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Libuse Hrdonkova

Female 1922 - 2012  (90 years)

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  • Name Libuse Hrdonkova 
    Nickname Lila / Lela 
    Born Sep 14, 1922  Czechoslovakia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died Dec 01, 2012  Sioux City, Woodbury county, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Obituary:
      Lela Cloud, 90, of Sioux City passed away Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at Sunrise Retirement Community.
      Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Redeemer Lutheran Church. The Rev. David Zirpel and Rev. Russell Senstad will officiate. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Sioux City. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. today, with the family present 6 to 8 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m., at Morningside Chapel, Christy-Smith Funeral Home.
      Lela, whose birth name was Libuse Hrdonkova, was born on Sept. 14, 1922, in Stod, Czech Republic, the daughter of Jofef and Anna (Leitova) Hrdronkova. Her family scratched a living off a small plot of land while she grew up. She later said that while they had very little, these were happy times for her. She loved the Czech countryside and helped on the farm tending cows and geese. Lela was 16 in 1938, when Nazi Germany took control of the Czech Republic. The war years were hard. She held various jobs including being forced to work in a German ammunition factory near her home. Those were 12-hour days, seven days a week, working alongside captives from many European countries. She witnessed many terrible things but always held hope that it would get better. In 1945, she was ecstatic when the U. S. Army arrived and she was once again free.
      She met Leonard Cloud, a U.S. solider, and they began dating. His unit was rotated home, but he and Lela were engaged and they made plans to come to America. Then, the Czech Republic fell to communism and Lela was again no longer free. At great risk, Leonard returned to the Czech Republic in 1949 and they were married. He was ordered out of the country and she was not allowed to leave. Her love of Leonard and freedom drove her to attempt escape on foot twice. Unsuccessful, she and a few others secretly constructed an armored vehicle. On July 24, 1952, she told her family she was going to visit friends. She would see none of them again for more than 20 years. She and others drove their tank several miles through the Czech countryside that night. As dawn broke, they rammed through the fences and barbed wire to freedom in West Germany. The event made the national news. She and Leonard reunited in Sioux City and raised a family.
      She spoke at many events through the years, always talking about how important freedom is. She loved the outdoors and nature her entire life. She enjoyed Christmas, her favorite holiday, with her many grandchildren and always made sure that Santa visited with a sack full of gifts. Alzheimer's disease stole her away from us many years ago. For the last two and one half years, she was lovingly cared for by the wonderful staff at Sunrise. She was a very strong, independent, kind and loving woman. She would give anything she had to give. She loved wildlife, and very few went hungry near her home. She will be missed deeply by all whose lives she touched. But we know she is now free and happy in heaven with her husband and all the family and friends who went before her.
      She is survived by her three children, Dennis and Debbie, Leola and Brian Miller, Stuart and Suzanne, all of Sioux City; grandchildren, Mackenzie and Tony Sposeto, Sarah Cloud, Andrew Cloud, Amanda Cloud, Chad Cloud and Andrea Thompson, Travis Cloud and Heather Pratt, Thad and Michelle Miller; great-grandchildren, Reese, Caden, Mya, Asher, Alexis, Faith, and Kennedy.
      She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard, in 1983; her parents; an infant granddaughter, Katherine Cloud; her brother, Vlastimil Hrdonkova; and her sister, Anna Stepanora.
    Person ID I68404  mykindred
    Last Modified Dec 20, 2013 

    Father Jofef Hrdonkova,   b. Czechoslovakia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d.
    Mother Anna Leitova,   b. Czechoslovakia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d.
    Family ID F66055  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Leonard Everett Cloud,   b. Sep 19, 1924, Sioux Falls, Minnehaha county, South Dakota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Sep 1983, Sioux City, Woodbury county, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Married circa 1949  Czechoslovakia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • -
      SIOUX CITY (UP) -- The four-year separation of a Sioux City Army veteran and his Czech wife will culminate in a happy reunion here, perhaps within a week.
      George W. Cloud said Monday he expects his son's pretty 30-year-old wife to arrive here Sunday or the early part of next week from Germany.
      The son, Leonard, 28, and his wife, Lila, have been separated since 1949, shortly after their marriage.  He was forced to leave Czechoslovakia when his visa expired.
      Mrs. Cloud and seven other Czechs made a dramatic escape in a "freedom tank" from their Communist-dominated homeland last month.
      The elder Cloud said final papers in the form of an affidavit of support were sent to the American consulate at Munich, Germany.  He said Pan American Airways advised the affidavit was necessary before a visa could be granted.
      The Sioux City Junior Chamber of Commerce is paying Mrs. Cloud's expense aboard a Pan American plane to Sioux City.
      The Atlantic News-Telegraph, Atlantic, Iowa, Tuesday, August 18, 1953, p. 5
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    Family ID F23348  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart