Mass of Christian Burial for William “Bill” Chocholousek, age 85, of Ralston, Nebraska, formerly of Verdigre, Nebraska, will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Verdigre. Reverend Kizito Okhuoya will be Celebrant, with burial in the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Cemetery in Verdigre.
Visitation will be Monday, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Brockhaus Funeral Home in Verdigre, Nebraska, with a 7:00 p.m. Wake Service.
A Memorial Service will be Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Gerald’s Catholic Church, 7859 Lakeview Street, Ralston, Nebraska.
Bill died Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Bellevue Medical Center in Bellevue, Nebraska.
William Charles Chocholousek, son of Charles and Wilma Chocholousek, was born on July 31, 1928 in Verdigre, Nebraska. Bill attended school in Verdigre until the second semester of his junior year when his father obtained employment at the Martin Bomber Plant in Omaha, Nebraska. Bill attended St. Joseph’s High School, then worked at the bomber plant the next summer becoming part of our nation’s war effort. In the fall, he transferred to South High School to take advantage of the technical curriculum that was available with the academics. Learning the Morse Code and becoming a member of the Civil Air Patrol provided valuable skills for Bill’s future. After the war ended in December of 1945, his family moved back to Verdigre, making it possible to rejoin his original class and graduate in May, 1946.
Bill enlisted in the Army Air Corps in September of 1946, and was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado after completing basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He then served as an airborne radio operator in the Panama Canal and later was discharged by the Air Force, a new branch of the military, in Salina, Kansas on August, 1949. Bill enrolled in an aeronautics training program in Lincoln and then moved to Ralston where he began working at Crown Products, a company that manufactured rubber products. Government contracts comprised much of the company’s business. Eventually, Bill became production manager, and then retired in 1992.
As a life-long bachelor, Bill enjoyed cooking ethnic menus, gardening, boating, camping, traveling and viewing air shows at Offutt Air Force Base. Bill traveled several times with his cousin, Charles L. Sedlacek, one of them being a visit in 1962 to the World’s Fair in Seattle, Washington. They also worked together on various projects in their homes. After Bill’s mother passed away, he and his father traveled throughout the forty-eight continental states covering 33,000 miles taking pictures of themselves by the capitol buildings and camping every night.
Bill became a member of a charter group which originated the St. Gerald Parish in Ralston. Throughout the years, he served many roles in the parish developing friendships along the way and serving the longest as an usher. As Bill’s health begin to decline, these friends came to his support, saving his life more than once.
As a small boy, William walked from his grandparents’ farm with his grandmother, Emma Pavlik, to the St. Wenceslaus Cemetery to place fresh flowers on the graves of loved ones. As an adult, he made an effort to travel to his hometown during Memorial Day weekend to decorate the graves at several cemeteries in the Verdigre area. It later became a family tradition as his sister and brother-in-law joined him for this yearly event.
During his retirement, friends and neighbors soon found out that Bill was an electrician and frequently would seek his skills for home improvement. He was especially satisfied, when his trouble-shooting was successful. Bill spent time with his family during the holidays and family events. He was recently honored by the Nebraska Hospice Veteran Partnership with a pinning ceremony held at Hillcrest Country Estates in Bellevue, Nebraska. Bill died on July 8, 2014 at the Bellevue Medical Center.
Bill is survived by his sister, Charlene Ondracek, and brother-in-law, Theodore Joseph Ondracek of Des Moines, Iowa; a nephew, Dr. Theodore Charles Ondracek and his wife, Rochelle; and a great-niece, Isabelle and a great-nephew, Theodore William (Will) of East Amherst, New York.
His parents, Charles and Wilma Chocholousek, preceded him in death.