Leo Thomas Valko, 82, Roscommon, died Dec. 4, 2022, at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital.
Visitation will be held at Wagner and Walsh Funeral Directors, Roscommon, Friday, Dec. 16, from 1 p.m. until the time of the memorial service at 4 p.m.
Born Feb. 14, 1940, in Detroit, he was the son of Julius and Marie (Coughlin) Valko. He and Sandra Evans were married Jan. 25, 1964, in Clawson. They were married for nearly 59 years.
Mr. Valko was a cherished member of the Roscommon community for more than five decades and was well-known as the postmaster for more than 20 years. His keen memory and genuine interest in others allowed him to quickly learn the names and faces of everyone he met, a trait that was quite valuable for the youngest postmaster in the State of Michigan.
He was a personable man who regularly sought ways to connect with others. That, combined with his contagious smile, quick wit and strong handshake, made it easy for him to win over the admiration of everyone in town. If you met him, you loved him.
He was a captivating storyteller and enthusiastically shared tales of his favorite pastimes, which were hunting and fishing with family and friends and enjoying the outdoors at his AuSable River home and his cottage in the Les Cheneaux Islands on Lake Huron.
He was a tremendous athlete in his youth and continued to nurture that hobby throughout his life by participating in everything from beach volleyball to softball to golf. Involved as a father and grandfather, he avidly supported all of his children and grandchildren. He was their biggest fan and attended every game and event with a proud twinkle in his eye. He was also an active member of Rotary Club and Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Valko could truly do whatever he set his mind to. He even resourcefully built the Valkos’ first family home in Roscommon from scratch, skillfully carving the trees from the forest into a hand-made log home. He would do anything for his family and he was very proud of the legacy he created. He will be missed by those who knew him.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Julius and Marie Valko; brothers, Daniel (Marie) Valko, James Valko and Frank (Patricia) Valko; brother-in-law, Art Lydick; and sisters-in-law, Patricia Box and Pamela Evans.
Surviving are his wife, Sandy; children, Kimberly (Art) Sigman, Thomas (Dawn) Valko, Timothy (Teresa) Valko and Jennifer (Dennis) Wagner; grandchildren, Travis (Ashley) Sigman, Trevor (Tori) Sigman, Brett (fiancé, Chelsea) Sigman, Brianna (Jarrod) Alford, Madison (fiancé, Andrew) Valko, Devan (fiancé, Josh) Valko, Peyton Valko, Deighan Valko, Hannah Wagner, Emma Wagner and Jillian Wagner; great-grandchildren, Tristan Sigman, Thea Sigman and Rosie Alford; sister, Marie Lydick; sister-in-law, Carol Valko; brother-in-law, William Evans; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to Roscommon Area Public Schools’ Athletic Scholarship Fund, as he worked the “chain gang” for football games and coached many children throughout his life.
Wagner and Walsh Funeral Directors handled the arrangements.
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