Francis Wenceslaus Varilek Profile Photo
1943 Francis 2024

Francis Wenceslaus Varilek

April 29, 1943 — March 18, 2024


Francis Wenceslaus Varilek, age 80 of Yankton, passed away Monday, March 18, 2024 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.

Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a 7 p.m. wake, Friday, March 22 at Goglin Funeral Home in Yankton.

Memorial Mass will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton.

Inurnment will take place at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at St. Leo Catholic Cemetery in Tyndall.

Francis Wenceslaus Varilek was born in Tyndall on April 29, 1943, the eldest son of Frank H. and Tillie (Plavec) Varilek. Francis passed away on March 18, 2024, after a brave fight against leukemia and its side effects, at Sacred Heart Hospital surrounded by his three sons and several siblings. He voiced that he sure felt the love from the visitors he had in the few days before passing.

Francis grew up helping his parents on the farm and working at Coast to Coast in Scotland throughout high school. After graduating, he attended one year of college majoring in mechanics. Francis married Clarita (Hollman) in 1963 and they raised 3 sons together.

Francis worked a variety of jobs centered around trucking. He began employment working for the State Department of Transportation. Next, he worked for Truck Trailer and did trucking for individuals in addition to that full time job. Eventually, Francis started working for himself and owned Varilek Truck Repair for several decades. During this time, he would employ young men to help give them a jump start in their working life. Among those working for him were his sons, and his nephew, Jon. Another business he tried his hand in for a while was ostrich farming and was President of the South Dakota Ostrich Owners Organization. Francis was a member of the Moose Lodge and the Rocky Mountain Elks Foundation.

Francis met Sally Boyd in 1998 and they soon became life companions, sharing 23 years together. Through this relationship Francis gained five daughters and a host of grandchildren.

Francis was an avid camper and enjoyed spending lots of time on the water. He belonged to the Coast Guard Auxiliary and truly enjoyed time spent helping boy scouts navigate the river on overnight canoe trips. He loved helping kids learn to water ski and letting grandkids “drive his boat” while sitting on his lap. Some of his favorite times is when he had his line in the water catching walleye, especially in Canada or on men’s fishing trips, even after his sight had left him.

Francis will be remembered for his deep love for his grandchildren, which he showed by attending many of their activities. He was a great dancer and enjoyed dancing wherever there was music and a partner to join him. Polkas and waltzes ranked among his favorites. He loved any chance he got to visit and tell detailed stories of his past and always had witty tidbits of information to share.

Grateful for having shared his life are his sons, Bryce (Dixie) Varilek, Colin (Lisa) Varilek, and Derek (Stephanie) Varilek; grandchildren, Sarah (Anthony) Silva, Jake (Chelsea), Megan, Shelby, and Kate Varilek; Sally’s daughters, Ann (Daryl) Walker, Mary Boyd, Loretta (Paul) Knodel, Pamela Boyd (Shaun Cihak) and Misty (Andy) Brasch;  grandchildren, Willy (Jessica) and James Walker, Dylan and Jesse Chambers, Joshua (Sammy) and Jacob Knodel, Faith (Cody) Vanden Hoek, Anaka Brasch, and Hannah Cihak; great-grandchildren, Hope, Tate, Kai, Cayli, and Avia Silva, Jonah, Ella, and Braxton Walker, and Huntlee and Henry Vanden Hoek; sisters, JoAnn (John) Jonas, and Irene Koranda; brothers, Dan, Dave, and Chuck (Julie) Varilek; sisters-in-law, Dina and Jeanne Varilek and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Francis was preceded in death by his companion, Sally; his parents; infant sister, Henrietta; brothers, Tom and Ken; brother-in-law, Don Koranda; and nephew, Jon Jonas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Francis Wenceslaus Varilek, please visit our flower store.
Francis Varilek folder.pdf
Francis Varilek floral tributes.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Goglin Funeral Home - Yankton

807 W 31st St, Yankton, SD 57078

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, March 22, 2024

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

Goglin Funeral Home - Yankton

807 W 31st St, Yankton, SD 57078

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Mass

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

St. Benedict Catholic Church

1500 St Benedict Dr, Yankton, SD 57078

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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