Walter “Gus” Albert Begalske, 87, Monona, Iowa, died Sunday, November 18, 2012, at his home in Monona, Iowa. He was born January 29, 1925 in Hawkeye, Iowa to Gustav Willhelm Begalske and Ella Helena Ungerer. He was baptized on February 22, 1925 and confirmed on April 2, 1939 at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Hawkeye, Iowa.
Gus graduated from the Alpha Consolidated School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wartburg College and sixty credit hours of postgraduate work in Chemistry and Physics at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and Michigan State.
Gus entered the United States Army in February 1945 and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in November of 1946. He was the acting Sergeant Major of Itazuke Army Air Base, Japan, after the Japanese surrendered. Among his service mementos are a Letter of Appreciation from the Colonel and a Commendation Medal and Commendation Letter from the General.
Gus married Donna Jean Bade on June 10, 1951 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Waverly, Iowa. To this union, three daughters were born, Brenda, Linda and Diane. Gus was a High School Teacher in Biology, Physics and Chemistry for thirty-seven years at Monona, M-F, M-F-L, MFL MarMac High School and then seventeen more years as a substitute teacher. He was also a Golf Coach and swimming pool manager.
Gus belonged to the U.S. Army and Army Air Corp, ISEA, NEA, Monona Cemetery Association, City Zoning Board, American Legion Post 519 and VFW, church council for three terms and one year as president and belonged to the church choir.
Gus was involved in many sports, he was a baseball pitcher in high school, for the Army, at Wartburg College and for the Waverly Town Team and was a baseball umpire for several years. He played golf and was the school’s golf coach for several years. He was a lifelong Cardinals fan from the days of Stan Musial. He was an assistant softball coach for a few years. He helped his daughters become very good softball players.
Gus was an EMT for ten years following retirement in 1987; an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church; served on council three times and as president of congregation one term; started a Boy Scout Explorer group; served on committees to solicit funds for the Aquatic Center and Garden View; served on Monona Cemetery board and Town Zoning Committee; for many years he was the Boys’ State Chairperson for the local American Legion, involved in choosing the junior class boy who would get to go to Boys’ State. Gus’ hobbies include golf, woodworking, bridge, reading, puzzles and building balsa wood airplane models.
Gus is survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Donna; his three daughters, Brenda (Edward) George of Marion, Linda (Mark) Kimzey of Mt. Pleasant and Diane (Daniel) Rothmeyer of Monona; six grandchildren, Kaitlyn (Burke) Schrader, John Rothmeyer, Rebekah and Aaron Kimzey and Ralph and Samuel George; a brother, Eugene Begalske of Appleton, Wisconsin; two sisters, Helena (Ray) Schafer of Havana, Illinois and Barbara (Larry) Daniels of West Union and many nieces and nephews.
Gus was preceded in death by his parents, Gustav and Ella Begalske and a brother, Paul Begalske.
Visitation will be Friday, November 23, 2012, from 4 – 8 pm at the Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona, Iowa and one hour before services at the church on Saturday.
Funeral Services will be at 11 am on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Monona, Iowa with Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin officiating. Burial will follow in the Monona Cemetery, Monona, Iowa. Memorials may be made in Walter “Gus” Begalske’s honor to Faith Lutheran Church, MFL Ambulance Service, Boys Scouts or Disabled American Veterans.
Condolences may be left with: www.graufuneralhomes.com