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Obituary for Herbert David Spalla

May 21, 1932 – May 19, 2023

Herbert David Spalla, 90, passed away peacefully on May 19. He was born to Herbert and Rosalie (nee: Ducharme) Spalla on May 21, 1932, in Eastman, Wis. Herb was the oldest of 13 children. He graduated from Viroqua High School in 1951.

Herbert David Spalla
Herbert David Spalla

He served in the United States Navy as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, Sonar on the USS Watts from January 1951 through November 1954. He married his dearest love Eva Jane Sandvick on April 16, 1955, at Blessed Sacrament Church in La Crosse, Wis. Herb and Eva settled in Racine in 1962 near St. Edward Church to raise their growing family. In their later years, they moved to Lake Oaks at DeKoven and enjoyed spending time with friends. They were married for 66 years.

Herb attended UW-La Crosse and then transferred to the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He was employed by Ladish Company in Cudahy, Wis., as a sales engineer for 33 years. He worked on many projects including those for the space shuttle, nuclear submarine, and Boeing Corporation. He retired in 1989 and thoroughly enjoyed his 34 years of retirement. He was an avid antique collector, restored antique furniture and was involved in many home restoration projects. He spent several years traveling the country and gained a vast knowledge of Custer Era Springfield carbines, Indian War firearms and artifacts. He was a respected authority on this topic and willingly shared his knowledge with collectors across the country.

Herb was an active member of St. Edward Church and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed golf. His favorite course was Petrifying Springs. At the age of 88, he played 220 rounds in a single year. His favorite hole was #12. He enjoyed getting together with friends every morning at Derango’s on Washington Avenue, spending time with fellow vets at the Piggly Wiggly for donuts, and playing cards with friends at Lake Oaks. Herb was a proud naval veteran and one of his favorite memories was being selected to participate in an honor flight to Washington, DC.

Herb was a loving husband and father who had a deep spiritual faith. His support and guidance to his family were unwavering and we will forever be grateful. His favorite saying was, “Every day is a bonus.” We were truly blessed to have each day with him.

Herb will be dearly missed by his sons, Herbert (Heidi), Bryan, Greg (Carin), and daughters, Eva Marie (Luke) Kostal, Elizabeth (Paul Nowak) Spalla; 14 grandchildren, Michael (Danelle) Spalla, Ashley Spalla, Aaron (Marina) Spalla, Arielle Spalla, Bryanna Spalla, Ciara Spalla, Dylan Spalla, David (Christie) Spalla, Laura (Tucker) Day, Paul (Nicole) Spalla, Jedidiah Kostal, Hannah (Tim) Juhl, Ethan Woitach and Petra Nowak; six great-grandchildren, Eloise, Ryker, Eva, Parker, Owyn and Lilliana; brother, Anthony (Marge) Spalla and sisters, Veronica (Homer) Tresner, Stella (Jack) Weber, Mary (Milo) Whitney, and Ann (Douglas) Harvey.

Along with his parents, Herb is preceded in death by his wife Eva, twin girls Debbie and Donna; great-granddaughter Eden Juhl; brothers, David (Rose Marie) Spalla, Tom (Rose) Spalla, John (Jean) Spalla, Frankie Spalla, and sisters, Jeanine (Donald) McAllister, Rosalie (Robert) Weber and Denise (Mark) Spalla.


Private interment with full military honors was held at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery. A memorial mass celebrating Herb’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on June 17 at St. Edward Catholic Church. Relatives and friends are welcome to meet for visitation beginning at 9 a.m. until time of mass.

A special thank you to all the caregivers at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee who gave such compassionate care to Herb.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Christmas Coalition, Inc. Donations can be sent to PO Box 44343, Racine, WI 53402 or they can be dropped off at any Tri City National Bank location. In the memo line, write “In memory of Herbert Spalla.” The Christmas Coalition preserves and promotes keeping Christ in Christmas through the Nativity display on Monument Square each year. This was an important cause of Herb and Eva.

Obituary and photo courtesy of Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home.

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