Darlene F. Slezak
March 16, 1932 – July 30, 2020
Darlene Frances Slezak was born to Albert and Esther (Engel) Duba in Friend on March 16, 1932, and entered into eternal salvation on July 30, 2020, at the Wilber Care Center in Wilber at the age of 88 years, 4 months and 14 days. She was the oldest of four children in the family.
Darlene was baptized March 8, 1946, at the Wilber Methodist Church by Rev. K.O. Zavadil. She attended country school at Fairview District 57 and Pleasant Prairie District 64. Darlene graduated from Friend High School with the class of 1950. She then attended Doane College and received her teaching certificate allowing her to teach at country school districts 64, 57, 100 and 30.
On July 24, 1956, she was united in marriage to William F. “Bill” Slezak at the Methodist Church in Friend. To this union, two children born: Terry Ann and William “Billy” Albert. They lived south of Friend for a few years, then moving east of Geneva until the fall of 1969. They relocated to the Slezak family farm northwest of Milligan, where they resided until 1998. Upon retirement, they moved to Milligan. After Bill passed, Darlene was very proud to have purchased her own home there.
Darlene was a busy farmwife and mother, raising their two children and preparing delicious meals to take out to the fields for the men during the busy farming seasons. As the family grew, she would never turn down a chance to help her family, taking care of their grandchildren and attending all of their activities. Her many interests included working outdoors, drawing, oil painting, socializing with friends, listening to Sunday polka music radio shows and caring for Milligan’s homeless kitties. Later in life, she loved her job as librarian at the Milligan Public Library, serving in that role for 11 years.
Darlene was a member of the Milligan United Methodist Church, serving as past Sunday school teacher, long time UMW member, member of the Milligan Legion Auxiliary Post 240, and a member of the Saline County Retired Teacher’s Association. She enjoyed socializing any chance she could. Darlene also loved attending the Wilber Czech Festival, proudly celebrating her Czech heritage. She only missed one Czech Days in the entire history of the celebration. She loved visiting with folks of any age. Darlene rarely missed a chance to ride along to the many dance jobs the Leonard Becwar Orchestra played for…meeting and making many new friends. Bill and Darlene were even able to attend Octoberfest in Germany and tour Austria and Switzerland with Leonard’s band.
Darlene was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; parents, Albert and Esther Duba; brother, Delbert W. Duba; mother and father-in-law, William and Anne Slezak; brothers-in-law, Jimmy Tupa and Jimmie L. Zalesky; sister-in-law, Betty (Slezak) Alfred; and niece, Katherine (Tupa) Bedient.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Terry Ann and Terry Brandt of Tobias; son and daughter-in-law, Billy and Jana Slezak of Milligan; grandchildren, Jeremy Brandt and wife, Lee of Crete, Jacob Brandt and fiancé Ivy Lutz of Lincoln, Jessica Brandt of Daykin and Shane Slezak and wife Jasmine, Shawn Slezak and wife Jennifer, Taylor Slezak and fiancé Joey Gilmer, all of Milligan; sisters, Shirley J. Zalesky of Omaha, Esther M. Tupa of Wilber; sister-in-law, Carol Duba of Milligan; great-grandchildren Kailee, Brittany and husband Joe, Jake, Emily and husband Josh, Lyla, Beau, Tyler “TJ,” Noah, Lily, Kaydence, Jade, Kasen and Lennon; great-great-grandchildren Kinlee, Julius and Charlotte; nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.
A funeral service was Aug. 6 at the United Methodist Church in Milligan, followed by a graveside service in the Bohemian National Cemetery. Memorials contributions are suggested to the United Methodist Church in Milligan, Milligan Fire and Rescue and the Milligan Public Library. Condolences may be left for the family at www.farmerandsonfuneralhome.com.