October meeting: Joseph Strunka, by Peggy Merritt Lund.

Join us for the October meeting: October 26, 6pm, at the Kilbourn Residence in Fairbanks. Our meeting starts at 6pm, and the featured program starts at 7. If you cannot attend in person, this will also be shown on Zoom. Please email fbksgensociety@gmail.com for more information. Refreshments will be served. Be inspired to work on your family tree! *Note: Please bring your ideas for our library window display to be created Jan 2!

Program Description: Peggy Merritt Lund, Ph. D, presents Joseph Strunka: A Česká Chicago Man’s Tale of Resilience.


The retail price of the book is $15 and is available at the Fairbanks Arts Association’s Bear Gallery in
Pioneer Park, open Monday-Saturday 12 noon to 6 pm. The book is also available on Ebay, at the Noel Wien Library, and at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The story of Joseph Strunka is a window into the Czech immigrant enclaves of Chicago
during the first half of the 1900s. Born in 1910, he grew up in a poor family beset by
tragedies. Beginning at age 5, Joe was expected to work to help support the family by
selling newspapers, delivering milk and peddling coal. He came of age during Al Capone’s
gangster era when the criminal culture of the streets was a powerful influence. Nudged into
a marriage with Rose Mary Fojtik at age 21, the couple struggled with contrasts in
upbringing and focus.

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