Owen Julius Michael Wanek, age 93 of Pepin, formerly of Alma, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Pepin Health and Rehab Center, Pepin, WI.
He was born on March 3, 1922 in Winona, the son of the late John and Hilda (Schwertel) Wanek.
Owen attended Winona Senior High School, graduating in 1940.
On February 2, 1943 as a member of the United States Army, Owen fought overseas in the European Theater of WW II. Later, Owen once again served overseas during the Pacific Theater of WW II.
On May 19, 1945, while on leave from the Army, Owen took the hand in marriage of Mary Jane Cyert at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Winona.
Following his honorable discharge on January 22, 1946, Owen began working at Watkins in Winona. Following a short time at Watkins, He began a long and successful career with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and was the longtime lock master at the Lock and Dam 4 in Alma until his retirement.
Owen was an active and faithful parishioner of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Alma and was a 3rd degree, charter member, and honorary life member of the Alma Council 6789 Knights of Columbus and an honorary life member of Monsignor Andrzejewski Assembly 1752 of Arcadia 4th degree Knights of Columbus.
Owen was also a life member of the Alma Rod & Gun Club, Alma American Legion Post #224 and the VFW Post 10406 of Cochrane/Buffalo City.
Owen was a very avid and accomplished woodworker and would make creations that will be cherished by his family for generations, such as cribs for his infant grandchildren and toy chests for their toys.
He had a love for the outdoors, especially, golfing, hunting deer or ducks with his friends, also camping and boating on the Mississippi River along with motorcycle trips and snowmobiling with his family.
If Owen wasn’t out enjoying nature, you could find him playing cribbage, solitaire or down at the Legion Hall in Alma playing partner Euchre with his fellow comrades.
Owen will be sadly missed by his wife of 70 years, Mary Jane, of Baldwin, WI formerly of Alma; children, Michelle (Keith) Elwood of Baldwin, Nancy Stencel of Maple Grove, MN, Patricia (Bruce) Brovold of Arcadia and Judith Chapman of Maplewood, MN; 14 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren; brother, Donald (Jean) Wanek of Rochester, MN; sister, Iona Ekern of Galesville, WI; also by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Besides his parents, Owen was preceded in death by his brother, Allen Wanek; daughter, Kathleen Steiner, son in law, John Stencel; and by his brother and sister in law, Ray and Jean Cyert.
A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, July 6, 2015 at 10:30 AM at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Alma with Father Brian J. Jazdzewski, Celebrating. Inurnment will be held on Tuesday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis.
A memorial gathering will be held on Monday, July 6 from 9:30 AM until the hour of the Mass all at the church.
Scenic Rivers Cremation Center/Talbot Family Funeral Homes assisted with arrangements.
Please share your memories or express your condolences at www.talbotfuneralhomes.com