Obituary of Bernard J. Skalka
Bernard James Skalka passed away peacefully on January 12, 2022, at the age of 85. He passed from this life at his home in Cypress, CA, surrounded by family.
Also known as Bernie and Bud, he was born on December 3, 1936, in Fairfield, Nebraska, the oldest child of James Thomas Skalka and Anna Louise (Bednar) Skalka. He and his brother Dennis grew up on the family farm located two miles west of Deweese, NE. He graduated from Fairfield High School in 1954. He married Theresa Karmazin of Lawrence, NE in 1958 while both were attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He graduated in 1959 with a Master’s degree in Theater Arts, with the intention of teaching technical theater (lighting and set design).
After teaching at UNL for a year, he moved the family to River Falls, WI, where he taught at Wisconsin State University for several years. The family then moved to Normal, IL, where he taught for several years at Illinois State College.
In 1967, he accepted a position on the faculty of the California State University (then College), Long Beach. After living in Long Beach, CA for a year, he moved the family to the house in Cypress, CA, where he lived until his passing. He retired as the Chair of the Department of Theater Arts at CSULB in 1998. In retirement, he enjoyed travel with his wife, woodworking, fabricating stained glass and being with family.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Theresa, brother Dennis, children Gregory (wife Jo Ann), Daniel, Laura (husband Jeffery) and Patrick, and grandchildren Christopher (wife Carolyn), Allison, Brandon and Jacob.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 9 AM at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Deweese, with Father Corey Harrison Officiating. Burial will be in St. Martin’s Cemetery, Deweese. Additional information is at Everloved.com. Private condelences may be sent to the family at www.mertenbutlermortuary.com. Merten-Butler Mortuary, Blue Hill, Nebraska is in charge of arrangements.
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