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Stanley Vomacka, 1922-2017

Stanley Vomacka, 94, passed away peacefully of natural causes Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at his home in White Bear Lake. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Russell Scepaniak will officiate. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Interment will be at Bohemian Cemetery, at the corner of County Road 19 and County Road 30.

Stanley was the youngest of nine children, and was born May 8, 1922, on their farm near Austin to his loving parents John and Anna (Schaball) Vomacka. His parents were immigrants from Prague, Czechoslovakia, and were 29 years of age when they came to America in 1912. Stanley and all of his siblings helped their parents with daily farm chores until they left home. He attended his local country one-room school house, being driven in the winter by his father in a horse and buggy under thick wool blankets.

Stanley Vomacka

Once out of school, Stanley tried to enlist in the Minnesota National Guard at 15. He said he was 18, and they knew otherwise. Times were tight on the farm and he was lured by the pay,

$1 for each weekly training and $15 for the annual two weeks on duty. He proudly served the United States Army as a machine gunner in 1942 during World War II in Africa and Italy. He lost his leg in the Battle of Anzio Beach in his 300th day of fighting. He was a marksman with the first brigade combat team, 34th infantry division — the Red Bulls. He was awarded multiple service medals and honorably discharged at the rank of corporal.

After returning home to Albert Lea in the summer of 1944, Stanley worked alongside his mentor, Arnold Stadheim, in the entrance of the First National Bank building — what is now the downtown Arts Center. Arnold taught him to be a certified master watchmaker, and even taught him to build grandfather clocks. After becoming a watchmaker, Stanley moved to Gem Lake in the early 1960s and owned and operated Stanley’s Jewelers in White Bear Lake until his retirement. Stanley was a member of several veterans organizations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was an avid outdoorsman who fully enjoyed and appreciated wildlife and nature.

Stanley is survived by his sister, Rose Foss, of Albert Lea; his beloved, Laura Christensen; nieces Louise Peterson, Marcy Eischen, Joyce Petersen, Kathy Vomacka, Betty Towers and Frances Kycek-Swenson; nephews Jerome and Franklin Kusy, Alfred Vomacka, Gene and George Pacovsky and Thomas Kycek; and other extended family.

Stanley was preceded in death by his parents; wives Marjorie and Adele; sisters Annie (Louis) Chapek, Georgia (Ed) Kusy, Libby (Charlie) Pacovsky and Alice (Victor) Kycek; brothers John, Frank and Ben Vomacka; and nieces and nephews Genevieve Kruger, Alvin and Arthur Chapek, Sharon Simpson and Johnny Parker.

Stanley was a devout Christian with a very generous spirit. He was loved and will be missed by many, last but not least his loving caregivers April Courneya, Christy Peterson-Larsen, Connie Charpenter, Sue Carlson and his son next door, Ken Defiel.

May God bless his memory.