December 2, 1926 – April 23, 2019
A life-long resident of Cass County, Donald T. Skalak passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Born to Rudy and Louise (Hanasek) Skalak on Dec. 2, 1926, he married Mary Evers in 1946 and shared 64 years with her. Don is survived by two daughters, Connie Terbrueggen of St. Augustine, Florida, and Laurie Collins, wife of Rick Collins, of Snohomish, Washington. Don has three grandchildren: Jill Collins Weber, John Scott Collins and Donald Mark Collins; and seven great-grandchildren. He shared the lucky buckeyes he collected with all his family.
Don served in the U.S. Navy in the Philippine Islands during World War II, was recalled to serve in the Korean War, and was honorably discharged in 1952. As a youth, Don worked as a paperboy and at the Hinky Dinky store in Plattsmouth, and then began working at the Burlington Refrigerated Express (BREX) Shops prior to high school graduation. He was transferred to Burlington’s Havelock Shops in Lincoln when the BREX shops closed and retired in 1988 after 45 years of employment with the railroad.
Don was initiated in 1948 and became a Master Mason in 1949, receiving his degrees at Plattsmouth Lodge 6. He transferred to Canopy Lodge 209 in Elmwood and then to Euclid Lodge 97 in Weeping Water, where he has been a Jordan Medal holder since 2010. Masons from Euclid Lodge recently presented Don with his 70-year membership pin.
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He has also belonged to the Knights Templar, Mt. Zion Commandery 5, Scottish Rite and Sesostris Shrine in Lincoln. Don was a member of the Platte Valley Shriners, Greeters, and Railroad Club. A joy of his was to help care for local children through outreach with the Shriner’s Hospital.
Don will be remembered for his strength of character, his dedication to family, and his service to others.
Memorials can be sent to the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation, P.O. Box 167, Elmwood, Nebraska 68349 or the Shriner’s Hospital for Children https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shc/donate.