Ellen Marie Jiskra was born 12-10-1943 in Seward, NE Hospital and died 05-07-2019 in Kansas City, MO at Armour Oaks surrounded by her loving family.
Her parents were Edward A. Hladky and Theresa M. Kunašek and they lived on a farm near Bee, NE. Ellen attended a one-room country school until the 8th grade before going to Seward High School for three years. She then graduated Valedictorian in the first senior class of Aquinas High School in David City, NE.
Ellen attended St. Mary’s College in Omaha, NE for one year then went to work for the federal government for one year. Ellen then attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln graduating with a French Education Major and was President of Delta Zeta Sorority her senior year.
Ellen was married to Larry Jiskra on August 13, 1967 at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church by Rev. Raymond Hain. Ellen and Larry lived in Lincoln, NE for one year where she taught French at Pius X Catholic High School. They moved to Overland Park, KS in 1968 where Ellen taught French at Hocker Grove Junior High for one year, then the first three years Shawnee Mission Northwest High School opened. Ellen then attended the Paris-Sorbonne University in Paris, France and received her Masters through Central College of Pella, IA. Upon returning to the Shawnee Mission School District, Ellen taught French at Indian Creek Junior High for three years then transferred to Shawnee Mission South High School in 1976 to teach French, retiring in 2003.
While teaching at Shawnee Mission South, Ellen returned to Paris, France to earn her Elementary Certification which enabled her to start a French Summer Enrichment Program for Elementary Students. Ellen also developed a foreign exchange program with an English teacher counterpart and long-time friend, Jacqueline Quinart, in Paris, France which allowed for multiple decades of students to enjoy the experience of cultural enrichment of another country. Furthermore, Ellen participated in the American Foreign Language Teacher’s Association and Teacher Mentoring and Training.
Ellen was blessed with two sons, Brandon L. Jiskra on July 2, 1979 and Jason E. Jiskra on April 22, 1982. In the mid-90’s, Ellen was diagnosed with a malignant cancer that had a very small survival rate. She persevered thru this disease with some lasting side effects.
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents: Ed and Theresa Hladky; sisters: Betty Tvrdy and JoAnn Hladky; nephew: Steve; niece: Rebecca. She is survived by her husband Larry, sons Brandon (Brooke) and Jason (Alycia), brothers Ray (Millie) Hladky and Ed (Marilyn) Hladky, brother-in-law Gene Tvrdy, grandchildren: Logan, Jade, London, and Fheyan, 17 nieces, and 3 nephews.
Mass of Christian burial will be held on May 11th at 1:30pm at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 8311 W 93rd St. OPKS.
She will be missed and remembered by her many friends and family.
Mrs. Jiskra was one of my English teachers at SMNW and was one of the reasons that I wanted to teach English. I am so sorry for your loss and so grateful to have been her student.
I was so sorry to hear of Mrs. Jiskra’s passing. She was my French teacher starting in 7th grade at Indian Creek Jr. High all the way through my senior year at Shawnee Mission South. I always had a tremendous respect for her because of her dedication to the education of her students. She was always my favorite teacher. God Bless her family as they mourn her passing. -Kimberle Raymond Dubner
Ellen was a great influence for me. I never would have made it through my first year of teaching without her! I will always admire and remember her. She will be missed.
I’m saddened by this news, but I have found memories of the two years I was in her French class at SMS.
Great teacher, she tolerated my jokes and lack of attention in class. I remember her saying on the 747 to Paris, “Lifejackets? Ridiculous. As if they would help if this thing went down in the Atlantic
” Lol! They broke the mold, a true scholar. I learned a lot from her.
Rest In Peace Mme Jiskra, you were a great teacher, I had you for French 3 in my sophomore year 1982-83, you were also good to my mom when she substitute taught at Shawnee mission south in the foreign language dept. I hope you are no longer suffering
We were saddened to hear about Ellen. May God grant you peace and grace. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
The Aquinas Alumni Association
Mme. Jiskra was the most wonderful French teacher I ever had. Her encouragement led me to major in French in college, as well as travel abroad and spend a year of college in Paris. She was intelligent and kind and pushed me to keep learning…I’m sure she will be missed by many. God’s peace and comfort to her family during this time. Et merci, Mme. Jiskra, pour tous!
We are sadden to learn of Ellen’s passing, as we were not fortunate enough to have known her, except thru our family members. God Bless her soul and her family members! Cousin Ray E & Virginia.
So sorry for your loss. Sorry to have missed the services. So wonderful to read words describing Ellen’s impact on the lives she touched. Praying that Gods peace surrounds each of you.
I’m sorry to hear that Mrs. Jiskra at Shawnee Mission South for French class. She was a very nice lady.
Madame Jiskra, merci beaucoup, for the passion of teaching another language and helping me understand my own. I began at Indian Creek and followed you to SMS. I continued in college, and used mon sait très peu Francais en France during a creative work trip to photograph Monet Gardens for Hallmark Cards. You were there in my heart and confidence to speak and respond in a language you inspired to teach so many.
Peace and blessings to your family.
Gratitude for all your confidence in moi!