Obituary for Alfred Henry "Al" Srnka
ALFRED HENRY SRNKA
November 5, 1928 – October 12, 2017
Kirksville, Mo -- Alfred “Al” Henry Srnka passed away on October 12, 2017 at about 3 am. He was married to Laura Elizabeth “Liz” Swisher of Novinger, MO, on December 29, 1957, at Kirksville’s Trinity Episcopal Church, where they were lifelong members.
Mr. Srnka was born November 5, 1928, in Binghamton, NY, to John and Katherine Srnka who were immigrants from Czechoslovakia. He was preceded in death by his parents, several brothers and sisters: John, Frank, Tony, Paul, Helen, Mary, and Ann, and three infant siblings. He is survived by his wife Liz, sons Mark of Kirksville, and Scott (Maria) of Plainville, IN, and their two children Sydney and Avery. Also surviving are his sister Fran, many nieces and nephews.
Upon graduating from Binghamton High School in 1947 Al joined the army, discharged in 1948 after serving with the United States Military Intelligence Service in Salzburg, Austria. He returned to the US and worked in New York City for the Alwin Nikolais Dance Co., and for several more years in the entertainment industry, notably with the John B. Rogers Production Company, based in Fostoria, OH. While with Rogers Al traveled throughout the United States producing historical musical reviews and other forms of outdoor entertainment.
On assignment with Rogers, Al went to LaPlata, Mo, and began to set down roots. He became friends with Professor Elizabeth (Betsy) Worrell, an English literature professor, who encouraged his love for books, and Edna Campbell, a local bookstore owner, both intellectual cornerstones of the college and community. Although working for Rogers was paying $500/week (a small fortune in those times) he chose instead to work instead for Mrs. Campbell, owner of Edna Campbells' Books. Upon learning that Al had worked in a bookstore while in 9th grade, Mrs. Campbell paid him $1/hour. His first assignment was distributing books for a store lending program, which exposed him into the community and surrounding counties. Eventually Mrs. Campbell would invite Al and Liz to purchase the store, by this time located off campus and evolved as a source of books and gifts, now known as Edna Campbells' Gifts.
In 1961 Al earned a Master of Arts degree from NE Missouri State Teacher’s College (now Truman State University), and was named an Assistant Professor of Dramatics during the 1967-1968 academic year. He retired as Assistant Professor Emeritus of Dramatics in May 1991. Al also pursued post-graduate work at the University of Kansas and was a lifelong KU fan. He was founding partner of the Ice House Theatre in Hannibal, Mo., where he produced and directed many shows.
Al was a Master Gardener and member of the Kirksville Country Club. He was an expert knitter and crafter, cook, student of history, music, antiques, a theater buff and an avid reader. His family was most important to him - especially his two granddaughters. He was loved by many and will be sorely missed.
Services have been provided under the direction of Wendy @ A Simplified Funeral Solution.