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Edwards Funeral Home - Chinook, Montana


Sylvia Sara Kafka

Sylvia Sara Kafka
Born: Jan 01, 1923
Died: Oct 09, 2014

Sylvia Sara Schafer Kafka, 91, passed away October 9, 2014 at the Sweet Nursing Home in Chinook. As per her final wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been made with Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook. 
Sylvia was born on New Year's Day, 1923, to Jacob and Matilda Schafer in Chester. She was the last surviving member of her four siblings, Charles, Vivian and William Schafer and Inez Burgess. She attended Northern Montana College while earning her two-year certification in teaching in 1941-1943 and her B.A. Degree in 1962. Sylvia's rookie year was in the Hinsdale School system in 1943-44. Her marriage to Lada J. Kafka of Havre in 1944 was the start of their farming partnership that lasted fifty-six years until his death in September of 2000. During the years of farming, she taught in the Havre School System for twenty and a half years, retiring in May, 1973.
Mrs. Kafka's teaching tenure was intermingled with raising her family of four children; Ladene (Ron) Mangold of Big Sandy, Deitra (Don) Kraske and Kim (Cindy) Kafka, all of Havre, and Dorcie (Mark) Dvarishkis of Missoula.
Forever an educator, she took great pride in the educational accomplishments of her eleven grandchildren, many of whom have achieved their Master degrees and beyond in their chosen fields. The grandchildren include Mike (Stacy) Mangold of Lewistown, Dustin Kraske and Dane (Sarah) Kraske of Havre, Jaida (Chris) Nagengast of Eagle Point, Oregon, Mace (Carlie) Mangold of Bozeman, Holly (Cory) Matkin, Karlie Kafka, and Andrew Kafka of Havre, Kayla Kafka of Los Angeles, California, Katie Dvarishkis of Missoula, and Alisa Dvarishkis of Ann Arbor, Michigan. She also is survived by ten great-grandchildren and the children of her siblings and Lada's sister, May Drga Clawiter.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff and residents at the Sweet Home for providing the wonderful care and friendship that Sylvia received while residing in Chinook.

Public Guest Book

Oct 15th
Margaret Woo
Dorcie and family,

It was so nice to reconnect with you this summer in Helena. I was sad to read about your mother, but she led a very full and good life. She was a remarkable woman. My deepest condolneces to you all.

Oct 15th
Carol Stevenson DeWit
I know this must be the Mrs. Kafka who was my very favorite teacher...ever. 60 years ago she was my 6th grade teacher. It was a wonderful year of fun and learning. Havre was in the process of building a new grade school, so this class spent the year in a classroom in the high school....the only grade schoolers in the building. Among other highlights, I met my lifelong friend Nancy that year, the very first day of school in Mrs. Kafka's classroom. We still often talk of that wonderful teacher and that wonderful year. I also babysat her two oldest children and later visited her in the hospital when her third was born. Then I never saw her again, but certainly never forgot her. To those children and all who came later I sent my condolences. You were so lucky to have her in your lives.....I know I was. She was a star in my childhood so very long ago.
Oct 19th
Denny/Sheilah Valentine
We are saddened by the passing of this very special woman who was an influendial part of my life for many years. She and your Father introduced me to a whole world outside of Montana as well as Sylvia making me a better teacher by sharing her talented ability to share the wonder of learning with our students. I am forever grateful for their many facets of generosity. With many fond memories, Sheilah Garland Valentine
Oct 24th
Rob Nielson-Cerquone
My mom (Dori) called me with the news about Sylvia's death. It brought back all kinds of memories -- seeing her at church, my family's lunch visits to Sylvia and Lada, stories about her family (past and present), and the grilling about how I was doing in school ... How lucky I was to have Sylvia give me a little grandmothering, even though I wasn't one of hers. She had quite a life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Nov 1st
Roy & Linda Gerhart
So Sorry to hear of your loss Sylvia was a wonderful person and a great role model to me when I was around her. Condolences to all the family.


Edwards Funeral Home  ♦  500 Indiana Street, Chinook, MT 59523   ♦  406-357-2529