The late Francis Menousek, Jr., was born on October 2nd, 1914, in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents were Francis Sr. and Marie Menousek. Francis was married to the late Rose Pavlik Menousek. He is survived by sons John, Paul, Bill, Marty and daughter Jo Anne.
Francis attended grade and high school in Omaha and graduated from Omaha South High School.
Francis got his first instrument: an alto saxophone, at the age of 16. It is unknown if he had any music education or played in the high school band. At age 17, he began his professional playing career playing on the Golden Prague Orchestra from Omaha.
Francis served in the Army during World War II as a Staff Sergeant Technician with the 5th Army in Africa and Northern Italy. After the war, he married Rose and they began raising their family in South Omaha where he worked as a printer at the Livestock Press/Stockman’s Journal in South Omaha.
Francis loved polka music and playing for dances. He would share stories of late-night rides on icy roads in the band touring car, playing on flatbeds for outside dances, earning a quarter a night or the ‘take’ from the door, and getting up early to play live radio broadcasts before work once a week on station WAAW in Omaha. He also wrote arrangements for the bands he played in, using only his alto, his memory of a polka waltz he had heard, and his ‘ear’ for harmonies. He played on Father Ed Chapuran’s Saint Wenceslas Concert Band, Golden Prague, Kostka Brothers, and Frank Hazuka. His only studio recording was with the Kostka Brothers.
Francis passed away on September 15th, 1988 in Omaha.