Harold E. Damratowski, 78, of Grand Island, died Saturday, June 2, 2012, at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Island, after an illness with cancer.
Services will be at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Grand Island. The Revs. Charles Torpey, Tim Stoner and Ray Kosmicki will officiate. Burial will be in Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Grand Island, with graveside military honors by the United Veterans Honor Guard and the U.S. Navy Honors Team.
Visitation will be Tuesday at the church from 5 to 7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. vigil service.
Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Damratowski was born on Feb. 10, 1934, on the family farm near Loup City, the son of Frank and Vernie (Baker) Damratowski.
He was united in marriage to Betty L. Smedra on June 18, 1960, at Loup City.
He is survived by his wife, Betty of Grand Island; his children and their spouses, Peggy and John Zurek of Omaha, Randy and Barb Damratowski of Kearney, Jeff and Linda Damratowski of Dannebrog and Lorie and Bret Aegerter of Omaha; one brother and sister-in-law, Clarence “Casey” and Vivian Damratowski of Loup City; and three sisters and one brother-in-law, Blanche Ellsworth, Maxine and Harold Skarka, and Mary Ellen Damratowski, all of Grand Island.
He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Harold attended District No. 44 rural school, west of Loup City. He then farmed with his father and helped build Highway 92 with the WPA.
He served in the U.S. Navy from March 1953 to March 1957. He was a machinist mate 1st Class petty officer on the USS Platte.
Harold was a tool and dye engineer for Holiday Manufacturing in Grand Island and Leon Plastics in Alda. He later established and co-owned Triad Manufacturing in Alda. He was an accomplished woodworker, having built the family home and barn south of Alda and many unique wood pieces.
Harold was a member of St. Leo's Catholic Church and a former member and Eucharistic Minister of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Wood River. He was also a member of the Platt-Duetsche and Saddle Club and the Grand Island Modelers Association.
In 1998, Harold suffered a debilitating stroke. He enjoyed building model airplanes, dancing, golfing and fishing. He loved spending time with his family, teaching them never to dislike anyone. Harold was such a prankster, fun loving, spirited man with an active imagination.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the VA Medical Center of Grand Island or the American Cancer Society.