Robert Mallak, age 78, of Silver Lake, died Tuesday, April 15, 2008, at the Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park.
He was born April 1, 1930, in Hale Township, McLeod County, to Martin and Mary (Zanoth) Mallak. Robert was baptized at St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church in Silver Lake by Rev. Worzalla. He received his first communion and confirmation at St. Adalbert’s, and attended school there through eighth grade. Bob graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1947.
He proudly served in the US Army from October 1951 to October of 1953, when he received his honorable discharge. Bob served in the Panama Canal Zone and Thule, Greenland.
Bob married Mary Ann Haekenkamp May 22, 1954, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Edward Grzeskowiak, the bride’s cousin.
Bob and Mary Ann became the proud parents of Thomas, David, Donna, and Mark.
The Mallaks lived in the Twin City area for 23 years, and moved to Silver Lake in 1976.
Bob did construction work most of his life. He had his own home construction business, and he was a member of the Carpenter’s Union for 25 years.
In 1980, Bob started working at the Hutchinson Post Office, retiring from there in 1995.
Bob enjoyed working in his shop there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix or make. He also played the concertina, but didn’t think he could play well enough to play for the public. He enjoyed fishing, traveling and dancing.
Bob and Mary Ann always had an RV, and they enjoyed traveling to many polka festivals around the country. He was a member of POLKofA since 1975, a member of the PlaMor Dance Club, the Silver Lake Sportsmen’s Club, the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, and the VFW in Hutchinson.
He served as an usher, greeter, and money counter at Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake. Bob organized the first polka Mass for the Knights of Columbus during Pola Czesky Days.
He helped build the Legion Club and was the commander when the Club was opened in 1985. Bob volunteered as a bartender and organized the first New Year’s “Get Together” that is still going on each year. He was a member of the House Committee for many years, and served as finance officer for 10 years. He helped rebuild the Legion Park bandstand and did the Christmas decorating of it for several years.
Bob and his wife were Pola Czesky raffle chairmen for several years. He and his wife also organized and hosted the senior dances at the Legion. In additon, Bob also was a Boy Scout leader in Eden Prairie and Silver Lake.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Anna Grzeskowiak, Gertrude Tupa, and Magdelen McCullum; brothers-in-law Jerry Tupa, Frank McCullum, Jim Anderson, Dominic Mallak, Edwin Haekenkamp, Emil Kautz, and Loren Monson, and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Hubert and Eleanore Haekenkamp.
Bob is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Ann; children Thomas (Jennifer) of Lawrenceville, Ga., David (Wendy) of Silver Lake, Donna (Steve) Holmberg of Long Lake, and Mark (Teresa) of Silver Lake; grandchildren Robert and Laura Holmberg, Lilianna Mallak, and Martin and Isabell Mallak; sisters Ilean Anderson, and Lucy Mallak; and brother Clarence Mallak.
A Mass of Christian Burial took place Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake. Music was provided by Jim Wendolek, who played some favorites on his concertina, and Robert’s granddaughter, Lilianna, who played a special tune on the violin for grandpa. Interment was at Holy Family Cemetery, with military rites by American Legion Post 141, and taps played by Wally Pikal.
Visitation was Friday, April 18 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Maresh Funeral Home in Silver Lake, with a parish prayer service at 4 p.m. A Knights of Columbus rosary was recited at 7 p.m.
Honorary casket bearers were Bob’s grandchildren: Robert and Laura Holmberg, Lilianna Mallak, and Martin and Isabell Mallak.
Casket bearers were Bob’s nephews: Kenneth Tupa, Raymond McCullum, Richard McCullum, Dennnis Anderson, Glenn Mallak, and Gerald Tupa.
Arrangements were by the Maresh Funeral Home in Silver Lake.