffman.com.
James was born Aug. 9, 1923, in Omaha, Neb., the son of Vaclav and Rozalie (Pavlica) Patera, immigrants from Czechoslovakia.
He graduated from Omaha South High School, attended The Royal Air Force College in England, and later attended Omaha University.
James was a T/Sgt in the Air Force, serving as a radar navigator on a path-finding plane. He participated in every major battle in the European Theater in World War II. After service to his country, he returned to Omaha. For a brief time James worked for the Union Pacific railroad while completing his education. James also was employed by Cudahy Meat Packing Company as an industrial engineer in Omaha.
On June 21, 1947, James married Mary Davenport in Hebron, Neb. They made their home in Omaha until James accepted a position with Hygrade Meatpacking Company of Storm Lake, in 1965. There he served as Manager of Industrial Engineering. He was very active in the Lion's Club and Knights of Columbus.
In 1978, James transferred to the Hygrade Corporate Office in Detroit, Mich., where he served as Corporate Director of Engineering. In Michigan, James was again very active in the Lion's Club and also served on the steering committee for Holy Family Catholic Church. He also continued his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus.
In 1988, James retired and the family moved back to Ida Grove. He loved golfing daily and being near the grandchildren who lived here. In Ida Grove, James served as an officer in the Kiwanis Club and was District Deputy of the Knights of Columbus for three years.
James was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Dr. Daniel J. Patera; and a sister, Rose Patera.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; six sons and their wives, Deacon James and Cheryl Patera of Oelwein, Richard and Julie Patera of Creal Springs, Ill., Dr. Thomas and Sharon Patera of Omaha, Neb., John and Ginger Patera of St. Joseph, MI, Steve and Michele Patera of South Lyon, MI, and Bruce and Andrea Patera of Baltimore, MD; a daughter-in-law, Diane Patera of Ida Grove; 18 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.