Herbert R.W. Bialas

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WEST BROOKLYN — Herbert R.W. Bialas, 86, of West Brooklyn, passed away June 5, 2020 in his home.

Private family services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Compton with Rev. Jeff Schlesinger officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military honors by Mendota VFW Post 4079. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota is handling arrangements. 

Herbert was born on Oct. 20, 1933 in South Dakota to William and Louise (Kretschmer) Bialas. They fled the dust bowl in 1938 and moved to a farm outside of Paw Paw. Herb was a 1951 graduate of Paw Paw High School. He served as an airplane mechanic in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958, traveling to Germany and Europe. Upon returning home, he began farming with his father. Herb farmed in West Brooklyn for 60 years, retiring at the age of 84. On Oct. 1, 1960 he married the love of his life, Billie R. McFall, in DeKalb. They raised their two children, Julie and Michael, on the farm in West Brooklyn.

Herb served as Viola Township Commissioner for 30 years. Herb served as board president of the west Brooklyn farmers coop. He was a former member and trustee of the West Brooklyn Fire Department. Herb enjoyed spending time with family and friends, traveling, hunting, and playing with his great-grandchildren. 

Herb is survived by his two children, daughter, Julie Bodmer of LaMoille, and son, Michael Bialas of West Brooklyn; six grandchildren, Janell (Chris) Happ of Mendota, Jenna (Josue) Palacios of Wichita Falls, Texas, Dillon Bodmer of Platteville, Wisconsin, Andrea (Ricky) Bialas, Alison (Michael) O’Brien, both of West Brooklyn, and Mitchell Bialas of Franklin Grove; sister, Darlene Johnson; and two brothers, Lloyd Bialas and Gene Bialas; eight great-grandchildren, Geneva, Layla, Henry, Alexis, Morgan, Elsa, Jeffrey, and William; brother-in-law, Randy (Marsha) McFall of Springfield; and many nieces and nephews

He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Billie, in 2016; his parents, Louise and William Bialas; and his infant granddaughter, Audra Bialas. 

Memorials may be directed to the family.