Wallace B. (Wally) Woodhead, 83, of Grant, Nebraska, passed away on May 12, 2019.
Wally was born on his mother’s birthday, March 25, 1936 in Rock County, Neb., at home on the “Patch Place”. He was the youngest of five children, born to Fred and Alma (Barber) Woodhead.
He graduated from Rock County High School in 1954. After graduating, he built a stock car with Harry Swanson, racing in Stuart, Sargent, Ainsworth and Valentine.
He attended Milford Trade School, graduating in mechanics after the first semester because he knew more than his instructor. Returning to Bassett after graduation, he worked for Lackaff Ranch, and other local businesses. Wally began his own business as a mechanic in the early 60s.
Wally married Lorene Babcock, and to this union four children were born, Marilyn, twins Karen and Sharon, and Michael.
Wally moved to Grant after living in Bassett for 35 years. He was employed by Valmont Industries for two years as a district service manager. He became farm manager for Dudden Brothers Farms until he opened his own business in 1975. This became his lifelong passion up until the time of his death.
His specialties were T-L center pivots, Isuzu engines and Wally’s Coolrite Coolers, along with fabrications, crane work and a welding shop. He serviced a four-state area.
His highlights were exhibiting at the Chase County Fairs for 37 years and Husker Harvest days for 41 years. He taught a certified welding class for Mid Plains Community College at Imperial, Madrid, Grant and Ogallala.
In 2004, Wally married Katherine Dodge in Ogallala. They resided in Ogallala before moving to Grant. Together they enjoyed camping, gardening, attending grandchildren’s events and Husker football games.
Wally’s other hobbies included stock car racing, ice fishing, hunting and attending Bronco football games. His passion was helping others with his talent knowledge and skills.
He never knew a stranger or forgot a name.
Organizations he belonged to include Lions Club, Bassett United Methodist Church, Ogallala Elks, Moose Lodge, Bassett and Grant Fire Department. Wally was also a proud sponsor of 4-H sales in Arthur, Keith and Perkins Counties.
Wally fought a courageous battle with cancer and other health issues over the last several years and will be dearly missed by all.
Wally was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and brothers-in-law LaVerna and Vernon Sharp, Lila Kepler and Kenneth Shear.
He is survived by his wife, Katherine of Grant; daughters, Marilyn (Rick) Brodbeck of Ainsworth, Neb., Karen (Dan) Farnham of Grant, and Shari (Doug) Sexson of Grant; son, Mike (Deb) Woodhead of Holyoke, Colo.; grandchildren, Heather (Cody) Stec, Cory Brodbeck, Troy Brodbeck and friend Anissa Julius, all of Ainsworth, Marsha (Dan) Gusmerotti of Denver, Cody (Brooke) Lee of Grant, Joshua Sexson and friend Lauren Pelchat of Lincoln, Jacob Sexson and fiance Maggie Reynolds of Omaha and Jarrett Woodhead of Holyoke; great-grandchildren Grant Stec, Rowan, Rieken and Lainey Lee; sisters Lorene Shear of Scottsbluff and Jeanne (Fred) Shelor of Omaha; Katherine’s children, Terry Dodge and his children, Joshua (Melody) and Crystal, all of Las Vegas, Marta (Jim) Scolaro and their daughters Bailee and Marina of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Allen Briggs of Pahrump, Nev., and many other relatives and host of friends.
Celebration of life will be at the Grant United Methodist Church on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. In honor of Wally, the family would like everyone to wear casual or Husker attire.
Visitation will be Wednesday, from 2-6 p.m. at Grant United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to Perkins County Health Services in Wally’s memory.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home of Grant is in charge of arrangements.