Frank Valach of Lewistown, aged 101 died of natural causes early Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at Valle Vista Manor. He was born the eldest of eight children to John and Anna (Hruska) Valach at Saint Joseph's Hospital
in Lewistown. Growing up in a Czech household Frank spoke Czech before he learned English. Hence his love of all things Czech. Especially music and Polka dancing. Frank’s Lewistown education started at the stone Garfield School, next the original Highland Park School, then Lewistown Junior High, before graduating from Fergus High School in 1936. Throughout those years he was an active member of the Corbly 4-H Club. During High School Frank apprenticed as a bricklayer. Post-graduation he studied architecture at the Washington Technical Institute in Seattle. During the dirty thirties’ jobs were scarce. Frank returned home to work as a solution tender at the gold mine in Kendall, Montana. Then went back to Seattle to work as a bricklayer for the Austin Corporation. At the onset of WWII, he was building the Reynolds Metals Aluminum Plant in Longview, WA. Soon thereafter he joined the Air Force to study radio and radar. Serving as a flying radar operator for the sixth Air Force on LB-30s and B-24s for 45 months.
In 1946 he married Pearl Mane, a lovely nurse. Together they raised three sons. Following the war Frank joined his father in John Valach and Son Construction. Building masonry structures across Montana. Key projects included St. Leo's High School and grade school addition. Schools in Crow Creek, Forsyth and Roy. Telephone buildings in Winifred, Roy, Grass Range, Winnett, Moore, Judith Gap, and Martinsdale, The Treasure County Court House in Hysham (one of their more beautiful jobs). The Yogo Inn, Zion Lutheran Church, and service stations as far away as Miles City. Along with dozens of brick veneered houses and many, many fireplaces and chimneys. One of Frank’s love was restoring old masonry buildings. Including seismic work at the Bair Family Museum near Martinsdale and restoration of the historic "Castle" in White Sulphur Springs.
Frank's service to Lewistown included being elected as the Fergus Country delegate to State Legislature. He was active in the Eagles and Elks Lodges, American Legion, and Bricklayers Union. Along with serving on the hospital board (twelve years), Yogo Inn board, City Board of Adjustments and as chairman of the Central Montana Historical Association which he helped found. He also donated much of the masonry work for its new building.
Education was very important to Frank. He never voted against a school levy. And proudly helped all three of his sons to achieve college degrees.
He is survived by his three sons - Frank J. (Greg); Robert (Susan); both of Lewistown; and William (Julie) of West Linn, OR; grandchildren Jenna, Julia, Joel (Eryn); step-grandchildren Briana Stanley (Charles), and Rhett (Sally) Stanley; sister, Helen Craig (Jim), brothers Ernie, and Tony (Wanda), brother-in-law Thomas Mane (Lydia), along with numerous generations of nieces, nephews, and their offspring.
Frank was proceeded in death by his parents, wife Pearl of 70 years, sister Betty, and brothers Jim, John, and Charles. As well as many Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.
A Celebration of Frank Valach’s Life will be held at a later date. Cremation has taken place at his request. A private committal next to his beloved wife Pearl will occur at Mount Calvary Cemetery in the near future. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.
The Valach family would like to thank both the Villa at Valle Vista and the Valle Vista Manor staff for their kind and committed care of Dad during his final years. And the Central Montana Hospice team for their
help and support during his last days.
Memorials can be made to the Central Montana Historical Association or the charity of your choice and left with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Family condolences may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.