Walter Trach – Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, formerly of Monessen
Walter was born on May 4, 1948 in Regensburg, Germany to Stefan and Helen Ciak Trach. They boarded the General CC Ballou on September 26, 1949 and arrived on October 5, 1949 at Ellis Island. He grew up in Monessen, where he was a member of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church and learned traditional Ukrainian dances. He was the eldest of four children, John (Lizanne DeStefano) Trach, Luba (Bob) Vujcic and Stefan (Kathie) Trach. He attended Penn State University, where he met his beloved wife and best friend, Cathleen Lettieri, in 1969. They were married on April 26, 1975, and had four children, Michele (Jamie) Glood, Suzanne Trach , Walter (Melissa) Trach and Nicole Trach (Sonny Mouneu). He was a polyglot and earned a bachelor’s degree in Russian and linguistics and a master of arts in Slovak languages and literature. He worked for the United Nations in New York as a Russian translator. He switched to another type of “language” and studied computer programming. He specialized in health care information systems and moved his family to Maryland in 1986 and then to Minnesota in 1988. In his later years he worked as a consultant, which allowed him to travel for work in many parts of the country. He especially loved Pasadena, California, and was able to spend time with Nicole and Sonny. They granted him the unofficial title of “Mayor of Pasadena”. He loved to travel, but also enjoyed spending time at his 33-year-old home in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Walter loved his children and encouraged them to study and work hard. He encouraged them at swimming competitions, sporting events (soccer, softball, baseball) and musical performances. He helped them with their homework and mathematics was his strong point. He was extremely proud of his children and their accomplishments, especially his nine grandchildren, all of whom were born under the age of seven. They all loved his mustache and his silly sense of humor. To say Walter enjoyed collecting is an understatement. He was a “treasure hunter” and probably enjoyed hunting more than discovery. He collected stamps, coins, baseball cards, watches, books, movies, and music, to name a few. Books were his absolute favorites. He could walk into any bookstore and find the rarest books. He eventually turned his “hobby” into a successful small online book business. He and Cathy spent a lot of time packing and dropping off his sales at the local post office. Walter loved food – almost every day he asked Cathy what she was cooking for dinner. His smile was welcoming and you couldn’t find him without a cough drop or a toothpick. He loved to explore and go “for a ride” on the weekends. He had an excellent memory and no one could beat him on quizzes. He spent many hours at the kitchen table with a cup of Lipton tea, mastering crosswords and Sudoku or watching movies on TCM and one of his favorite TV shows like “Murder She Wrote” or ” NCIS”. He loved music and could spend hours in music stores. He always had the radio on to listen to old and new music. His favorites were The Animals, Leonard Cohen, Edith Piaf, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jacques Brel, Al Stewart, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Canned Heat, Love and many more. Despite chronic health issues, he had a positive attitude and a strong will to live life to the fullest. He is survived by his wife; children and their spouses; small children; siblings and their spouses; sister-in-law, Barbara Boettcher; and nieces and nephews, Juliana Trach, Nikola Vujcic, Natasha Vujcic, Larisa Trach, Sara Trach, Douglas Trach and Erica Engelbert. Walter is already missed terribly by his family.