Joseph Lavar Prezel, 90, died Tuesday, May 7 of natural causes at Memorial Hospital, Modesto.
He was born to Joseph and Agatha Prezel in Helper, Utah on Dec. 28, 1922.
He enjoyed all sports but excelled in basketball and was a guard on the Price High School basketball team, going to the Utah State Championship one year. He spent one year at Price Junior College in Utah and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He served in the Philippines and when the war ended, he returned home on a very large flat-bottom landing craft. He was seasick for the entire crossing of the Pacific and always shied away from any kind of boat ride for as long as he lived.
Mr. Prezel was employed by the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years. He and his wife lived in Oakdale for 36 years.
He belonged to the Oakdale Methodist Church, Oakdale Masonic Lodge, and the Oakdale Order of the Eastern Star. He loved the big bands, ballroom dancing, polka festivals, and belonged to the Forever Young Dance Club.
He loved traveling all over the U.S. with his wife Mary. They were also able to visit Slovenia, where his father was born, meeting many of his first cousins and other relatives.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Mary; daughter, Patricia of Sacramento; sons, Jeffrey of Sacramento, Brian of Placerville; sister, Irene Lopez of Novato; 15 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Gregory; and brothers, Ernest and William.
A celebration of life will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at the United Methodist Church, Oakdale.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
May 15, 2013