James F. “Jim” Vanek, Jr., 73, Hays, died Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, at UCHealth Hospital, Aurora, Colo.

He was born April 16, 1946, in Ellsworth to James and Anna (Bachura) Vanek. He was a 1964 graduate of Wilson High School and attended Fort Hays State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. After his service in the U.S. Army, he returned to FHSU and earned a bachelor’s degree in business.

He married Jane E. Wittman on Aug. 4, 1973, in Wilson, and celebrated over 46 years of marriage. He was a county supervisor for Farmers Home Administration/ Rural Development and a farmer in Wilson County. He was a Corporal in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era, stationed in Panama.

He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Hays, Hays American Legion Post No. 173, and St. Mary Third Degree Knights of Columbus Council No. 6984.

He enjoyed his faith, family, and farming.

Survivors include his wife, of the home in Hays, a son, Justin Vanek and wife, Samantha, Hays; two daughters, Jennifer Gronniger and husband, Glen, Virginia Beach, Va., and Jessica Mobilia and husband, Adrian, Millville, Del.;, six grandchildren, Jacob, Jayce, and Gwenyth Gronniger, Maci and Miley Vanek, and Reilly Mobilia; and a sister-in-law, Cynthia Wittman, Ulysses.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Marie Vanek.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 17, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Wilson; private family inurnment in Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery, WaKeeney, with military honors by Hays VFW Post No. 9076 Honor Guard.

Family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until time of service, with a rosary at 1:45 p.m. Feb.17, all at the church.

Memorials are suggested to Ellsworth Food Bank, St. Wenceslaus Church, or Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery, WaKeeney, in care of Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine, Hays, KS 67601.

Condolences can be sent at www.haysmemorial.com.