Eric P. Smukal, 58, of Ixonia, passed away peacefully at London Lodge near Cambridge on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. at Hafemeister Funeral Home in Watertown with the Rev. Karl Walther officiating. Family and friends may gather at the funeral home from 5:30 p.m. until the time of service. A private memorial graveside service will be held for family at Newport Lutheran Cemetery in Newport later in August. Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Watertown is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.hafemeisterfh.com.
Eric Paul Smukal was born on Nov. 23, 1960, in Baraboo, to Luther and Mary Jean (nee Premo) Smukal. He attended Donovan and Syble Hopp Schools in De Pere, graduating in 1982. While at Syble Hopp school, he became active in Special Olympics. He continued to participate in Special Olympics until his health would not allow it. He was proud of the many ribbons and medals he won over the years for swimming, bowling, basketball and field events. In 1992, Eric moved to the Watertown area. He worked at Opportunities Incorporated in Fort Atkinson for 26 years. Eric was an avid sports fan, cheering for all of the Wisconsin teams. He loved to collect team T-shirts and caps. Having grown up in the Green Bay area, his favorite team was the Green Bay Packers and every time they got a new quarterback, he had to have a new jersey. Eric also loved to travel. Country music was his favorite, so he traveled with friends to Branson, Missouri. He traveled with his family to many states in the West and Southwest. Yosemite was his favorite national park. He really enjoyed going to northern Wisconsin to the family cabin. There he enjoyed fishing, driving the boat, snowmobiling and campfires. He was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Watertown. Eric was a friend to all and a loving brother, uncle and godfather, teaching those around him about unconditional love and acceptance. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his sister, Amy (Randy) Behlke of Ixonia; two nephews, Ryan Behlke and Riley Behlke both of Ixonia; sister-in-law, Teresa Smukal of California; aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Eric was preceded in death by his parents and an older brother, Gary Smukal.
The family would like to thank the staff at Rainbow Hospice, Joani and the nursing staff for the wonderful care you gave Eric and Kathy for your support and especially for finding the London Lodge for Eric to spend his final days. We would also like to thank Meg Pennewell at London Lodge and her staff for making room for Eric when we had no place else to go and for the loving care he was given.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation in his memory to one of the following: Rainbow Hospice, London Lodge, or St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Watertown.
Hafemeister Funeral Home & Cremation Services
611 E. Main St. Watertown