STERLING, Colo. — Charles "Chuck" Podraza, 79, of Sterling, Colorado, passed away from pulmonary fibrosis on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Greeley, Colorado.
A memorial service was held Sept. 15 at Peace Lutheran Church with the Rev. Ron Powers officiating. The service will conclude at the church.
Chuck was born on July 11, 1938, in Chicago to Eleanor (Valasek) and Frank Podraza. He moved to Nebraska at the age of 11. He graduated from Silver Creek High School in Silver Creek and then received his bachelor’s degree from Huron College in Huron, South Dakota. He taught for one year in Clark, South Dakota. Afterward he went to Alamosa, Colorado, where he earned his master’s degree from Adams State College.
He began his career at Northeastern Junior College in 1962, quickly becoming a celebrated teacher and respected administrator. He taught math, served as dean of academics, and was vice president during his 36-year tenure; his dedication and love of NJC earned him the 2014 Alumni Association’s Service Award. He retired in 1998 to enjoy his time playing golf with friends. He once said, “It took only 10 minutes to adjust to retirement.”
Chuck married Connie Sindt Kier in Sterling on June 3, 1967. They celebrated their 50th anniversary this past summer. They shared Connie’s son Greg, and their daughter, Tanya, was born in 1968.
Chuck was a lifelong member of the Elks Club and a longtime member of Sterling Country Club and Peace Lutheran Church.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife Connie; son Greg and wife Gerri of Lafayette, Colorado; daughter Tanya and husband Dow of Salida, Colorado; granddaughters Ashlyn and Dayna; brothers Bill (Bernie) Podraza and Frank (Teri) Podraza; sister, Kathy (Phil) Gray; and many loving family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to an organization of your choice in Chuck’s honor.