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Gary Eldon Dvorak

April 1, 1944 December 17, 2017
Gary Eldon Dvorak
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Obituary for Gary Eldon Dvorak

VINTON – Gary Eldon Dvorak, 73, died Sunday, December 17, 2017, at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha.
Memorial Mass will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at St Mary Catholic Church in Vinton with Fr. Ardel Barta as celebrant.
Gary was born April 1, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Eldon Raymond and Helen Barnes Dvorak. He graduated from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids and attended Parson College in Fairfield, Iowa.
On July 4, 1985, Gary was united in marriage with Joan Rose Jensen in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gary was a chef and he teamed with Joan to build Café de Klos into a Cedar Rapids institution that spanned three decades. A bold and self-made entrepreneur, Gary’s constant search for new challenges and experiences sent him around the world. He brought his adventures home and shared them, in the form of secret Dutch recipes learned in Dutch cafes, décor that transported guests to exotic places and lessons picked up in a life well-lived. Gary’s clarity of vision and the never-quit force of his follow through transformed each room in his restaurants into works of art and his eye for tables filled with the finest quality foods and, of course, happy patrons. When the Dvoraks reopened a lavishly reimagined Café De Klos in Vinton years after closing the doors on the original café, customers old and new continued to flock to the restaurant until Gary’s retirement in 2015.
Gary was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Vinton. He will be missed for his companionship, his spontaneity and his unwavering loyalty. His legendary strength of will and love of adventure will continue to inspire those who knew him to dream big and live every day to the fullest. No matter the challenge, Gary never merely tried—he did, and he did it big. He is no doubt already hard at work planning his next project—a café in heaven—as he watches over his loyal friends, his devoted wife and his beloved children.
Gary is survived by his wife of 32 years, Joan, of Vinton; four children: Gary Eldon Dvorak and daughter, Hana, of Largo, FL; Dara Michelle Crow and children, Stone, Gavyn and Garrett of Marietta, CA; Diamond Rose Dvorak and fiancé, Levi Grefe and his children, Taylor, Drake and Maddie, of North Liberty and Dakota Ralph Dvorak of Charlotte, NC.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorials may be directed to the Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha and the American Cancer Society.
Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home of Vinton is caring for Gary and his family. Condolences may be left at

Previous Events





2:00 PM 12/27/2017 2:00:00 PM
St. Mary Catholic Church,

2200 2nd Ave
Vinton, IA 52349

Followed by a Celebration of Gary's life at the Vinton American Legion Hall, 105 North R Ave, Vinton.

St. Mary Catholic Church,
2200 2nd Ave Vinton 52349 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Hospice House of Mercy

315 18th Ave.
Hiawatha, IA 52233

American Cancer Society

4080 1st Ave. NE #101
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

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