A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 15, 2016 at St. Michael’s Church in Spalding, NE, with Fr. Antony Thekkekara and Fr. Jim Murphy officiating. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery with military rites by American Legion Post #299 of Spalding, NE. Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the church, with a 7:00 p.m. wake service. Dolce-Scheef Mortuary of Spalding, NE is in charge of arrangements.
Walter Joseph Valasek Sr., son of Andrew and Salamea (Stanczyk) Valasek was born May 27, 1918 on a farm East of Wolbach, NE. He was baptized into the Catholic faith at Elba, NE and confirmed at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Spalding, NE. He attended the Leo Valley School for six years and graduated the eighth grade from the Hilltop School. He attended Spalding Academy for a year before he stayed home to help his father on the farm near Spalding.
Walt spent time working in the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) in South Dakota and Nebraska before entering the United States Army in June 1941. He served in several World War II campaigns including the Bismarck Archipelago, Southern Philippines and Luzon, earning several Service Medals and Victory Medals, including a Bronze Star, before being honorably discharged in November 1945.
On May 8, 1947, Walt married Eva M. Trausch at Sacred Heart Church in Roseland, NE. They made their home on a farm seven miles southwest of Spalding, NE. In 1951, Walt was called on again to serve his country, and gave two more years to the Army during the Korean Conflict. After returning home, he resumed farming, along with several side jobs over the years including driving truck, surveying, working as a field reporter for the ASCS, all while he and Eva raised their seven children: Wally, Donald, Patty, George, Sheila, Sharon and Janet.
Walt was a member of St. Michael’s Church, a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW, served on the Spalding Public School Board, Greeley Co. District 18 School Board, the Greeley Co. Fair Board, and Greeley Co. Farm Bureau. He also started the Purple Ribbon Winners 4-H Club, leading the group for 26 years. Walt enjoyed traveling with his wife to many Army reunions and Farm Bureau conventions. He continued living on the farm until entering the Grand Island Veterans Home in October 2010.
Walt is survived by six children: Walter Jr. (Barbara) Valasek of Beatrice, NE; Patricia (Robert) Esch of Spalding, NE; George (Diana) Valasek of Spalding, NE; Sheila (Kris) Luoma of Arcadia, NE; Sharon (Ray) Bauer of Spalding, NE; Janet Valasek of Clay Center, NE; daughter-in-law: Maggie Valasek of Spalding, NE; 19 grandchildren: Christy (Mark) Schaaf, Steve (Jennifer) Valasek, Denise (Ryan) Bohling, Rosemarie (Jason) Buhlmann, Jessica (Pat) Matol, Eric Valasek, Dylan Valasek, Hilary (Brian) Maricle, Adam Esch, Renee Esch; Jennifer (Ron) Dozler, Melissa (Andy) Kahle, Heather (Scott) Seaman, Cory Valasek, Noah Valasek, Paul (Nikki) Bauer, Michelle Bauer, Susan Bauer and Daniel Bauer; 25 great-grandchildren; two sisters: Josephine Valasek and Dorothy Arrasmith, both of Omaha, NE; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Eva; son Donald; a great-granddaughter Elaina Matol; one brother Andrew; and five sisters: Sophie, Mary, Agnes, Katie and Stella.