Cathy Vidas Trecek, 70
Cathy was born to Carroll M. Canaday and Phyllis J. Canaday, in Fairfield, Iowa. She grew up on a small family farm near Birmingham, Iowa, attended a one room school (taught by her mother) for her earliest years in school, then attended school in Birmingham and Keosauqua, Iowa. She attended Parsons College. When the college closed, she finished her bachelorís degree at Texas Tech University, where she attained a masterís degree in guidance and counseling and where she also entered an ROTC program. She was the first female commissioned officer to enter the United States Air Force from that university.
Cathy started her Air Force Career as an officer of the line, then took advantage of the opportunity to attend Creighton University School of Law, and eventually became a member of the Air Force Judge Advocate Corps. During her service career, she earned the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Force Training Ribbon.
Following her retirement from the Air Force, she commenced teaching at Iowa Western Community College, where she rose to the position of full professor. She taught government, paralegal studies, criminal law, and business law. In addition, she was Department Head for her own department and also for some other departments, including the Fire Science Department. She also developed an assessment program which was acknowledged as a major factor in keeping IWCC as an accredited institution.
More important than either her legal or educational careers was Cathyís role as wife and mother. Cathy gave birth to son Timothy in 1979, but lost her first husband, Charles Michael Vidas, in an Air Force flying incident, just months before son Michael was born. While stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, a friend from JAG School kept trying to set her up on dates with one of his old law school classmates, John Trecek. Both Cathy and John were leery of their friendís judgement and resisted his efforts. It was not until Cathy and John met for lunch on legal business that they discovered that the other was in fact the person their friend kept recommending. A business lunch led to social lunches, then dinners and dates, and in 1986, the two were married. Daughter Mary came along in 1987 and was such a joy Cathy convinced John to try for ďjust one more before we quit.Ē In 1989, triplets Rebecca, Carrie, and Deborah completed the family.
Cathy was active in church activities. She taught Sunday School for over 18 years, participated in childrenís sermons during worship for many years, taught Vacation Bible School, and was also on the church administrative board. She is a past president of the UMW.
Cathy is survived by husband, John Trecek, sons Timothy Vidas (Sheila) and Michael Vidas, daughters Mary Trecek Benzel (Marcus), Rebecca Trecek, Carrie Trecek, and Deborah Trecek Volkens (Lee), grandkids Catherine, Elizabeth, and Evangeline Vidas, and Rosalee and Elliot Volkens, sisters Connie Canaday Howard (Rex), and Cindy Meiners (Gregg), nieces and nephews.
The family requests memorials be sent to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Bellevue, or to the Nebraska Humane Society.