By Carol Mowdy Bond
At age 14, Milton “Milo” Shedeck Jr. began playing the saxophone and clarinet in bands at Yukon’s Czech Hall, 205 N. Czech Hall Road. Now 65 years later, you’ll still find him performing with his band, the Bohemian Knights, at Czech Hall every other Saturday night.
Shedeck descends from a long line of farmers in Yukon, going back over a century. In fact, some of his family members are still farming the area.
“I was born in Lawton. But I’ve lived my entire life in Yukon. I grew up in Yukon and I was graduated from Yukon High School. Our 160-acre family farm was passed down to my dad. It was located where Kohl’s and Lowe’s are located in Yukon. When I-40 was built, it cut right through our farm. So, my parents donated the land where Shedeck Elementary School is located. When I-40 cut through our farm, my parents donated part of our farm land, that was south of I-40, for the school,” Shedeck said.
Milo Shedeck’s dad, Milton Milo “Milton” Shedeck, was the son of Antone Adolph Shedeck and Anna Kouba Shedeck who had a farm at Richland Road and Reno Avenue. Milton Milo Shedeck grew up on the farm and then went off to Oklahoma State University.
Then during World War II, he served in the U.S. Army as a physician’s assistant, stationed at Fort Sill in Lawton. After the war, he attended the University of Central Oklahoma, where he finished his university degree to become a teacher. He taught typing, shorthand, and band at Yukon High School.
Milo Shedeck’s mom, Jane Clapper Shedeck, was a grade school teacher who taught at Central Elementary School, Myers Elementary School, and Shedeck Elementary School in Yukon.
Milton Shedeck taught his son Milo Shedeck how to play both the saxophone and clarinet.
At age 14, Milo Shedeck began playing with several bands on Saturday nights at Czech Hall. First he played in a band with brothers Milo Belsky and Charlie Belsky, and Jerry Kaplan, Milo Shedeck’s uncle. Then Jerry Kaplan formed a band, the Jerry Kaplan Orchestra, and Milo Shedeck played with that band.
While playing in a band at Czech Hall, Milo Shedeck spotted Lucy Houska on a Saturday night. Every chance he got, he made sure to dance with her. They’ve now been married 29 years. In 2007, Milo Shedeck formed his own band, the Bohemian Knights, and now they perform every other Saturday night at Czech Hall. The Bohemian Knights also play all over Oklahoma. You can CZECH them out on YouTube!
Not to be outdone, Lucy Houska Shedeck plays the accordion. One of six children, she’s the daughter of of a farmer and a farmer’s wife, and she’s also from a Czech family. She is from Billings, where she babysat for Governor Henry Bellmon’s children. She lived in Billings until she was age 17. Then she became a nurse, and was in charge of the E.R. at Mercy Hospital for 35 years.
Milo Shedeck retired from a career involving banking and OG&E. Lucy Shedeck retired from a nursing career.
They now live in Oklahoma City, and they have five children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Oh, and Milo Shedeck likes to play golf.