Clarence L. Salaba, 85

Clarence L. Salaba, age 85, of Lonsdale, died suddenly at Hennepin County Medical Center as the result of an accident on the family Century Farm on Friday, October 28, 2022.  Clarence was born on March 31, 1937 in Wheatland Township to Frank E. and Rose (Uhlir) Salaba.  He grew up in the Lonsdale/Veseli area and graduated from New Prague High School.  He met the love of his life, Delores M. Smisek, when he took a temporary gig with her father’s band, the Bob Smisek Orchestra.  Fate brought them together and their devotion to each other plus their mutual love of music kept them making music for 7 decades with their own band, Silver Memories, and many other bands.  They married September 3, 1960 in Lonsdale and made their life on the family farm.  Clarence was a man of the earth, farming and attending to the land but also held many other jobs.  He worked for the Wheatland Township and Rice County Highway Departments as a heavy equipment operator and served on the Wheatland Township Board. Retirement saw no slow-down for Clarence as he then worked for Rud Construction.

 Music was an integral part of every aspect of Clarence’s life.  He served in the Army Reserves for 8 years, was a member of the Lonsdale American Legion and then, as a part of the Lonsdale Veterans Honor Guard, played Taps for many decades.   He played with numerous bands and founded the Lonsdale Community Band.  His trumpet was never far from his side and always ready to be put into action.  His natural charisma played out on stage with a smile and the ability to reach his audience.  During these times, there was often a competition with his wife as to who was able to talk to and meet more of their fans during breaks!  He was the epitome of a people-person!

 Clarence’s family was paramount in his life.  He loved nothing more than the time with them and joined in the activities when his great-grandchildren recently visited.  Euchre was a serious competition; even the grandchildren knew grandpa didn’t like to lose!  He was able to fix anything and never acknowledged his chronological age, viewing himself as able to do things that men half his age were doing!  He never asked for help, not wanting to be a burden.  Clarence was happiest when he was outside, fishing and camping, or just being in the woods.  He was a member of the Twin Lakes Sportsman’s Club. His zest for life, the natural jokester that he was, his  smile and readily embracing all who met him, has left a hole in the hearts of his family and friends.

 Clarence is survived by his loving wife, Delores, of Lonsdale; sons, Mark (Shelli) of Lonsdale, Timothy (Jeannie) of Lonsdale, David (Renae) of Des Moines, IA, Jeffrey (Kathy) of Lonsdale, Jonathan (Lisa) of Webster; grandchildren, Nicole (Vince) Adams, Brandon (Erin) Salaba, Andrew (Amy Yang) Salaba, Ben (Rachel) Salaba, Jake (Ragen) Salaba, Nick Salaba, Joseph (Sonya) Salaba, Phillip Salaba (Megan Ross), Sarah Braith (Todd Honsey), Steve Salaba, Tori Salaba, Derek Salaba; great-grandchildren, Ethan, Thomas, Laurel, Mason, Layker, Trip, Quinn, Cliff; sisters, Marion Skluzacek of New Prague, Virginia Malecha of Northfield, Rosemary Sharkey (Jerry Kipp) of Northfield, Geraldine Stanton of Brentwood, CA; sister-in-law, Darlene Kubes of Lonsdale.  He is preceded in death by great-granddaughter, Ivy Braith; his parents; baby brother in infancy.

 Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Most Holy Trinity Church in Veseli with Father John Lapensky officiating.  Visitation will take place at Bruzek Funeral Home on Friday from 4-8 PM and on Saturday morning from 7:30-9:30.  Burial will take place after Mass at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Veseli where military honors will be conducted by the Lonsdale Veterans Honor Guard. Lunch will follow the burial at the Lonsdale Legion Club.


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