Barbara Elaine Cihak, 73, of Dallas, TX, died Friday, August 18, 2017 in Dallas, TX. Visitation will be Thursday, August 31 from 6-8pm, with the memorial service on Friday, September 1 at 2pm. Pastor Jon Cooke of Discovery Church will officiate. Both the visitation and memorial service will be held at Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home & Crematory in Yankton, SD. Immediately following the service, a reception will be held at Ben’s Brewing Co. in downtown Yankton. On-line condolences may be sent to: www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com.
Barbara was born in Sioux Falls, SD to Arthur and Edythe Carl on August 18, 1944. Her family moved to Yankton in 1953, and she went to high school at Yankton Sr. High, graduating in 1962. She participated in numerous activities in high school, including dance, drama, and the future teachers and home maker’s clubs. Her senior year, she was: the football cheerleading captain, a member of the drill team, most athletic as voted on by her classmates, and the Homemaker of Tomorrow.
She studied at the University of South Dakota until moving to South Bend, IN in 1965 to live with her husband Thomas Cihak. While Tom attended school at the University of Notre Dame, Barbara taught third grade at the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend.
After living in Queens in New York City for two years, where son Michael was born, Barbara moved back to Yankton. Daughter Erin was born shortly thereafter. She loved politics at all levels – city, state, and national – and was an active leader in the local Republican Party. She participated in Clint Robert’s campaign when he was elected to Congress in 1980. She ran for the Yankton City Commission, one of the first women to do so. She also became an avid horsewoman in her adult life, enjoying not only trail rides but even competing in barrels’ competitions at horse shows.
Family was always her top priority, and she loved spending time with friends. She enjoyed watching her children’s activities throughout the years and visiting them in Dallas. She was very close to her parents and hosted many, many holiday gatherings for her extended family. She loved to entertain and was the ultimate hostess.
Barbara was always up for an adventure and traveled often. Recent travels took her on a glamping adventure in Montana, city trips to San Francisco (two), Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and many visits to Dallas over the years where Thanksgiving was spent at the Dallas Cowboys football game. She loved sports and in 2016 watched both the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns play. Golf was another favorite sport, and she attended the Ryder Cup at Medinah, IL in 2012.
Barbara is survived by her son, Mike Cihak of Rapid City, SD; her daughter, Erin Cihak of Dallas, TX; her sister, Lois Johnson of Yankton, SD; her niece, Jennifer Zickrick (Tom) and six pet grandchildren, Tanner, Cody, Emmet, Lucy, Frank and Nancy.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1000 N. West Avenue, #250, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.