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Wallace Edward Bloch

December 17, 1945 January 30, 2014
Wallace Edward Bloch
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Obituary for Wallace Edward Bloch

Okabena, MN

      Wallace (Wally) Edward Bloch, of Okabena, MN passed away peacefully, January 30, 2014 at his home after enduring a long illness of COPD that he fought with grace and fortitude.

      He was born in Tracy, MN, December 17, 1945 to William and Grace (Leseman) Bloch. He was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in Westbrook, MN. Wally graduated from Westbrook High School and attended Mankato Vo-Tech for Auto Body Technician. He was united in marriage to Betty Artz November 6, 1966 at Tracy Methodist Church in Tracy, MN. After marrying they lived in Westbrook, MN where he worked at Kermits Auto Repair. In August 1967 they moved to Heron Lake where he was employed at Sykora Body Shop which he and Dennis Deutschman purchased in 1971. Betty and Wally moved to their current home in Okabena, MN in September of 1969. He was a volunteer fireman for the Okabena Fire Department for 25 years. Wally was a lifelong member of the Heron Lake Lutheran Church serving in various roles including the church council. Along with continuing his business at Sykora Body Shop, Wally starting assistant teaching at Worthington Prairie Lakes in 1980 in the auto body program for high school students. In 1982 he began teaching the auto body program in Luverne, MN. Wally enjoyed working with his students and got great satisfaction from teaching. He taught there until 1993 and then went on to work at Spomer and Towelerton’s Body Shop until he retired in 2007. He was known for his attention to detail when working on special projects restoring cars. His was especially proud of the last project he did for his friend Don, a 1951 Chevrolet pickup.

      Beginning at a young age, Wally was interested and had a special talent for music. He played the saxophone and sang in the school choir. When he was a teenager, he bought a guitar on a trip to northern Minnesota. On the way home, he played the guitar until he could play the song “Wild Wood Flower,” he had learned it all by “ear.” In 1965, two friends asked him to join their band. They needed a bass player so Wally taught himself how to play it. This began his musical career playing and singing in bands throughout the years including the Vultures, DC & Company, Split Image and Loose Change all while also filling in for several other bands. Music was a true passion for him that brought him joy during his illness as he continued to play his guitar.

      He is survived by his loving wife, Betty of Okabena; daughter, Dawn (Jeff) Thompson of Champlin, MN; son, Darren Bloch of Okabena; grandchildren, Blake, Dylan and Brooke Thompson of Champlin, MN; sister, Wilma Tasler of Windom, MN; sister and brother-in-laws, Marian and Tom Warren of Marshall, MN; Bonnie Wiese of Slayton, MN, and Gene and Marilyn Bratsch of Minnetonka, MN, and nieces and nephews.

      He was preceded in death by his parents, William Bloch and Grace (Leseman) Haugen; sister-in-law, Lois Bratsch, and brother-in-laws, Wayne Wiese and Fred Tasler.

      Visitation with the family will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., followed by the memorial service at 11:30 a.m., on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Heron Lake, MN, with Pastor Mark Yackel-Juleen officiating. You are invited to join the family after the service for lunch and fellowship at the Heron Lake Community Center.

Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.


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