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Donald Walla, 78 - April 23, 2008

Donald Edward Walla, 78, of Brady and Gothenburg, died Monday, April 21, 2008, at his home.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 25, at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel of Gothenburg with the Rev. Janie Freeman officiating. Inurnment will take place at Fort McPherson National Cemetery.
Register book signing will be held from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. with family present from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel.
Walla was born Dec. 1, 1929, at Hemingford to John and Margaret (Wilcox) Walla at the home of his grandmother. He grew up in Hemingford and graduated from Hemingford High School in 1947.
He was united in marriage to Mary Ruth Shadle on Nov. 25, 1949, at Hemingford. To complete their family, they were joined by a daughter in 1958, and a son in 1962.
Walla entered the Air Force in 1951 and served as a staff sergeant for four years. He was very proud to have been a gunner in a B29 during the Korean War, and had many stories to share, according to family members.
After serving his country, he moved back to Hemingford where he and his father worked together as wheat farmers on a family farm.
Walla and his wife later moved to Gothenburg where he was employed as a shop foreman for Boice Crane Industries for 20 years, then he and his family moved to Brady where he spent the rest of his life.
He enjoyed his family as they were his whole world, as well as being outdoors, fishing and hunting, said family members.
?Walla was seen as a hero, not only to his family, but also to the many kids that he and his wife babysat throughout the years, in fact, they all called him grandpa, according to family members. He also enjoyed his coffee group, laughing and making others laugh.
He was a member of the American Legion and a past member of the Shriners and Masons.
Walla was preceded in death by: his parents, John and Margaret; a brother, Dallas.
Survivors include: his wife, Ruth; a son, Jon Todd (fiancée Isabel Bonney, and her children, Stephen and Matthew Encinias) of Clovis, NM; a daughter, Pam (J) Buddenberg of Gothenburg; grandchildren—Jenni Trickler (Pat Hales), Jason (Emily) Buddenberg, Bridget Buddenberg (Tom Thornton), Zachary Walla and Kari Walla, Bruce and Barb (Shadle) Beitler; several nieces and nephews; numerous great friends.
Memorials are suggested to the Brady Volunteer Fire Department and the Nebraska Children’s Home Society.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.blase strauser.com. Arrangements have been placed in the care of Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel of Gothenburg.