Valerian “Val” John Hanzelka

Valerian “Val” John Hanzelka passed peacefully at Iowa River Hospice on the evening of June 11th, 2021, and awoke to Heaven’s sun. The family would especially like to thank the staff at Iowa River Hospice Home for bringing comfort and peace to Val’s final week, and the care they provided in assisting his journey to heaven is greatly appreciated.

Funeral Services for Val will be on Wednesday, June 16th with a visitation at 10:00 AM until the service time at 11:00 at Trinity Lutheran Church 1011 S 3rd Avenue, Marshalltown, IA 50158, where Val was a faithful and trusted member of the congregation. Guests are welcomed to join the church family for refreshments at the church prior to burial. Val will be laid to rest at LeGrand Friends Cemetery following the service. For those unable to attend the service, it will be livestreamed on the Mitchell Family Funeral Home Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to the Iowa River Hospice Home of Marshalltown and the Trinity Lutheran Church of Marshalltown.

Valerian John Hanzelka was born in rural Chelsea on February 29, 1928, to Frank and Mary E (Sichra) Hanzelka. Val was the third of eight children, giving him a childhood full of love, friends, and family. Val graduated from Chelsea High School and shortly after enlisted in the United States Army, where he honorably served his country. Val served the occupational forces in Germany after World War II then the postal department for the Armed Forces. He later served in the same capacity in the Korean War.

On August 7, 1950, Val was united in marriage to his first love, Donna Lou (Hage) Swartz, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. Upon Val’s return from the Korean War, he and Donna Lou moved to Chelsea, where he served as Acting Post Master until, as Val would say, “the Republicans got in office and kicked me out!”

In 1954 the couple moved to LeGrand, and Val spent his time working at Dunham/Bush Company as a clerk until retiring at 66 years young as their Regional Sales Manager. After retirement, Val enjoyed working at Taco Johns, sharing his genuine love for people and spreading his infectious smile to those who came up to the front counter. Following Donna Lou’s passing in 2017, Val continued to share his love and servitude to those around him. He reconnected with his special friend from LeGrand, Rita Rhodes, through his time living at the Embers. Val had a strong faith and the heart of a servant. He was devoted to his wife and enjoyed a long friendship with Rita.

Val was very active in the church, attending every meeting and activity held by Trinity Lutheran, which earned him and Donna Lou their very own pew whenever a service was held. He loved the activities held at the Embers as well, especially bean bags, 500, and Skip-Bo, which kept his time full of laughter and smiles.

Left to mourn Val are his daughter, Valarie (Godfrey) Sherriff of Austin, TX; his granddaughter Dina Hanzelka; his great-grandsons Derek Baier and James Baier; and his great- great-grandchildren, Joshua, Harper Lee, and Parker, all of Des Moines, IA. He is also mourned by his siblings Cyril of Ogden, UT, Mary of Dubuque, IA, and his sister-in-law, Jane Foley Hiawatha. He will be missed dearly by the family he made at Trinity Lutheran Church and the Embers of Marshalltown.

Val is rejoined in heaven with his parents; his beloved wife, Donna Lou; his son Mark David; and his siblings, Marcella, Francis, Stanley, Bernadette, and Norbert.

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