Wallace B. “Wally” Woodhead, 83, passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019.
Wally was born on his mother’s birthday, March 25, 1936 in Rock County at home on the “Patch Place”, the youngest of five children, born to Fred & 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 60’s.
Wally married Lorene Babcock, and to this union four children were born: Marilyn, twins Karen & Sharon, and Michael.
Wally moved to Grant after living in Bassett for 35 years, Wally 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.
He is survived by his wife, Katherine of Grant; daughters, Marilyn (Rick) Brodbeck of Ainsworth and Karen (Dan) Farnham and Shari (Doug) Sexson, both of Grant; son, Mike (Deb) Woodhead of Holyoke, Colo.; grandchildren, Heather (Cody) Stec, Cory Brodbeck, Troy Brodbeck & friend Anissa Julius, all of Ainsworth, Marsha (Dan) Gusmerotti of Denver, Colo., Cody (Brooke) Lee of Grant, Joshua Sexson & friend Lauren Pelchat of Lincoln, Jacob (fiance Maggie Reynolds) Sexson of Omaha, and Jarrett Woodhead of Holyoke, Colo.; great-grandchildren, Grant Stec, Rowan, Rieken, and Lainey Lee; sisters, Lorene Shear of Scottbluff and Jeanne (Fred) Shelor of Omaha; Katherine’s children, Terry Dodge and his children, Joshua (Melody) and Crystal, all of Las Vegas, Nev., Marta (Jim) Scolaro and their daughters Bailee & Marina of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Allen Briggs of Pahrump, Nev., and other relatives.
Wally was preceded in death by his parents, sisters and brother-in-laws, LaVerna & Vernon Sharp, Lila Kepler, and Kenneth Shear.
Celebration of life will be at the Grant United Methodist Church on Thursday, May 16 at 10:30 a.m. In honor of Wally, we would like everyone to wear casual or Husker attire.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. at Grant United Methodist Church.
A memorial has been established to Perkins County Health Services. Bullock-Long Funeral Home of Grant is in charge of arrangements.