Charles E. Mladek of Cozad passed away June 10th, 2017 at Cozad Community Hospital at the age of 92. Charlie was born March 5th, 1925 at Poole, Nebraska to Frank I. and Mary Grace (White) Mladek. He grew up in several rural Nebraska towns. In 1943 at age 18, Charlie joined the U.S. Navy during WWII. He served on the USS Hoggatt Bay aircraft carrier as well as a submarine chaser. He was a fireman and a machine gunner. He loved showing his Order of the Golden Shellback Award which he received for crossing the equator 78 times while aboard the USS Hoggatt Bay. He received an honorable discharge in 1946. He returned to Cozad in 1946 and worked at the Allied Mill until he retired.
He met Violet Virginia Dishman from Gothenburg and were married on June 7th, 1949. The couple were blessed with 5 children. Charlie had a lot of interests and hobbies such as his birds, fish, exotic animals and a white crane. He enjoyed taking care of his animals and showing people around his duck pen. In the 1960's, he raised bees and rendered the honey which his children sold door to door around town. In the last 2 1/2 years, he made 3 trips to Texas visiting Six Flags, SeaWorld and the ocean. He also visited the USS Lexington, a ship that he fought side by side with in WWII.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Violet; 2 sons, Allen and Frank Mladek; grandson, Kenneth Copass and a sister, Rozella Perry.
Survivors include 2 daughters, Charlotte (Richard) Tabor of Douglas, Wyoming and Vicky Kruse of Cozad; son, Charles E. (Carol) Mladek Jr. of Cozad; grandchildren, Crystal Sorge of Cozad, Frank (Barb) Mladek of Cozad, Allen Mladek of Florida, Meranda Mladek of Texas, Terry Kruse Jr. (Becky) of Laguna Beach, California, Jonathan (Amber) Kruse of Cozad, Tricia Kruse and Cody Kruse of Cozad, Brandi Bodfield-Coufal of Overton and Johnnie Whitthuhn of Lincoln; great grandchildren, Christopher and Samantha Sorge, Aubree, Jesse and Emmajean Mladek, Kayla and Nathan Kruse, Kaden Kruse, Addyson and Cyle Kruse, Kelsey and Dylynn Coufal and Ashian Mladek; great great grandchildren, Erika and Emilyn Sorge and Tenliegh Malcom.
Services will be held Friday, June 16th, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Susan Sukraw officiating. Burial will be at the Cozad Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 1 to 8 at Berryman Funeral Home.