Charles W. "Chuck" Wanitschke, 82, of Grand Island died Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006, at St. Francis Medical Center.
Services were at 10 a.m. Thursday at Abundant Life Christian Center. The Rev. Steve Warriner officiated. Burial was in Cedarview Cemetery in Doniphan.
Apfel Funeral Home of Grand Island was in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Wanitschke was born June 24, 1924, in Merna to Joe and Dorothy (Karnes) Wanitschke.
Survivors of the immediate family include his wife, Irma; two daughters and sons-in-law, Peggy and Leon Johnston of Derby, Kan., and Connie and Larry Maldegen of Santa Fe, N.M.; two brothers, Frank of Litchfield and George of Grand Island; and three sisters, Anna Marie Robison of Broken Bow and Mary Cadwalader and Virginia Bohl, both of Grand Island.
Other survivors include five grandchildren, Shawn Cody and his wife, Marsha, of Alamosa, Colo., Alisha Cody of Denver, Deyna Smith and her husband, Justin, of Derby, Kan., Jeremy Johnston of Reno, Nev., and Jason Johnston and his wife, Jessica, of St. Joseph, Mo.; two stepgranddaughters, Alyssa Hagmann and her husband, Mike, of Tacoma, Wash., and Erin Maldegen of Durango, Colo.; four great-grandchildren, Joshua, Shannon and Meghan Cody and Hayden Smith; one stepgreat-grandson, Caden Hagmann; as well as a host of friends and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph; his mother, Dorothy; and one brother, Hubert.
He grew up and received his grade school education in the Merna and Broken Bow areas. He attended Broken Bow and Sargent High School and later received his GED at Central Community College in Grand Island on May 15, 1985.
He was united in marriage to Irma Curlile on July 3, 1948, in Kearney.
Two daughters were born to this union, Peggy Ann and Connie Jean. They lived around Broken Bow, where he was employed by Tom and Art Haumont. He also engaged in sharecrop farming at Loup City and Broken Bow.
They moved in 1955 to Denver, where he was employed with Gates Rubber Co. He first worked in the tire division, vulco rope curing and later as a pressman in the belt division. He retired in 1980.
While employed at Gates, he received the Gates Gold Award Certificate for 10 suggested adopted improvements of procedures. Besides being honored with the award, he received cash benefits. He was part of the Gates bowling team and loved to go bowling with his buddies. They were honored with several trophies for their achievements.
He was granted disability retirement after 25 years of employment with Gates.
Chuck and Irma then moved to Grand Island, where he found part-time employment for two years with the Burlington Railroad, driving a van transporting the railroad men from destination to destination. He then obtained employment with the Doniphan cemetery as the cemetery caretaker for 13 years. He took much pride in keeping the grounds in tiptop shape.
Most of all, he loved farming and found much enjoyment in helping different farmers during their peak seasons. The farmers included Kenny Hollister and the late Joe Allen III. He also worked for several years for Margaret Landis on her horse ranch until health no longer permitted it. He loved to watch the animals and be part of their care.
He was a dearly loved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was always a kind and caring man with a willingness to help wherever there was a need.
While living in Denver, he attended Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colo. He put his eternal hope in Jesus Christ and was baptized on Nov. 30, 1978. At the time of his death, he was a member of Abundant Life Christian Center in Grand Island.
Memorials are suggested to the Nebraska Heart Institute.