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Terrence D. Pulkrabek, 77, of New Hope

Terrence Dean Pulkrabek, “Terry,” the son of Ted and Libby (Splichal) Pulkrabek, was born Jan. 17, 1941, in Glencoe, Minn. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Catholic Church in Glencoe and in 1958, graduated from Glencoe High School. Soon after graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army. After two years, and an honorable discharge, he returned to his home. It was then he bought his first car, a 1946 coupe for $60.
On June 30, 1962, he married Judith Schmitt at St. Joseph Church in Waconia, Minn. After a three-day honeymoon up north, they settled into a cabin on Medicine Lake. At that time, he was a foreman on the night shift at the plastic factory in New Hope, Minn. Eventually, they moved their way to the Chaska area and decided they wanted a family and adopted their first baby, Christopher. He was so excited to have a son and be a dad. They then decided to adopt a baby girl named Amy. They enjoyed her for a short four months when God called her home. It was a difficult loss for them. A few months later, Jody was adopted and their family was complete. It was then he bought their first home in Chaska, Minn. where he resided for almost 30 years. After 29 years, Terry and Judy grew apart and started new journeys.
He then met Betty Erlandsen, his life partner of 27 years. They thoroughly enjoyed each other. They were busy and active, from motorcycle riding, to vacationing, to polka dancing. They tried every Sunday to get to Pla-Mor Ballroom for dancing. They were passionate about dancing and in 1994 were elected Polka King and Queen of the Minnesota Chapter of the Polka Lovers Club of America. He was like the energizer bunny doing the hop polka with his head bobbing back and forth with a slight grin as he sped around the dance floor in about 17 seconds.
In 2008, he got the surprise of a lifetime. Mr. Pulkrabek was going to be a grandpa! He was the best grandpa to his grandson Jaidan. He was so proud of him he taught him how to fish and how to play the accordion. He was silly with him. They would roll down hills, play in the packing peanuts and talk on walkie talkies. They had some special moments. Mr. Pulkrabek wanted to put up the fight so he could see his grandson graduate. He will always be with Jaidan.
He was a great man and a great dad! He taught his kids to fish, waterski, snowmobile, change their oil and drive the car. He coached some of their teams and never missed their games or dance recitals. Mr. Pulkrabek supported and was involved in everything his kids did. His passion for snowmobiling started when his brother-in-law decided to give Chris a snowmobile (Orange Moto-ski). They fixed it more than they rode it. He led many trips with his snowmobile and motorcycle clubs. Mr. Pulkrabek’s passion for motorcycling brought him to many beautiful places he enjoyed so much. Whether it was navi-guessing or long detours, it was always a good time.
Terry eventually worked as a labor foreman for McGough Construction for 32 years. He worked on many of the buildings in the Twin Cities area. One of his jobs included working on the dome of St. Mary’s Basilica in Minneapolis. Mr. Pulkrabek’s career helped him become the handyman he was. He did many home improvements in the various homes he lived in. In his first purchased home, Mr. Pulkrabek built a brick fireplace.
After 10 months, Mr. Pulkrabek lost his courageous battle against myelogenous leukemia at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. He was a fun-loving guy who made friends easily with a twinkle in his eye, a smile and a hearty laugh. He was considered the life of the party and was always up to something mischievous. He had an engaging personality and good sense of humor that drew others in. He was always there to help others in need and volunteered his time. He will be deeply missed.
Mr. Pulkrabek is lovingly remembered by his son, Christopher, daughter Jody Pulkrabek and grandson Jaidan Osceola; his loving partner Betty Erlandsen, his brother Ronald (Eileen) Pulkrabek, his sister Evon (Bill) Anderson, three nieces and their spouses, Betty’s children, Dana, Craig and Bob and his sons, Johs, Niels, and Luke Erlandsen, and many relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by infant daughter, Amy Pulkrabek, and his parents, Ted and Libby Pulkrabek.
A private interment was held at Koniska Cemetery, McLeod County, Koniska, Minn.
Saturday, Aug. 18, a celebration of life will take place at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Glencoe, starting at noon. A program will start at 1 p.m. A polka band will play from 2 to 4 p.m. A light lunch will be served from 2 to 4 p.m.