Deacon Chladek’s service included prison ministry
Deacon Gary Chladek’s 16 years of service at St. Bernadette Parish in Bellevue included prison ministry, helping with liturgies, particularly the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass, and coordinating the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. He died Dec. 31 at age 78. A funeral Mass was held Jan. 6 at St. Bernadette Church. Burial was at Calvary Cemetery in Omaha. “Gary had the heart of a deacon, the heart of charity,” Father Harold Buse, pastor, said in his homily at the funeral. “It is like his heart melted in the presence of those in need. He truly took to heart the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.” “He did things behind the scenes a lot, not looking for recognition,” said Deacon Subby Enzolera, who serves at St. Bernadette. “Especially in his jail ministry; very few people knew he did that. He was very dedicated to his faith and his diaconate service.” Deacon Chladek served 22 years in the Army. Wounded while serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Purple Heart. He retired as a lieutenant colonel, worked for several years in information technology in Omaha and was ordained in 2001. He was preceded in death by his parents, Godfrey and Rose, and his son-in-law, Greg Regets. Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann; children, Joan Regets, Jeffrey and Cheryl Chladek, all of San Antonio, and Jay Chladek of Omaha; and brothers, Richard of Springfield and James of Overland Park, Kan.