Obituary: Zdenko ‘Denny’ Vokel Sr.
Zdenko “Denny” Vokel Sr. passed away at his home in Sierraville, Calif., on Nov. 10, 2009, at the age of 71. He was born in Vrchtepla, Slovakia on Feb. 15, 1938, in a family of six brothers and five sisters. At 14, he went to trade school where he learned to become a machinist.
At 17, he entered the Czech Army where he was an executive chauffeur for the military. In 1969, he took his toothbrush, shaving kit and the clothes on his back and left Czechoslovakia to follow his dream of living in freedom in America.
In 1970, he moved to the Bay Area and manufactured parts for scientific space exploration, computer and security technology. In 1973, he started his company, ZV Manufacturing.
In 1979, he moved his family to Tahoe City, where he opened Precision-Z. In 1984, he purchased 11 acres in Sierraville, Calif., and knew this would ultimately be where he would live for the rest of his life. In 1986, he opened “Little Europe Caffe” which served his Czech cuisine.
In 1989, he sold his restaurant and moved to Sierraville. In 1992, he started the “Little European Smokehouse” where he specialized in gourmet Czech sausages, salami and smoked fish.
He was the most giving husband, father and friend, and if someone asked for his help, he always lent a hand. He lived his American dream, marrying a beautiful wife, owning successful companies, owning land and owning his life.
He is survived by: his wife, Monica; children: Darka, Iveta, Tony, Sharka and Bugg; grandchildren: Lucinka, Gina, Katie, Simonka, and Samantha; sisters: Helena, Viera and Lida, and brothers: Milan, Rudolf and Pavol
He is dearly missed and will live in our hearts forever. Condolences can be sent to: The Vokel Family, P.O. Box 291, Sierraville, CA, 96126.