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Columbia Missourian

Fred Cervinka loved building, his family

By Ryan Finan
March 2, 2012 | 5:30 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Fred Cervinka's heart always belonged to his family. He was a father figure, not just to his children but to many of the people he came into contact with.

"I was a very lucky sister to have a brother like him," said Marie Ingram, his sister. "He made sure I didn't miss much while I was growing up."

Fred Cervinka of Ashland died Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, at his home in the company of his wife, daughter and grandson. He was 87.

He was born in 1924 in Farmington. He married Mary Riggs Cervinka.

After his father died, Mr. Cervinka was a big support to his mother and sister, Ingram said. 

"My brother was much like a father to me after our father's death," Ingram said. "I was around 8 years old ... he was very instrumental in me getting my college education and my desire to do things like he did, and how I wanted to do them."

As a child, Mr. Cervinka was always busy building something — he used old boards and wheels to build cars and trucks.

"Usually we had to have a driver in them, and he would push them around," Ingram said. "Of course, I was always the driver. I was his little sis, more of a tomboy than a girl, and I always enjoyed riding around in his creations."

He graduated from MU in poultry husbandry and went on to establish and own Heart of Missouri Poultry Farm and Enterprises.

He raised a lot of chicks and he would send them to the children in the family so they could raise them. Ingram said he was great with her children. 

Mr. Cervinka is survived by his wife, Mary Riggs Cervinka; his son, Mitchell Cervinka and his wife, Darlene, of Stillville, Kan.; his daughter, Carolyn Richardson and her husband, David, of Kamuela, Hawaii; his sister Marie Ingram of Scotia, Neb.; his grandchildren, Erik Blessman, Christy Connor and April Cervinka; and his nieces and nephews.

His sister, Frances Clark, died earlier.

Visitation will be at 9 a.m. March 10 at Olivet Christian Church, 1991 S. Olivet Road. Services will follow at 10 a.m. at the same location.

Memorial contributions can be made to Olivet Christian Church.

Condolences can be posted at