Donald “Don” D. Vrana
Dec. 17, 1929 – Dec. 21, 2019
Donald “Don” Dean Vrana, 90, of Syracuse passed away Dec. 21, 2019, surrounded by his family. He was born to Anton and Florence (Walker) Vrana on Dec. 17, 1929, in Seward and grew up on a farm northeast of Garland, where he attended country school and graduated from Garland High School in 1946.
Don married the love of his life, Gladys M. Makovicka, on June 6, 1950, at St. Vincent Catholic Church in Seward. He farmed with his dad and brothers until 1957, and worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Seward, Papillion and Syracuse. In 1968, Don started selling real estate and insurance and went to auction school in 1973 to become a full-fledged auctioneer. Along with auction partners Gene and Bonnie Sisco, he sold real estate, farms, homes, farm machinery, antiques and household goods for 40 years, with Gladys as his full-time clerk, cashier and all-around partner. In 2004, Don was honored as Auctioneer of the Year by the Nebraska Auctioneers Association.
He and Gladys attended St. Paulinus Catholic Church in Syracuse, where he was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. Don served on the SDA School Board and Syracuse Park Board and auctioneered for many charity events. He enjoyed afternoon card games with his buddies, was an avid golfer who was blessed to still be playing this past season, and he shot his age many times. He was a member of the Syracuse Country Club from its beginning in 1968, hit a hole-in-one in 2011 and played 2,580 holes of golf in 2012. Don told his family that he and St. Peter have a tee time set for next Tuesday at the most famous golf course in heaven!
As an amazing husband and father, he lovingly tended to the needs of his wife and daughters, and was blessed with a family who loves, respects and supports one another, thanks to the values he instilled. Don always had time to share stories, cuddle a grandchild, golf, hunt or play ball and attend the grandkids’ activities. He and Gladys enjoyed raising their girls, meticulously caring for their yard and taking the trip of a lifetime to Czechoslovakia. Don truly enjoyed visiting with people and appreciated the gift of friendship. Don was a good man, a faithful servant of the Lord and a one-of-a-kind person who will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew him.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Gladys Vrana; daughters, Katherine Kay Bruns, Laurie Ann (Jim) Deseck, Rebecca Jo (Doug) Antes and MaryBeth (David) McWilliams; grandchildren, Amy (Tim) Frederick, Corie (Kirk) Gorton, Kristine (Andrew) Stolley, Matthew (Danielle) Deseck, Jeni (Mike) Leefers, Joshua Antes, Tim (Carlie) Antes, Sarah Antes and fiancé Matt Kelly, Ethan (Alicia) McWilliams, Anthony McWilliams and fiancé Madison Montanez; 14 great-grandchildren; brother, Tony (Elaine) Vrana; sister, Janice (Larry) Sorge; sister-in-law, Sondra Vrana; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Mary Elizabeth Vrana; sister, Vivian Soucek; brother, Jerry Vrana; infant brother; David Gene; and son-in-law, Bob Bruns.
A funeral mass was held Dec. 28, 2019, at St. Paulinus Catholic Church in Syracuse, with a rosary service on Dec. 27. Memorial contributions are suggested to the family for future designation. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.fusselmanallenharvey.com.